vivian maier - street photographer

You may have heard of this story, especially if you live in Chicago, where local historian John Maloof purchased a box of Maier’s negatives from an auction house and began collecting and championing her marvelous work. Finally there is a new book coming out, the first time in print, Vivian Maier: Street Photographer which collects the best of her incredible, unseen body of work. The book goes on sale in November by publisher Powerhouse Books (click here for information). But the images really speak for themselves, the history that is presented in these beautiful photos is amazing, the expressions and the surroundings.

Vivian spent her life as a nanny, she never showed anyone her photos until her death in 2009 at the age of 83, just two years before John Maloof found her work. John stumbled upon a piece of her photos and then he went on to find the entire collection of her work and also more about her history, he then found her obituary just two days after she died.

A good street photographer must be possessed of many talents: an eye for detail, light, and composition; impeccable timing; a populist or humanitarian outlook; and a tireless ability to constantly shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot and never miss a moment. It is hard enough to find these qualities in trained photographers with the benefit of schooling and mentors and a community of fellow artists and aficionados supporting and rewarding their efforts. It is incredibly rare to find it in someone with no formal training and no network of peers.

see a news story about john and the vivian maier story on youtube here