Social Documentary – Vivian Maier

Posted on October 24, 2012


“The story of the nanny who wowed the world with her photography, and who incidentally recorded some of the most interesting marvels and peculiarities of urban America in the second half of the 20th Century is seemingly beyond belief.”

I came across Vivian Maiers work within my university work to establish a clearer idea of how narrative can be conveyed throughout different genres of photography, this genre being documentary. She begun her venture into photography in 1949 when she first got a camera and it was only 2 years later that she moved to New York, In 1956 she worked as a caregiver and she would shoot photos that she would never show others for leisure. Later she became ‘broke’ however was saved by three boys she cared for as a nanny in their young age.

One of her lockers that contained thousands of her never before seen negatives were sold at auction to pay for debts, this was done little to her knowledge and with that sale they were lost to her, it wasn’t until 2007 that John Maloof uncovered these fantastic photographs and brought them to the attention of the public eye.

I found Maiers work a fantastic source of inspiration and the story that goes with her photo’s travels go hand in hand to add to the timeless and sentimental value of her work. The narrative of how these story came to light inspired me enough but the photographs themselves show conventions of true emotion and reality.

To see more of her work, follow this link: