Lynn Johnson
Lynn Johnson

Katie Stubblefield is the youngest person to receive a face transplant in the United States and only the 40th person in the world. This story chronicles her remarkable journey from 2016 to 2018 at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, experienced through intimate photographs.

Until Katie decided to let National Geographic tell her story, these life-changing transplant surgeries had been hidden within a medical labyrinth. Patients were not revealed until healed and prepped for a news conference where they showed their new faces, along with photos of their disfigured ones. No one had chronicled the experience of losing a face and getting a new one until now.

Her parents, Robb and Alesia, fought for their daughter day in, day out to nurse her back to health after she attempted to take her life by a rifle shot to the face in 2014.

This is a story of trauma, identity, resilience, devotion, and amazing medical miracles.

Artist Bios

  • Maggie Steber

    Maggie Steber

    A Guggenheim Grant Fellow and contributing photographer to National Geographic, Maggie Steber is an internationally known documentary photographer whose work has appeared in major magazines, newspapers and book anthologies as well as national and international exhibitions. She has worked in 70 countries specializing in stories concerning the human condition. Her photographs are included in the American Women Collection at the Library of Congress, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Richter Library.

    Steber was named as one of 11 Women of Vision by National Geographic Magazine, Steber has worked as a picture editor for Associated Press, a contract photographer for Newsweek Magazine, and as the Director of Photography at The Miami Herald. She is a member of VII Photo Agency.

    Her photographs are included in the Library of Congress, Richter Collection, and private collections.

    Clients include National Geographic MagazineThe New YorkerThe New York Times MagazineAperture QuarterlyFortuneSmithsonianPeople MagazineTime MagazineStern of Germany, Newsweek Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, CARE, Der Spiegel, DU Magazine of Switzerland, Merian Magazine of Germany, The Independent in Britain, and French Geo, as well as many others. She teaches workshops through the Leica Akademie USA as well as at various International festivals.

  • Lynn Johnson

    Lynn Johnson

    Lynn Johnson photographs the human condition. A contributor to National Geographic, Johnson is known for finding beauty and meaning in elusive, difficult subjects—threatened languages, zoonotic disease, rape in the military ranks, the centrality of water in village life. She collaborates with the people she portrays to honor their visions as well as her own. At National Geographic Photo Camps, she helped at-risk youth around the world find their creative voices.


  • National Geographic

    National Geographic

    Established in 1888, National Geographic is a trusted print and digital publication offering stories that illuminate, inspire, and reveal. Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultures, the sciences, and the natural world. We advance that mission by creating visually stunning, richly reported photojournalism and distinguished, impartial coverage of the globe’s most pressing issues. National Geographic (@natgeo) has more than 284 million followers.

Katie’s New Face

 archive : Photoville LA

Featuring: Maggie Steber Lynn Johnson

Curated by: Kurt Mutchler

Presented by: National Geographic
  • National Geographic


View Location Details Annenberg Space for Photography

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2000 Avenue of the Stars Los Angeles,
CA 90067

Location open 24 hours

Related Events

Apr 272019


Join National Geographic’s award-winning photographers and editors as they discuss how they build relationships to create impactful visually led storytelling.

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Sep 202018

The Emotional Journey of Photographing a Face Transplant

Join Maggie and Lynn’s experience documenting the emotional two and a half year journey of Katie Stubblefield, the youngest face transplant patient in the U.S.

Learn More

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