Photography Project: Inspiration from Vivian Maier


Peter and I have been taken with the story of Vivian Maier.  We watched one of the documentaries with the girls, and they also seemed to be fascinated.  As a family, we even started deconstructing the technical elements that she used to capture her compelling images.  On a recent trip to Disneyland, I thought I would channel Ms. Maier as a I tried to develop my street photography skills.  It was harder than I could have imagined.

I’ve always been intimidated by street photography.  If you try to capture someone’s photo without their consent, isn’t that rude?  And if they catch you, would it lead to an unpleasant confrontation?  Or harder yet, asking someone if you can take their photograph.  The few times that I have done this, I have only been dismissed once (and she looked angry that I asked in the first place), otherwise people seemed genuinely flattered.


For our day at Disney, I tried to replicate Ms Maier’s set up the best I could using my DSLR.  This is how I set up my Fuji:

  • Aspect ratio – 1:1
  • Jpeg + Raw Capture (I always create Raw files so I have flexibility afterward)
  • Jpeg file set to Film Simulation.  Acros with Red Filter
  • Tilt screen set so that I could hold the camera at my waist and look down.  This helps provide a different perspective.
  • Neck strap

I noticed throughout the day, it was somewhat easier to look down and capture the image; people seemed less aware of my presence when I wasn’t making eye contact.  It also made me more aware of the human experience at Disneyland.  I noticed things I wouldn’t normally notice.  If I try this again, I would choose a theme, or subject to explore, like one of those below that naturally emerged for me.


1701_mfa_disneyland_488 1701_mfa_disneyland_729 1701_mfa_disneyland_424 1701_mfa_disneyland_230 1701_mfa_disneyland_124

Disconnected in a place with a million people around you

1701_mfa_disneyland_681 1701_mfa_disneyland_228

Rocking the ears

1701_mfa_disneyland_442 1701_mfa_disneyland_404 1701_mfa_disneyland_228


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