Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Vivian Maier and Love

Vivian Maier was a career nanny in Chicago most of her life. In 2007, shortly before her death, someone stumbled across boxes of photographs she had taken. By the time her talent was identified she had died.

Although it appears she never received any encouragement or money for her photograph, she left behind over 100,000 images, some as undeveloped film and so never even seen by her. 

The words amateur, or hobbyist, could be applied to Vivian. She made no money with her camera, had no career path, was unknown. If she had talent, it was unrecognized during her life. On this basis we might not consider her a serious photographer.

An amateur (French amateur "lover of", from Old French and ultimately from Latin amatorem nom. amator, "lover") is defined as someone with a love of something.

This amateur photographer was the exact opposite of a hobbyist, was someone totally serious about her endeavour.

If I am an amateur, if I do something just for the love of it, should I not see that impulse from my heart as the most important activity I can have in my life?