What is street photography? According to in-public,

For the Street Photographer there is no specific subject matter and only the issue of ‘life’ in general, he does not leave the house in the morning with an agenda and he doesn’t visualise his photographs in advance of taking them. Street Photography is about seeing and reacting, almost by-passing thought altogether.

For many Street Photographers the process does not need ‘unpacking’, It is, for them, a simple ‘Zen’ like experience, they know what it feels like to take a great shot in the same way that the archer knows he has hit the bullseye before the arrow has fully left the bow.

What I love about street photography is the purity of the images. They are a look into the world through the photographer’s eyes. They simply take what they see – what interests them at the moment. And what they see is more than just an image; each image seems to tell a complete story in itself.

While street photography is ever-popular today, (look through in-public’s photographers, or read about The Sartorialist,) some of the true masters of street photography date back decades.

Vivian Maier

Recently I came across an article about the life of Vivian Maier.

Vivian Maier took on the role as nanny early on in her life, and remained a caregiver throughout. She ventured into photography as a hobby, and consistently took photos for over five decades, leaving over 100,000 negatives in her collection.

Vivian didn’t display her work, nor share it with anyone. It remained a hidden hobby until boxes of her negatives and undeveloped film were sold at auction to pay unpaid debt. John Maloof purchased a box of negatives looking for historic images for a book he was writing on Portage Park in Chicago, and as he discovered the depth of work he had purchased, started on a new quest to piece together the life of this hidden photographer.

Vivian’s work can now be seen in a variety of ways, including exhibitions and events, books, and even a documentary film, Finding Vivian Maier.

Trailer: Finding Vivian Maier from John Maloof on Vimeo.

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