Vivian Maier 1926 -2009

I'm writing this post today in support of the #Mondaymasters initiative on Twitter, the incredible but sad story of the lady who has been dubbed the photographic Mary Poppins changed how I thought about my personal photography and was instrumental in the decision I made to share my work on-line,  the story of this secretive but prolific photographer helped me realise that to create a archive of photographs privately is verging on the perverse, as the nature of photography is that it should be shared at some stage with others.

Before I was aware of her story I was happy to keep my personal photography private, I still think of myself as the sole audience for my work, Vivian took this principle to a extreme level.

The fact that Vivian lost control of many of her  photographs when her storage locker contents were sold off is the final insult to this private woman who epitomised the Street Photography ethos but was unable to sustain her financial commitments as old age and ill health eventually caught up with her..

The final twist in this tale is that American law appears to support the view that ownership of a photographic print or negative does not transfer copyright rights at the time of sale, which has led to her estate now being the subject of legal actions.

The fact that a photographic collection of global importance was created on a day off basis should inspire us all, as most us work on a spare time basis. 

We all tend to think that our photography would be better if we had the latest bit of kit however this lady used a simple TLR film camera and took the world by storm in the digital era , its such a shame that her recognition was achieved posthumously

Old age and ill health will catch up with us all eventually and a time will arrive when we are unable to maintain and sustain our photographic interests, I urge all togs to value the photographic opportunities they have now, as life has a nasty habit of getting between you and the images you hope to create.