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Amelia Islander

Fernandina Faces

Mar 13, 2014 11:01AM
Although it has been only six years, there is a serious love affair between this dynamic couple and Amelia Island. Steve and Jo-Ann Leimberg first visited by sail boat, then again by trawler, and the beauty and charm of the island seduced them. Later, as a speaker at a meeting at Amelia Island Plantation, the third visit cemented their commitment to make Amelia Island their home. They are currently building a home overlooking one of their beloved marshes. “It is a challenge and a delight,” says Jo-Ann of the house project.

The couple is deeply involved in the community they love. Their commitments include the Wild Amelia Nature Festival, Amelia Tree Conservancy, the Plantation Artists’ Guild and Gallery, the Island Art Association, and the Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library. They care and participate. They also both appeared in a Fernandina Little Theatre multi-media production that featured the poems of Amelia Island poet Nola Perez. In addition, Steve recently collaborated with the Amelia Island Museum of History on the book, Meet Me on Amelia Island, which features Steve’s beautiful photos as well as island stories and recipes. It is available at Amelia Island bookstores and the Museum.

Steve, a former tax law professor, is the current owner of an estate tax software company and a newsletter publisher. He is also a professional fine art wildlife and portrait photographer. His subjects are varied, but he is quick to tell you one of his favorite things to photograph is the human face. He credits Stephanie Medina of the Waterwheel Gallery for encouraging him to consider portraits of the many interesting people that make their home on Amelia Island. When he first met with Medina in her popular gallery, he showed her some of his portraits of birds. She was quick to ask him if he also did portraits of people, and she encouraged him to do his now well-known “Faces of Amelia” series. “It was a wonderful way to meet some of the most interesting, creative, and caring people on Amelia,” shares Steve.

Leimberg is highly respected for his beautiful nature photography, as well as his revealing and insightful portrait work. He was recognized in 2008 as Grand Prize winner of Nikon’s International Popular Photography Mentor Series. He is a popular lecturer and photographic instructor and is quick to encourage people to pick up a camera and start shooting. He encourages people not to be intimidated by their cameras, to be open to learning, and—above all—have fun.

Although Steve and Jo-Ann love to travel around the world to faraway places, including the Galapagos Islands, the Middle East, Africa, Svalbard, Churchille Canada, Greenland (their tastes run hot and cold), and, most especially, our country’s national parks, Steve is quick to point out that one doesn’t have to travel to find beauty. There is stunning beauty right here on Amelia Island. What trips do they currently have on their calendar? Iceland and the Canadian Maritimes.

Steve’s website, www.unseenimages.com, showcases an amazing variety of his photographic brilliance. His work can be seen at the Island Art Association, the Plantation Artists’ Guild and Gallery, Bar-Zin Restaurant, the Amelia San-Jon Gallery, Gourmet Gourmet, and A Taste of Wine by Steve.