Archive for January, 2011

Vivian Maier: A Chicago Street Photographer Saved From Obscurity


I wanted to share this incredibly inspiring story of a Chicago nanny named Vivian Maier (1926-2009), who spent the majority of her life in solitude, but traveled the streets of Chicago and the entire world, taking candid photos using her Rolleiflex medium-format TLR camera.

She was a very private woman who kept to herself, and indeed very little is actually known about her at all, even by the families she cared for. But this solitary mystique seemed to translate very well into a hobby of spending entire days off with a camera strapped around her neck, documenting her daily life as it unfolded around her:

Vivian Maier Street Photography Vivian Maier Street Photography Vivian Maier Street Photography

The quality of her work easily stacks up to some of the greatest names in street and candid photography, but her work — never published, never exhibited — was in danger of being lost forever. Until one day, a bin full of tens of thousands of Vivian’s negatives was purchased by chance at an open auction, by a Chicago man named John Maloof. As John scanned negative after negative on his computer, he slowly started to realize he could have perhaps stumbled upon an artistic and historic goldmine.

I encourage you to take a look at the website dedicated to her work. You will see some incredible black and white imagery, spanning decades of the 20th century that sheds a little insight into how she saw the world. Below is a television editorial from WTTW Chicago that tells the full story of how her work came to be discovered:

There are even plans of filming a documentary of her life and the discovery of it. An exhibition of her work will be unveiled at the Chicago Cultural Center tomorrow (Jan 7th). Admission is free.

Dave Bergman Shoots Bon Jovi

Get backstage with action photographer extraordinaire David Bergman as he shoots an arena concert with one of the largest rock bands in the world: Bon Jovi.

Presented by FStoppers, a photography community-based website that showcases BTS videos from some of the today’s most forward-thinking photographers, this video was very inspiring to me from a concert/editorial photographer’s standpoint.

I especially like that he says he enjoys the challenge of taking unique shots every individual night of a tour. Sometimes, bands make that difficult to achieve even when you catch them on different tours.

It must be comforting to be called “most amazing concert photographer ever” by Bon Jovi guitarist Richard Sambora.