Sometimes art moves us by revealing life as it is. Other times it inspires by showing life as it could be. At first blush, photographer Richard Renaldi's project clearly falls into the second category. He shoots portraits of people who were strangers to each other only moments earlier, making some manner of warm, embracing physical contact with each other. Some of the portraits affect a sense of romantic intimacy, others simply express companionship; but they all present the subjects in relationship that did not exist moments earlier. The magic? After this experience, the subjects all report a degree of emotional transformation from the experience. Watch and be touched.

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  • julia

    This made me well up inside as it is so simple but also clear that the barriers that seem so powerful are pretty easily broken through--person to person. Maybe this is just for a moment but this moment can really teach us something so so crucial about self-transcendence and boundary-crossing.

  • Trish

    The transformation ability that the power of touch possess is inspiring. This video showed that underneath it all, we all are the same, with the same needs primarily. This video testifies to that...simply amazing!

  • Sheree of Lawshe.podbean.com

    The people of the world are coming to understand we are all connected and that new thought or understanding is developing in a variety of many forms. I for one am so happy about this. Thank you for sharing this video with the world.

  • Marc

    These are all "costumes" that we wear on the outside, the real thing is inside, and we are a lot closer that we think. It's nice when we get a little reminder like this project. Great work!

  • Liza

    Beautiful; especially hearing how the subjects felt warmth towards each other after the photography sessions..We are all beloveds...

  • Debbie

    This is so totally awesome.... you show the innate true primal condition of human beings and the connection we all share!

  • Veronica

    This restores hope for reconnecting with our common humanity. If more of us 'touched' others who we normally regard as strangers/different from us, perhaps we would know we weren't different at all! - Thank you to Richard for touching us all.

  • Franki

    The genuine affection that two or three strangers can very quickly feel for each other was wonderfully moving, it shows us that with a little effort we can get in touch with our connectedness and let go of the social conventions that can separate us. What a most amazing project Richard has taken on, thank you! xx

  • Tobi

    Look beyond the form, beyond our "stranger-ness" and into the soul, the "human-ness" - this helps us do that

  • Mindy

    Thanks for bringing this photographer's work to our attention! His interesting photo subjects exemplifies how we are all truly connected. It only takes a moment to remember.

  • Julie Brunton

    It gives me lost faith in mankind. I love this outstanding. A simple look or touch of kindness can make all the difference.

  • Mary Ellen Henry

    Mr. Renaldi's work has my mind bursting with possibilities for overcoming the barriers that separate us. What a difference it could make if we held hands instead of holding guns!

  • Steven

    It reminds me of Richard's Epstein's research which showed that acting loving produces feelings of love

  • roselyne

    so sweet and nice seeing them in a touching without knowledge of them before ....

  • Ani

    I am moved to see how quickly, through being directed into physical connection, the emotional connection can follow. Very interesting. It doesn't happen on a subway, where people are also close physically, so I think the safety aspect of the artist directing, and the higher purpose of art plays a role.

  • Sandy

    I felt goose bumps...seeing people connect and the sense of care that arose so quickly. We all have such fear about what other people think of us, and if we are crossing boundaries that another may not want to have crossed. Reaching out in some capacity is so beautiful.

  • Loni

    What a great idea and opportunity - changing humanity in a moment of time. Thank you for such an idea1!

  • Lin Eldridge

    loved the imagery it reminded me of doing Pro Golf tourneys like we shot Kraft Nabisco 3 times and making people laugh and bringing them close...love can do anything

  • Nancy

    Thumbs up on this deal.

  • Thomas Howell

    How do we break down the barriers between strangers? By doing what Richard does with a camera and ask people to share a moment. My guess is that all his subjects walked away feeling better about meeting a stranger, after this impromptu photo session. I know I did and I simply watched.

  • Sandy Lallier

    The aspect of total strangers sharing the holy sense of touch...

  • Rochele

    I believe in spreading wonderful and that's what I see here.

  • Chris

    This video gives me hope that even though we are all different we share the same need of connectedness. What a wonderful gift Richard Renaldi has given us. To see that for a moment in time we can step out of our fears and into love. AMAZING!

  • Brian

    Thanks Guys...good one...yes, breaking down the walls and building ones of love...and God abides in love...Amen!!! Be encouraged...

  • Jann

    it made me cry for the miles of silence between strangers and how wonderful life could be for everyone if there was no fear....it was beautiful

  • Lynne

    We so need one another.......... How clear it is that we all want to connect - this was beautiful. I wish the video had gone on much longer!!!!

  • Darla

    I was touched to tears. I am inspired and empowered to reach out and touch others, even when I feel strange doing it. I want to be a kinder person and show up. Thanks for sharing! Kudos to Richard Renaldi!

  • susan

    This video brings the power of touch to the soul- I felt the tenderness, the awkwardness, the desire and the need to rise beyond the armor of crossed arms and downward eyes. I do believe in the increasing need and natural desire to connect through touch. Sooo impactful. Thank you

  • Marianna Cacciatore

    I loved this film. I think there is only a thin veneer between us anyway. Richard Renaldi is courageous enough to expose that truth. Kudos, Richard. You have a place to stay in Novato CA also (near San Franciso). Come here and do your magic.www.breadforthejourney.org

  • Melodie

    This is very inspiring. And the people taking part in the photo shots look so natural for only just having met. A wonderful idea, showing people that you can be comfortable with complete strangers, and actually feel empathy for them. I would have loved to have been a part of it. Thank you for sharing this video.

  • Judith

    The pictures brough tears to my eyes. I have been a public secondary school English teacher and then became a muscle therapist. Loved all of it, which got me close to people in a helping way. Come to Mpls. and do this photo magic!! You can stay with us.

  • Page 1

  • Browse a fuller portfolio of ​Richard Renaldi's series, "Touching Strangers".
  • Touch has the power to strengthen relationships and is a marker of closeness.  Read what psychologists say about the language of touch.
  • Reach out and touch someone -- sensitively and considerately -- and be aware of how your intentions are communicated through this basic human contact.

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