street photography

The Best Street Photographer You've Never Heard Of

The Best Street Photographer You've Never Heard Of

As an enormous fan of candid street photography (discovering Cartier-Bresson and Weegee née Arthur Fellig years ago was a revelation for me), I was blown away by both the background story and photographs of Vivian Maier or as Mother Jones described her: “the best street photographer you’ve never heard of.” Maier lived a relatively obscure and anonymous life as a nanny in New York City and then Chicago from the 1950s through 1990s. Never married, her constant companion through her life was her Rolleiflex camera which she used frequently, but apparently she never shared her work with others. It wasn’t until 2007 when John Maloof, 26, purchased a box of Maier’s negatives at an auction house that they came to light. Taken with the quality, he sought out others and ended up collecting more than 100,000 negatives as well as a few thousand rolls of film.