A trip to Europe in 1966 with a Pentax camera given him by French fashion photographer Jérôme Ducrot (with whom Kalvar worked in New York as assistant) inspired him to become a photographer. On his return to New York he worked at Modernage photo lab. Two years later he moved to Paris and joined Agence Vu photography agency.
Kalvar's work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in France, including at Agathe Gaillard gallery and at Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. He has worked around the world, especially in England, France, Italy, Japan and the United States.
- Familles en France. France: Viva, 1973.
- L’Usine. France: Colgate Palmolive, 1987, ASIN B004AEYWEC.
- Portrait de Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. France: P.O. Calmann-Lévy, 1993, ISBN 978-2-7021-2163-4.
- Earthlings. Flammarion, 2007, ISBN 978-2-08-030009-6.
Photobooks (with others)
- Street Photography Now. London: Thames & Hudson, 2010. ISBN 978-0-500-54393-1. Edited by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren.