Richard Renaldi: Touching Strangers

by t5kal

I had six tabs open while I aimlessly roamed the internet. Everyone does this, right? You start out on CNN’s homepage and two hours later you’ve watched 5 cat videos on youtube, 6 Vines, and read 10 of wikipedia’s random articles.


One click lead to another click, and another; and I happened upon Elitedaily and BAM! All of my attention went to a video titled,

“Photographer Puts Two Strangers Together For Intimate Photographs, And The Results Are Surprising.”

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(Photocredit: Richard Renaldi)

Richard Renaldi started this project in 2011. He took photos of Strangers Touching all across the country. The photographs are stunning me but what I found the most fascinating was the reactions of the strangers. One of the participants said, “I felt like I cared for her. I feel like it brought down a lot of barriers.” It was beautiful to watch these strangers walk away with a sense of closeness with another person they had never met.

“It was a good feeling.”
“It was nice to feel that comfort.”

After watching this video I had such a desire to be a part of something like this: to interact with complete strangers for a purpose, to learn from them, to better myself, to feel a connection.

And then I realized there was nothing stopping me from doing a project like this. I have a voice, I have a camera, I could do this. Now, it might not turn out quite as good as a professional photographer. But, what’s stopping me from trying.

One of the strangers who posed said,“We are probably missing so much about the people all around us.”

That is the idea I want to leave you with. You as an individual are part of something so immense. You have no idea what those around you have gone through, what they’re struggling with, what makes them happy. Why not ask their story? Why not learn something about them? Why not share with them and make a connection with a perfect stranger. Maybe that moment will touch their heart more than you’ll know.