August 11, 1954, New York, NY

January 9, 1957, Florida

I wanted to showcase some of my favorite analog photographers this week. I really don’t believe in separating a photographer by film or digital, after all it doesn’t change the fact that they are a photographer whatever medium they choose but for the sake of the theme this week I will pull from a small selection of film photographers that I admire.  I am launching with Vivian Maier because her story is so unreal, outstanding and ultimately magical that it bears either an introduction or for those that know her to be highlighted. The concise version is the Vivian was a nanny and an avid street photographer who not only shot  extensively but did the very odd thing of never developing her film. One day a young man bought her storage locker of film, developed it, showcased it on his blog and Vivian became viral.

“Vivian Maier’s photos were seemingly destined for obscurity, lost among the clutter of the countless objects she’d collected throughout her life. Instead these images have shook the world of street photography and irrevocably changed the life of the man who brought them to the public eye.”

I look at these images and my heart stops. I ache for a time when people dressed beautifully, even the most disadvantaged.  If I were to go street exploring today I may have a collection of shots of men past their prime wearing Ed Hardy shirts and girls with sweat pants hanging off their hips advertising someone’s company on their bum.  If you want to become a better photographer (besides actual shooting on a regular basis) you need to be able to understand what it is that attracts you to an image. Is it the light?  If so can you figure out where that light source is coming from?  Is it from the a window? Is it in back of the subject” Etc. I am constantly flipping through magazines, books, even on-line and if an image is of interest I will try to figure out what it is that compels me to look further.  It may take time to figure out why a photograph works, but it is a good exercise + habit to get into.  If I had more time I would be flipping though Vivian’s portfolios all the day long.  I am that taken with both her talent and this tale. The young man, John Maloof, that introduced her to the world has begun production on a documentary, you can take a peek at the trailer here. There is also a book that would be welcome in any aspiring photographers collection.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.


    1. I hope so as well! Michelle and I just went to an exhibit in Seattle and it was her later work, different than the beginning works more gritty, but still masterful!

    1. Moira we saw another one that I haven’t seen on line prior that you would have LOVED, it looked like the dog was posing for her!

  1. Her work is AMAZING! I stumbled upon her story / work a while ago and find it so unbelievable. Just IMAGINE if that storage locker was purchased by a different person who might have just thrown them all away or not taken such care! I would love to see her work in person some day!

  2. I absolutely adore Vivian’s work and perspective, and the story of how her work rose to fame following her death is truly fascinating. I had the privilege of seeing the first exhibit of her work at the Cultural Center in Chicago a few years ago and cannot wait to see the documentary. A true eye and talent, photography for the love of the craft.

    1. Kate, in Chicago?! That should have been so amazing to see the city in its glory and be able to walk around in modern times and know where she shot!

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