// Nanny with a hidden passion

by elfuhrelf


The moment I laid eyes on this picture I was hooked. The caption read Vivian Maier. Chicago. Ermm? Question marks in my head. Google search initiated.

Vivian Maier’s been called “the greatest photographer you’ve never heard of”. She was a complete unknown until the time of her death in 2009. If it wasn’t for a storage locker sale and following auction in 2007, Maier’s remarkable body of work would probably still be a hidden and unknown treasure. 

When John Maloof, Chicago resident and local historian, walked into an auction house in 2007 placing a $380 bid on a box of negatives and undeveloped film rolls, he probably had no idea what he just discovered. Over the time it became clear, the street style photographs made in the ’50s and ’60s belonged to Vivian Maier – a nanny with an amazing talent for capturing everyday urban life and glamorous strangers on the street. Sad but true, Maloof found out about Maier being the woman behind the pictures just a few days after she died in 2009.

Finding Vivian Maier is the name of his upcoming documentary that I would like to draw your attention to. It starts with the auction of Maier’s work and tells the story of Maloof’s journey to unveil the life and work of one of the pioneers of street style photography, long before Cunningham and Schuman.

The film will have its première at the Toronto Film Festival in September this year. Until then, search the web and discover the outstanding work of a young woman with a Rolleiflex camera and an eye for the beauty on the streets.