Touching Strangers

Touching Strangers

“On the late afternoon streets, everyone hurries along, going about their own business. Who is the person walking in front of you on the rain-drenched sidewalk? He is covered with an umbrella, and all you can see is a dark coat and the shoes striking the puddles. And yet this person is the hero of his own life story. He is the love of someone’s life and what he can do may change the world. Imagine being him for a moment. And then continue on your own way.” Vera Nazarian

There is this moment that happens when you are at a tourist attraction anywhere in the world. Someone asks you to take a picture of them in front of it. Sometimes they are alone, a couple , friends or a family. It is often in pantomime because they don’t speak English. Other times, they just hand you a camera and say something you don’t understand – but you do. I usually ask them to take one of me after. I can never have too many pictures in front of monuments or Unesco World Heritage Sites. You share this moment with a stranger who has decided to go to the same place at the same time that you did. You move on, but what if you didn’t?

What happens if you ask complete strangers to pose in a portrait together in ways that are usually reserved for close friends and loved ones?

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This is what New York photographer Richard Renaldi wanted to find out.

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He set up his camera on a street corner and asked people who passed by to pose as friends, lovers and families.

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Richard Renaldi has been working on this series of photographs since 2007.

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He creates spontaneous relationships between strangers and photographs them.

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The project is called “Touching Strangers.”

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The images are beautiful and strange and last only through the moment of the photograph.

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He has taken these photographs all over the United States.

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He raises many questions about positive human connection in a diverse society.

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What is it that separates us and what brings us together?

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I wonder what will happen the next time someone asks me to take a photo of them in front of something and I ask them to take one with me.

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Happy Holidays

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Fly Safe,

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JAZ

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4 thoughts on “Touching Strangers

  1. I’m waiting for the one of you with a complete stranger. Most of them look a bit uncomfortable, but it’s a nice idea. Peter Frost P.O. Box 629 Cusco PERU Tel/Fax (51-84) 24-1666

    From: “Travel Well, Fly Safe” Reply-To: “Travel Well, Fly Safe” Date: Sunday, December 22, 2013 1:12 PM To: Peter Frost Subject: [New post] Touching Strangers

    WordPress.com jaynezak posted: “Touching Strangers On the late afternoon streets, everyone hurries along, going about their own business. Who is the person walking in front of you on the rain-drenched sidewalk? He is covered with an umbrella, and all you can see is a dark coat and t”

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