James Steeber was born in Aruba, Netherlands Antilles and lived in the Caribbean until the age of eight. He began taking photographs at an early age (six or seven) and learned darkroom technique by the time he was twelve. His father, Henry Steeber, was a trained photographer who graduated from the Vienna Graphics Institute in 1939. James Steeber continued his photographic studies at Ohio University. He has been continually adding to his work ever since.