If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably remember a post I did back in May of last year called “My Day with Jay” and it was about a remarkable day of learning I had walking the streets of New York City for a few hours with a true living legend of photography: Jay Maisel. (Here’s the link in case you missed it).
Here are some comments I got from that post:
“Thanks for sharing your amazing experience. I wish I also had got a chance to walk with him and learn from him.”
“I can only echo everyone else’s comments (thanks for sharing about your experience with Jay–what a master!) and requests (please, pretty please, share a bit more about how to shoot in the city while being unobtrusive)!
“As with some of the other posts, How do you shoot people? I, too, and afraid that I will get in trouble.”
“I’d love to take pictures of people in the street but I am afraid of it…”.
“As some other mentioned before are there any helpful tips and tricks on shooting on the street? It sounds always so easy but mostly I am “scared”or feel uncomfortable shooting people on the street.”
There were many other comments because people have so many questions about this stuff, and of course Jay is arguably the master of this genre. That’s why on Wednesday I flew up to New York City, with a Kelby Training video crew (and Brad Moore, who took the production photo above), to create Your Day with Jay—an online class for Kelby Training Online. It was even more amazing than my first walk with him.
My goal was just to be there to keep things moving; to prompt him with the same kind of questions I thought you guys might have, and basically let Jay do all the talking.
Just like on “My Day With Jay,” Your Day with Jay starts out at Jay’s studio in Manhattan, and then we headed down through the streets around his neighborhood, his camera in hand, then we caught a subway to 42nd street; we shot a little in Times Square, then headed down 42nd street to Bryant Park, and ended up at Jay’s favorite local restaurant for lunch and more conversation, which included an impromptu shoot of our waitress and the owner. We wrapped at Jay’s studio with a personal tour, and commentary on some of his favorite pieces, along with even more learning.
It was truly an amazing day packed with wisdom, insightful comments, humor, and humility. I learned more about photography than I have in years (including an eye-opening revelation about my frustrations with my own photography), and I think by letting Jay just be Jay, we came away with something really special. It’s real. Not rehearsed. The shots he took happened as they happened. The situations. The people. The challenges. You see how he deals with all of it–you see it, hear it, experience it all firsthand like you’re walking right alongside him.
It was part roving class. Part documentary. Part creative thinking class. Part photography master class. And parts will even bring a tear to your eye.
Although a lot of this class is devoted to teaching you to how to shoot people in the street (and he answers all those lingering questions), he covers so much more than that, on so many levels, and he covers so many different photography topics. I’m so glad I was there, and I’m so glad that now you’ll get to be there, too.
I’ll let you know when Jay’s class “goes live” on Kelby Training Online (there’s still lots of video editing and production work to be done), but when it does, I promise you—-you’ll have a day you’ll never forget.