Vivian Maier, born in France on February 1st, 1926, moved to the states in her early teens and worked as a nanny. She photographed everything she came across on the streets of Chicago during the 1950s-1960s, but never really showed the photos to anyone and also left a great amount of undeveloped photographs (around 40,000) in boxes. Maier died on April 21st, 2009, a few days before John Maloof tried to find her. Thanks to Maloof's discovery, Vivian Maier's work became known to the rest of the world.
Being able to document your surroundings in such a remarkably sincere manner requires great alertness and talent which I envy so much. Trying to depict the spontaneous makes me very nervous and I guess that's why I function better with staged photography. However, I would really like to explore that path of photography at some point.
Also seeing the Chicago of the 50s and 60s the way I had seen it in the documentaries and history courses I took when I was there made love the images some more.
Amazing samples of Vivian Maier's work can be viewed on the website John Maloof set up.
I am very, very eager for a book release with this material.
(found via Heading East)