I have a long list of blog posts to work on today, but I had to stop and get this one out – this topic wasn’t even on my to-do list!
The topic? Photography. And, the sharing of images. And, the discovery of stories.
What inspired this change of direction? My usual online “down the rabbit hole” forays, of course!
I have a tendency to look for information on one thing and before I know it, I have stumbled onto something amazing, something I just have to research and share.
(My adoring husband will tell you it’s ADD, and perhaps it is; I prefer to think of it as fate.)
My experience with today’s rabbit-hole adventure (hey that’s a great name for a series, don’t you think?) is a great example of what’s possible if we just let ourselves be led, to go in an unintended direction. And, a wonderful reminder that we are often sought out to deliver a message, a message we didn’t know was ours to deliver.
Have you heard of Vivian Maier?
She lived in Chicago in the 1950s. And, what’s remarkable about her is that she was an untrained photographer, making her living as a nanny, who dedicated time and energy to capturing the scenes of the Chicago neighborhoods she and her charges frequented, scenes in New York and places she visited abroad. She also took self-portraits, something I need to do more of. You?
If you appreciate wonderful black and white photography, I think you’ll enjoy reading Vivian’s photo story and seeing the images she captured.
They are history. They are the epitome of photography as storyteller.
Some may say that my use of the word “wonderful” to describe Vivian’s photography is too generous. I disagree. I admire her dedication to her craft, and mostly to her not being worried about her “qualifications” as a photographer, but rather focused on capturing her “here and now,” something many of us strive to do through our A Day in the Life, 365 and Project Life projects.
Vivian, if you were still around, you’d be on my bucket list of people I just have to meet!
First, I have to give credit to Amy Locurto for bringing this amazing woman and her photographs to my attention. Amy shared a link to a story about Vivian, and the man who found, and is now sharing, Vivian’s photos with all of us.
The story about Vivian and the man who found her photos, written by Becky Leatherman and shared on I Heart Faces, not only provides background on Vivian and this generous man who now possesses her photos, but encourages us to focus on the lessons that can be surmised from Vivian’s photography – the three most important of which (IMHO) are:
- Take Your Camera With You Everywhere
- Take Self Portraits, and
- Share Your Work!
I also want to thank John Maloof for making these wonderful photos of Vivian’s available to all of us. What a shame it would have been to see them disappear for all eternity, or languish unseen at least until the next generation unearthed them. What a shame it would have been for this person’s life – Vivian’s life – to go unnoticed.
What was discovered in her storage unit shocked those closest to her. There was much more to Vivian than anyone could have imagined.
But, it was by her “secret” being kept, that we can all now experience the world through her eyes, something those who knew her claim she never would have allowed to happen.
So, are you motivated to go out and shoot today?
Or, simply capture the everyday moments you’re living at this point in your life?
I know I am.
It is my sincere hope that this post has inspired you as well.
Photography – a key to capturing today so it can be shared tomorrow.