Vivian Maier captured Chicago in a way few have. A New York native, Maier worked as a nanny in Chicago for four decades, all the while taking photos of everyday encounters. Her life was profiled in a documentary, Finding Vivian Maier, released in 2013 by filmmakers John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, who grew up in Chicago and was the nephew of famed film critic Gene Siskel.
While the impact Maier’s tens of thousands of photographs would have wasn’t truly realized until after her 2009 death, she has since become of the most respected and influential photographers to spotlight Chicago, even if she only did it as a hobby. She also dabbled in film. Check out this moving, emotional three-minute video of everyday life in Downtown Chicago in the ’70s. Want more Maier? Hit the Chicago History Museum for Vivian Maier’s Chicago, a collection of her photography from the 1960s and ’70s currently on display.