The Grid: The Grid: Episode 55 – Guest Kalebra Kelby


The Grid is a live talk-show about photography, Photoshop and other industry-related topics. Each week features a different guest (in-studio or online) and viewers are encouraged to chime in on the Liveblog here on or via Twitter by adding #TheGridLive to their tweets.
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Episode Summary

Scott's wife Kalebra and two call-in guests, Barb Cochran & Nicole Procunier discuss street photography from a woman's perspective as both the subject of and as a mother of a subject of the photographer. Note to photographers: business cards, credentials, big cameras, and (especially for children!) permission first = less creepy.

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  1. William Collins says:

    Great show….
    William Collins

  2. Andy H. says:

    I’m surprised by this discussion. I just had the opportunity to spend a week working with Richard Kalvar from Magnum Photo, he’s been shooting “street” stuff for more than 40 years and he does none of what was advised on this show.

    I’m also a father of two young children and I can’t understand the attitude that people had about your kids being photographed. Where is the harm?

    As for the Dan’s work, it’s great, but that’s because you are seeing the finished product. When he’s taking the photo I’m sure he looks like a “creeper” just like anyone else.

  3. Johnny says:

    Matt……bring the LR4 Tour to Austin

  4. Roger says:

    Interesting topic. I was shooting in a souk in Bahrain years ago. I had my camera set to shoot the vendors and four women fully hidden by their hijab and robes, came around a corner. All four, in unison, did an about face and retraced their steps vanishing as fast as they appeared. I took my shot of the vendors and moved on quickly.

  5. Weeeeee
    I am a street photographer. I seldom as permission, but I will delete photos is asked.

    LR4 spiral bound would be cool!

  6. Brad Vautrinot says:

    Hi Scott,

    I love the Grid – never miss an episode. I have always learned something from each and every one. But, I never felt the need to leave a comment until I watched Episode number 55 regarding street photography. Rights and laws come to the forefront when talking “street photography”. You can check with the esteemed Ed Greenburg and any other attorney you wish, but I (as do we all) have a RIGHT to photograph anything and anyone when in a PUBLIC place. Period. The are exceptions such as a public restroom, a hospital emergency ward, etc., where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

    I can go to a public park or playground or public street and photograph children ’till the cows come home and be perfectly within my legal rights. And anyone who attempts to, as Kalebra stated, “vaporize my camera” will find themselves in a crap storm they could never envision.

    I would like to ad a quote from a person named Wigwam Jones who posted this on a website on 3/25/2007 – his words in quotes:

    “Photography *is* expression, no different than speech, poetry, prose, sculpture, cartooning, and so on. Photography serves many purposes that are beneficial to society, including being a powerful tool of the media, who supposedly occupy a sanctified place as a watchdog of the people, among other functions.

    And although it sounds petty and small to demand my right to take a photograph of a child whose parents object – this is simply the point of the spear. This is where the test is made on a daily basis. Do we or do we not have the right to take photographs in public?

    My concern has been, and remains, the approach to this issue that appears to submit to laws that do not exist.

    That is, a parent objects to a child being photographed, and we capitulate. That is all well and good for oneself. But those among us who practice this also seem quite content to pass that prohibition on to all photographers. It does not faze them at all that ‘feelings’ are not laws.

    I respect the fears of parents, even the ones I consider unreasonable. And depending on the circumstances, I may shrug and move on without objection when asked to stop taking photographs by a parent.

    But I will not, I cannot, give in to demands that I delete my photos, show them to a ‘concerned parent’, identify myself, tell them what purpose I am going to put the photographs to, and so on. Nor will I willingly surrender my property to a law enforcement officer without a valid search warrant being served on me. If it is to be a search incident to a lawful apprehension, then let’s get on with the arrest. Let’s make it all nice and legal – you arrest me and take my stuff, and then yes, we let the lawyers sort it all out.

    Perhaps it is not meant for everyone to rave and rant about rights. Perhaps it is enough that a certain lunatic fringe keep pushing at the edges, making sure the tent stays up for everyone who finds it all very tedious and not worth the trouble. No problem, I enjoy the animating contest of liberty.”

    I could be wrong but the impression I got from the Grid episode was that photographing children in a public place should be banned as well as photographing women in a public place.

    Jay Maisel was mentioned as well as other street photogs. Jay has taken thousands of photos many of which involve children and women on the streets of NYC and other places. Are we going to tell Jay and/or Dan Steinhardt that they cannot photograph women and children in public places? Or does one have to be well-known and published to be “trusted” to take a child’s photo.

    For the record, I’m not a street photographer and have no interest in taking photos of children but with the attitudes and opinions expressed on episode 55 we may be embarking upon a trip to eventually ban all street, and perhaps other types of photography, in the future.

  7. Gene Kimball says:

    Seriously, I was hesitant to watch this show as I do not shoot street photography. What I found interesting, though, was the psychological factor involved with pointing a camera at anyone. I like spontaneous shots of family and friends because if you take a posed shot, it looks blase. There is no character. This program made me realize that a photographer is no longer perceived as harmless and is considered a real threat to the person or persons being photographed when the photographer is a stranger. The show was illuminating.

  8. Nice show!

    A very interesting perspective on street photography!

    I always wanted to have “the guts” to shoot people on the street. Now I have some additional info on that.

    1- I don’t need to get a small Fuji-can’t-focus camera! I won’t scare people with my dSLR.

    2- This creepy factor has to be watched out.

    The question that came to my mind when it was mentioned “how the photographer looks like matters. So if it’s Jeremy Cowart taking the picture, would most of the people be fine with it? :-)

  9. Vineet Potdar says:

    I’d like to win the year’s subscription.. thanks :)

  10. Great show, and interesting subject ….

  11. bill zingraf says:

    As a street shooter I thought the show was very informative. Thanks!

  12. Michel says:

    Fascinating topic, unfortunately… In particular, thank you for bringing in the point-of-view of the women.
    Ed Greenberg or Jack Reznicki would say that the only way to do it is to ask permission since you will need the subject to sign a model release form.

    For the prize: the LR4 ticket to the Boston show please

  13. John Ryan says:

    Great show

  14. t says:

    If I was to take pictures of children– it would be because of their sports play, activity — interreaction

  15. Thomas Piepszak says:

    Your group should consider going onto creative live in seattle, washington

    Photographers from around the world attend= as it is free but you can purchase the course if you choose.
    I suspect that you could do some very effective advertising of NAPP and KELBY Training on LIne

    give it some serious thought.

  16. Carl says:

    fI experienced the creep factor first hand, from behind the lens, last week. I was on the observation deck of the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls with my fiance, for our anniversary.
    After taking many shots of the beautiful but ultimately boring Falls, my hunting viewfinder swept around, it caught the excited, animated expressions of a group of tourists. With the natural Depth of Field, back framed by the Falls, the shots were stunning: I was hooked. Taking care to be unobserved in this close spaced environment, I took around 30 shots, until I realised people were watching me more closely. Starting to feel a little creepy, I stopped shooting.
    It was a strange feeling, trying to observe from 20 feet without being observed, and I began to feel I was intruding. It was worth the discomfort though. Those shots were the best of the day.

  17. Merrill Shea says:

    Very interesting and worthwhile discussion. Regarding your Paris “screaming woman” experience, many people (including the French) misunderstand the French law regarding street photography. They think it’s illegal, which it isn’t; it’s very close to US law. They mistakenly cite Article 9 as prohibiting street photography. You’ll find lots of useful information and insightful discussion on Nick Turbin’s website Hunting around there, you’ll find an interesting discussion of Paris photography.

  18. Great discussion on street photography. Regarding the camera size issue, I think one of the reasons street photographers prefer an inconspicuous camera is to make the subject unaware and thereby maintain a more natural expression. Kalebra pointed out that being photographed makes her “self aware”. That is precisely what a street photographer may want to avoid. They are trying to capture the natural state of a scene without them influencing it.

  19. Rami says:

    Is their any recommended book for street photography ?

  20. Leonard Rall says:

    Great Show!
    I have Scott’s new book “Lightroom 4 for Digital Photographers”.
    Now I wish that I had the sprial bound version.

  21. Walt Sarvis says:


    People have to understand that the average person is photographed 50 times daily! Atm’s, banks, street cameras, traffic cams, and stores. Anybody going through those has access to photos of you. It’s the age we live in!
    Compare one guy and a few shots to hundreds that happen everyday and it seems silly to feel self-conscience.
    Not to mention the LAW states if someone is in public, they have no expectation of privacy and can be photographed without their permission. So to yell at someone or tell them to delete photos in not your right once you step out into public.

  22. John Dabarno says:

    Scott’s Lightroom 4 spiral book

  23. Mark Dekovic says:

    Wait! … as a photographer, in a public place, I have the right to photograph anything that’s there. And, if you’re in the middle of a public event that can easily be construed as “newsworthy” (ie. a State Fair, open-air concert, downtown at lunch time) all bets are off. Your privacy is not protected once you leave your property … albeit … as a photographer, I do not have the right to benefit from the distribution of your image or likeness. Doesn’t this concept hold any credence anymore???

  24. Andy says:

    Really great show of the women’s options. Great Kelby Training online subscription prize for the people watching live so do you give anything away any longer for the ones that see the reply?

  25. Paul Morgan says:

    Hi guys I need as much help as possible so one year at Kelby training will help.Thanks

  26. martin gillette says:

    great topic and well covered. as usual…

  27. Lewis Johnston says:

    Great topic and discussion.
    Any prize would be awesome!

  28. Chuck Sider says:

    Great again . .

  29. james says:

    great show! thats good to inform the photographic community what is the right way for street photography…

  30. Kevin Figueira says:

    My subscription to Kelby Training, that I got for my birthday last year is about to expire this June, it would be great to win a free year. love learning from all the wonderful instructors. Thanks for all you do.

    Met Dave Black at a seminar in Salt Lake City about a week ago, he says you guys are good people. I think he’s correct.

  31. Ghassan al-harbi says:

    please give me the year subscription, I just got the money for it and I want to get my first light modifiers to start experimenting with light !!!!!

  32. Rob Morgan says:

    I’m a small town photojournalist and I often get parents coming up to me wanting their kids in the paper. But the first thing I alway do is introduce myself to the parents and ask if they who let me photograph their children. If the parents don’t want their kids photographed so thanks an move on.
    Second I live in Kansa why do you guy never come close. KC is a good city to visit.

  33. Clement says:

    Great show, as usual !

  34. Andrew Scheck says:

    Interesting perspective from the female side. It would be even more interesting to get an opinion from someone not involved with photography.

  35. William Chinn says:

    So if you showed this episode to Jay Maisel what would he say about the “creep” factor, the camera size, or the screamer?

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