nanny and closet photographic genius.
maier was an amateur street photographer from the 1950s to the late 1990s. her day job was as a nanny, but her free time was spent boldly pursuing her passion of photography. a passion that she fervently kept to herself. although some of her work was discovered in a chicago auction in 2007, it wasn’t until after her death that her collection was widely publicized. in a word, she is brilliant. her photos are honest, unapologetic and original.
what really caught my eye though, is maier’s self-portraits. they are always a second-hand portrayal of herself; a reflection, a shadow, or the reaction of a stranger. there’s something intriguingly refreshing about a self-portrait that isn’t aimed at showing your ‘best self’ but simply you. yet there is also an air of vulnerability to her work, perhaps that is why she chose not to share it with the world.
i know austin and i both have a hard time finding the balance between making a living and doing what we love, because let’s face it, the two don’t always overlap. but it’s encouraging to see a woman who
found made the time to refine her craft.
i suggest you set aside an hour or two, put on a good record, and see the world through her eyes. you may just learn a bit about yourself along the way.