This is a story that leaves me just about speechless.
One of the greatest street photographers of our time was a French-born woman named Vivian Maier; this I feel is true even just having seen a small sample of her work. Most of her life she was a nanny in the Chicago area, a very private individual, didn't seem to have family or friends. But she always wore a camera and always was taking pictures, it's said, although Vivian never shared her work with anyone.
If young real estate agent John Maloof had not found a box of about 30,000 of her old negatives at a storage locker foreclosure auction and purchased them, no one may ever have seen her remarkable photographs. Vivian Maier died in 2009, unaware of her discovery and worldwide appreciation. You can see more of the story in this WTTW video piece.
John Maloof has been working nearly non-stop to scan and process Maier's negatives and undeveloped rolls of film. It's a massive, overwhelming task -- one I'm sure he never expected to come across in his life. I am just stunned by the quality and tremendous talent shown in Maier's photography. All of it could very well have been tossed in a dumpster, and gone forever. Amazing.
John Maloof has a blog about Vivian's photographs and the progress being made on bringing her work to the public. A book and a documentary film are in the works, and you may help fund the efforts by contributing here at Kickstarter. I did.