Touching Strangers

Michael and Kimberly, 2011, New York, NY

Since 2007, photographer Richard Renaldi has worked on a series of photographs for which he asks complete strangers to physically interact while posing together for a portrait. Working on the street with a large format 8 x 10 view camera, Renaldi encounters his subjects in towns and cities all over the United States.

Renaldi’s objective was to introduce an unpredictable variable into a traditional photographic formula, and to create spontaneous and fleeting relationships between complete strangers. The portraits are extremely difficult to make, involving complex negotiations with the participants that push them past comfort levels, into a physical intimacy normally reserved for loved ones or friends. Touching Strangers creates intimate and ephemeral relationships that exist only for the moment of the photograph.

Renaldi hopes to publish a book of his photos in Spring, 2014 in conjunction with the Aperture Foundation and funding through his Kickstarter campaign.

Jeromy and Matthew, 2011, Columbus, OH

Nathan and Robyn, 2012, Provincetown, MA