Weekend inspiration: The Vivian Maier Documentary

Vivan Maier, self portrait

Vivan Maier self portrait

By now, most photogs have heard of Vivian Maier. She’s the woman whose surprising street photography was discovered in 2007, and whom Rey wrote about in 2011 here. It’s worth a quick side trip to that post for some background, if you’re not familiar.

I just discovered this morning that a documentary on Ms. Maier is in the works, and it reveals a woman who is more interesting than her images, if that’s even possible. Here’s the trailer…

Vivian’s photography is everything I’ve ever aspired to create, but haven’t: bold, poignant story-telling at its best. But now, in watching this brief clip, I’m even more fascinated by the woman herself. How did she become so good at her craft? Why didn’t anyone know of her passion for street photography? How could she have left literally hundreds of rolls of film undeveloped? Was she motivated more by the act of creating the image, than the resulting image itself? And why did she lock herself in the attic of the house in which she nannied children?

The more we learn about Vivian, it seems, the less we know.

I’m looking forward to this documentary immensely. I think there’s an awful lot we can learn about photography from Vivian, although she likely will remain a mystery forever.


About Ed Spadoni

www.2GuysPhoto.com "Thoughts and opinions, resources and experiences… for emerging photographers everywhere."
This entry was posted in Images, Inspiration and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Weekend inspiration: The Vivian Maier Documentary

  1. Clanmother says:

    Amazing woman – spectacular photography! Who knows what else has been hidden in trucks and attics.

  2. Rodney says:

    She sure had a talent. Superb photos obviously. Part of me is a little sad that someone will now “exploit” her now she is dead. Why can’t we just let people remain a mystery, even after death? As much as I love the photography that has been shown, I will NOT go see the documentary.

    • Ed Spadoni says:

      I hadn’t thought of that Rodney. On the one hand, I see your point. There’s no mention of her heirs, if she had any, benefitting, so I guess this is an exploitation.

      But on the other hand, like many artists, it’s a good thing that her work is eventually being seen by all of us, because it is very good, and we can enjoy it and learn from it. So someone will make some money from this, I’m still grateful for the opportunity to experience her talent. Thanks for weighing in, Ed

  3. Rodney says:

    Of course I see your side too Ed, it is just a different one than I am on. I do hope people at least enjoy HER work.

  4. Karen says:

    There are many lessons to come from Vivian’s awesome photography. Ed, you have done a fine job capsulizing my thoughts in your comments.
    Currency will flow from this documentary. Hopefully, those involved are very well intended and will accomplish what no one else did while Vivian was alive. Perhaps there is a larger lesson here….being observant to the people around us while they are alive.
    I am very thankful there are those like “2 Guys” who bring their “observance” out there for all to learn and enjoy.

    Thank you for all you do to that endeavor!

  5. John P. Meyer says:

    What a fabulous looking film!
    Your readers may be interested to know that there’s a feature piece on V. Maier in the current issue of Black & White magazine:

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