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Finding Vivian Maier

The discovery of over 100,000 photographs hidden away in various storage lockers unveiled the story of Vivian Maier, a mysterious nanny, who is now considered one of the 20th century’s greatest street photographers.

Director: John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
Year: 2014
Time: 83 min

 Finding Vivian Maier
(2013) on IMDb

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Ways to Influence

Share this film. Consider hosting a screening with friends.

Read Bystander: A History of Photography, co-written by Joel Meyerowitz, who is interviewed in the film.

Consider giving to the Vivian Maier Scholarship Fund, which aims to provide opportunities and resources for female students and is managed by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

To become a street photographer, you must overcome the fear of approaching people on the street. Speak to those you photograph in order to build confidence.

Support Street Photography Magazine  that offers a platform for amateur street photographers to learn and exhibit.

Related Articles and Resources

An Outsider’s Life in Pictures and Boxes

“Her oeuvre – more than 100,000 images – sat unseen in storage, along with much of her earthly possessions. When she was unable to keep up with the storage fees, they were auctioned off. After her death two years later, a collector who had bought one of the lots began to put her images online. Within weeks, she had a global following.”

Read the full New York Times profile of the photographer here.

The Hidden Eye: Co-Director Charlie Siskel On The Film

“I jumped at the chance to be involved… There were intriguing questions about what it is to be an artist. Can you be a private artist? What does it mean to create art that is never seen?”

Interview with Co-Director John Maloof

“I have such a responsibility to make sure her work is taken care of.” Read the full interview with the man who discovered her photos here.

Jerry Saltz on “Finding Vivian Maier”

“Bells go off when you look at her pictures; you become witness to something big. Proust talked of “the apogee of the particular.” That’s here. This gives Maier’s work psychological and philosophical force, something deeply observant. At the same time, she also has an outsider’s view of the world. She’s one who watches, silently observes, is alert to the tiniest disturbance in the visual or psychic field.”

Read the full film review here.


A set of films that explores the six academic styles of cinematic non-fiction.

14 Secrets of Successful Street Photography

Professional photographer Paul Bence has over 10 years of experience under his belt and some breathtaking imagery to show for it.

He shares with us his top tips for how to take great photos on the street, from where to start to what camera to lens to use to how to compose an image to his thoughts on permission.

Check out his expert tips for photography here.

Beautiful Minds: The Real Link Between Creativity and Mental Illness

Scientific American explores the rarely challenged and often romantized notion that mental illness and creativity often go hand-in-hand.

10 Incredible Artists Unappreciated in Their Time

Who would make your list?

The Street Photographer’s Manifesto

“Street Photography concerns itself with Life, Humanity, everyday random moments, human interaction, whereas documentary photography concerns itself with Life, humanity, human interaction but very specific moments or events or the outcome of a specific event.”

Check out this interesting resource to learn more about street photography.


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