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Finding Wonder in the Everyday: Lessons from Vivian Maier

In an era when everyone carries a camera in their pocket, the legacy of Vivian Maier stands tall, both in influence and quite literally. At over six feet tall, her towering presence was coupled with a demeanour some described as 'awkward'. Yet, it's precisely this unique perspective that lent her photographs their distinct, arresting charm.

© Vivian Maier
© Vivian Maier | Self Portrait

By profession, Maier was a nanny, but her free moments were dedicated to roving the streets of 1950s and 60s Chicago. With her camera, she captured raw, candid snippets of urban life. While her incredible talent was only recognised posthumously, the photographs she left behind paint a vivid tapestry of everyday life.

© Vivian Maier
© Vivian Maier | Grenoble, France (1959)

What makes her resonate in today's digital age? At a time where influencer, content creator and creative director seems to be on everyone’s resume, Maier's story is a powerful testament to the beauty of anonymous artistry. She wasn't driven by likes, followers, or fame—it was her strange but pure, unadulterated passion.

© Vivian Maier
© Vivian Maier | Shadow | Self-Portrait (1970)

In an age where every snapshot can be enhanced with filters, Maier’s authentic portrayal of the world around her is refreshingly genuine. Her black and white frames capture moments without pretense, and for those who remember the tactile feel of winding a film roll, her photos strike a nostalgic chord.

© Vivian Maier |
© Vivian Maier | Chicago, Illinois

Beyond her photographs, Maier’s story teaches today's creatives a valuable lesson: to see art in the mundane and to embrace their quirks and perspectives as strengths. In a world chasing likes and followers, Maier's dedication to her craft, without seeking fame or validation, remains an inspiring testament. As you look through your lens, remember Maier’s towering figure wandering the streets, finding magic in every ordinary moment.

 
9 things you should know about Vivian Maier
 

Here's a selection of some of our favourite work by Vivian Maier


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