I have become a true Vivian fan after watching the BBC documentary a few months back. The next morning, I went online and ordered any available books about her. There were only two at the time: Vivian Maier – Out of the Shadows and Vivian Maier – Street Photographer. The first book I opened and read was Out of the Shadows and I was glad that I did. I thought the layout and selection of the photos were really good, in fact, better than the other publication. The flow of the photos resembled the timeline when Vivian took the photos and the categorisation by the author of was very appropriate. It could be a personal preference but I prefers the more street portrait approach of this book than the other one.
This book is a hardcover so it means weight and size. (Nice! As I love big books) The format of the book perfectly displays the square format of the photos produced by Vivian’s Rolleiflex. Of course, I prefer bigger prints but the quality of the reproduction is at a very high level.
Overall, the book is definitely worth buying and a good introduction to Vivian Maier’s photography. Because there are only two main Vivian Maier collectors in the US (John Maloof and Jeffrey Goldstein), so we WILL see publications from either party. Just like these first two books, there are some similar images but they would be mostly different. The truth is, if you want to see every Vivian’s photo, then I may have to go as far as buying all of the books in the future. For street photographers today or anyone who are aspired to become one should also look into Vivian Maier. She wasn’t anyone like Henri Bresson but totally personal and a bit informal, kind of trendy right now. I bet people at Lomography would love her work! Her photos somehow seem so current. Perhaps it is her non-professional style that captures daily lives of people and herself that makes it so.
Out of the Shadows is the first publication from the Goldstein’s collection so we should expect more to come as the entire collection from everyone contains more than 100,000 negatives and many are still undeveloped. This is only the tip of an iceberg. I am loving it!
A direct link to this book: