These days we always have a camera of some sort with us; we document our lives obsessively ("pics or it didn’t happen!"); we flood social media with our snaps…to what end, though?
This article gives an insightful introduction to Vivian Maier, the acclaimed street photographer whose enormous body of work remained unknown until her death a few years ago. The enigmatic nanny shot more than a hundred thousand photographs over five or six decades, though very few of her negatives even made it to the darkroom during her lifetime.
I wonder what it was that compelled Maier (and other prolific shooters such as Garry Winogrand) to photograph the world. Certainly not a desire for recognition or fame. Perhaps it was the pleasure that is photography for its own sake? A pleasure I know I'd love to rediscover.
It is clear that she shot street photography to satisfy something inside herself. She shot prolifically - at every chance that she got. Even though she did work full-time as a nanny, she used her time in-between chores and on the weekends to create her breathtaking images. She didn’t photograph to make money. She photographed to please herself, and capture everyday life.