You will want to see this!

For anyone who hasn’t seen Lavender’s post, I wanted to get this up here….this street photographer was discovered by this young man. He bought many of her negatives at an auction, starting scanning them and realized what a gem he had found. The woman’s photography is brilliant and of her close to 100,000 photos she barely showed any of them to anyone.

There’s a fascinating video at the site too! Check it out!

Vivian Maier – Her Discovered Work

Vivian Maier 1926-2009

This was created in dedication to the photographer Vivian Maier, a street photographer from the 1950s – 1990s. Vivian’s work was discovered at an auction here in Chicago where she resided most of her life. Her discovered work includes over 100,000 mostly medium format negatives, thousands of prints, and a ton of undeveloped rolls of film. I have approximately 90-95% of the work.

Vivian Maier story on Chicago Tonight

There’s still a good 90,000 negatives to scan and a few hundred B&W rolls to develop. Not to mention about 600 undeveloped color rolls. I’ve also safely archived over 3000 of her prints.

Over the course of scanning her work I’ve discovered that Vivian traveled the world in 1959. She visited and photographed places like Egypt, Bangkok, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, France, Italy, Indonesia…the list goes on. Something also notable is that she traveled alone. John Maloof.

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11 Responses to You will want to see this!

  1. she really is amazing, 😀 SO glad you are as moved by her story as I am. Seeing her work makes me want to get out into the world with my camera.

  2. Aussie Emjay says:

    It must be a wonderful feeling to discover some hidden away talent like this.

  3. e2thec says:

    Y’know, the way she’s being referred to as a “street photographer” bugs me, because you DON’T have to have formal training in order to create good photos (or good anything). it can help a lot, but for someone as talented as Maier… I just don’t think it matters.

    From my time in the art museum world, though… I know that people who have little or no formal training are often unfairly pigeonholed as naive, even “primitive.” Even when their work is every bit as technically and aesthetically “good” as – even better than – work by people who did get formal training.

    My guess (from seeing the titles of some of the books she owned) is that Maier was very, very up on what was going on in not only the worlds of “art” and fashion photography, but of visual arts (and likely much else).

    So yes, she shot some terrific images of people on the street. But her composition, framing, etc. is as good as anything I’ve ever seen.

    One mystery: how she would have wanted prints of her work to look… because photographers usually have very specific ideas about that, and those ideas can make a print by someone who doesn’t know the photographer’s intentions for the finished work look very, very different than intended.


    • ladywise says:

      I agree! I tend to get irritated at people who think that you have to have some kind of degree to be considered “good” at what you do. Photography is an art and there have been many great artists without a degree in anything. You are so right that the composition and framing of her photos are excellent. I also wondered, like you, about having someone other than herself editing her work. I was going to leave a comment on the site and ask John Maloof how much, if any, editing he did to the photos. Were any of them crooked or did he do any cropping? Did he mess with the brightness or contrast of any of them? I would be curious to know that.

      • Lauri says:

        I, too, wondered that, ladywise! If he did no cropping or editing whatsoever then she was completely amazing! And even if he did…she captured some wonderful stuff!

    • Lauri says:

      Good point about the finished work, e. It sure would have been interesting to hear her thoughts on all of this!

  4. Kzinti says:

    Have to check out the link when I get a bit more time. Very interesting story!

  5. ladywise says:

    I spent about three hours the other morning going through everything to do with this after Lav posted it. I agree, the work is brilliant and the story is fascinating. I’m glad you are reposting it so more people will see it.

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