The Secret Beauty Found in a Storage Locker

The Secret Beauty Found in a Storage Locker

Just the other day my husband sent me a link he came across that blew him away. It’s the heartbreaking story of one photographer’s life work that was locked and buried in a storage unit for years, not to truly be seen by others until after her death.

In the late 1950s the mysterious Vivian Maier worked in Chicago as a nanny, but in her spare time she was an avid street photographer. Her work spans decades and is not only beautiful, but preserves important visual, social and historical details of the city. She left behind a gift for future generations, and it saddens me that she is not alive today to see how much of an impact her work has. I am also thankful that John Maloof was the one who stumbled upon this treasure trove, recognized the importance of Vivian’s work, and is now sharing it with the world.

As a photographer myself though, this story deeply touched me and made me both sad and inspired.

Photography, especially, is a visual, visceral medium that is meant to be seen by many. To have photographs never see the light of day is a true shame, and it brings to mind the issue of digital photos again. How many of us have dozens (if not hundreds!) of photos buried in our computer folders, never to see the light of day? Imagine if you were gone tomorrow and all of your work was still sitting there, never seen or appreciated by anyone during your lifetime. Let Vivian’s work and life inspire you to change your habits and make a point to print and share your photos with others.

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