Vivian Dorothy Maier

I came across Vivian Maier when looking on iTunes. It was the movie Finding Vivian Maier. I read the synopsis and instantly it sounded interesting. I obviously looked at her photos that have made it online and on her website. 

Over time my interest in Vivian continued, her compositions, the camera she used where she went to get these incredible shots. But I held off watching the film. Part of me wanted to save it. I did save it until about 6 months ago, when I purchased the movie on iTunes. I don't mind giving money to fellow creators!? 

I watched the film and loved it, the story was gripping. What a character Vivian was, she sounded so facinating and the element of mystery surrounding her just added to it all. Vivian's story has stayed with me and probably always will.

However on reflection a few things sit uneasy with me. From what I have seen and read, Vivian was a private person. How would she feel with being a well known street photographer? Was the found film undeveloped for a reason, or had Vivian just not got around to developing it all? Did she want her photos to be seen worldwide? I feel with all this publicity and research we are looking in on Vivian's life without her permission, and this makes me uncomfortable. If she didn't see them would she want me to see them? I feel she made pictures for herself and not for the internet world and not to star in film for Netflix.

All of Vivian's work is so appealing but the self portraits are what really stand out for me. The shadow silhouettes tell many stories. In addition the mirrored reflections are captivating and have influenced my own photography.

Vivian's image on the left, note how the legs of the two women sat down are within Vivian's reflected legs and the shoes within the shoes. Amazing composition!

I could write lots more but I don't think I need to or should. If you want to find out about Vivian its all over the internet and there are some great books with all her images. Then there's the film, oh and there is (or was) a legal battle, somebody is making money from her photos and her story! But without any of this I never would have been able to see these images!?