Miami Workshop • Richard Kalvar • Magnum Photos

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Richard Kalvar Woman looking at herself in store window. New York City. USA. 1969. © Richard Kalvar | Magnum Photos

Magnum Photos is proud to announce a 5-day workshop by Richard Kalvar on (Street) Photography as part of an extensive workshop programme at this year’s Miami Street Photography Festival.

“I’m not crazy about the term “street photography” to describe what I do, because it’s not necessarily done on the street. The pictures can be taken on a farm, at the zoo, in an office, and so on. Let’s say we consider the general category of “unposed pictures of people” (or sometimes animals or even inanimate objects when they happen to be possessed by human souls), and then the subcategory “with nothing particularly important going on.” If we further narrow it down to the “play” sub-subcategory, we get into the domain I’ve worked in for forty years. That’s what I like to do: play with ordinary reality, using unposed actors who are oblivious to the dramas I’ve placed them in.”

“But photographs sure look like reality, and it’s this complex and impossible relationship between the two that opens up all kinds of wonderful possibilities. As long as you don’t manipulate what’s going on, through posing or Photoshopping, you can create scenes that are both believable and absurd. Impressions are all.”

Kalvar has done extensive personal work in America, Europe and Asia, notably in France, Italy England, Japan and the United States, supporting himself with journalistic and commercial assignments. He has a long-term unfinished project in Rome.

In 1980 Kalvar had a one-man show at Agathe Gaillard gallery in Paris, and has participated in many group shows. A major retrospective of his work was shown at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in 2007, accompanied by his book Earthlings.

Kalvar’s photographs are marked by a strong homogeneity of aesthetic and theme. His images frequently play on a discrepancy between the banality of a real situation and a feeling of of strangeness that emerges from a particular choice of timing and framing. The result is a state of tension between two levels of interpretation, attenuated by a touch of humour.

In 1975 he became an associate member of Magnum Photos, and a full member two years later. He has subsequently served as vice-president and president.

"That’s what I like to do: play with ordinary reality, using unposed actors who are oblivious to the dramas I’ve placed them in"

- Richard Kalvar
Richard Kalvar Foot, ice cream popsicle and guitar on West 4th street. New York, USA. 1970. © Richard Kalvar | Magnum Photos
Richard Kalvar Two benches, two girls bending over backwards. Town of Warsop Vale, one of England's largest mining towns. Nottinghamshire, UK. 1974. © Richard Kalvar | Magnum Photos


Participants will alternate between taking photographs and discussing work, both old and new, and techniques for being inconspicuous. There are different ways of taking pictures; no one will be obliged to conform to a particular conception of street photography.


Participants should send in advance a selection of 15 to 20 photographs already taken, other images will be looked at pending the schedule. Participants should come with a digital camera, and a means to work on the files (a computer and relevant software).


Monday November 28th to Friday December 2nd, 2016.

Saturday Dec 3rd: Evening projection of students work at MSPF Awards Ceremony and Closing Party. All MSPF workshops present their work at this event.

FEE: $1,500



HistoryMiami Museum
101 West Flagler Street
Miami, FL 33130

A $350 deposit is required to register and hold a spot.
A second payment will be due two weeks after registration and a final payment on October 31st. Click the link below to send your deposit fee. A confirmation will be sent once payment is received and your spot will be held.

Cancellation: Before September 15th: Full refund. After September 15th: Full refund minus a $125 cancellation fee. After October 31st: Full refund minus a $125 cancellation fee ONLY if we can fill your spot from a waiting list.

Click here to apply

For more information email Dana Libman at

Richard Kalvar After dinner at a château on New Year's Eve. Livry, Normandy, France. 2014 © Richard Kalvar | Magnum Photos