Touching Strangers

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Still captured from the “On the Road” story about Richard Rinaldi, who took this photo.

Today is Wednesday, October 30, 2013.

A while ago, Upworthy shared a great little video story from the CBS News Friday evening segment called “On the Road with Steve Hartman.”  Older readers may remember the legendary news correspondent Charles Kuralt, who created this series of human interest stories from locations all across America.  Hartman, who has won many awards for his human interest stories, revived the popular series that aims to leave viewers with a good feeling at the end of every week. 

The story Upworthy shared was about a photo artist in New York named Richard Renaldi.  One of his many photo projects is called “Touching Strangers.” For this project, he went to various locations and asked two or three strangers to participate in a photo project.  They were asked to pose together as if they were old friends, a romantic couple, or members of the same family, and they were required to touch each other in some way in the pose.  The photos are all in very good taste.  It was difficult for people to let down their guard long enough to take a photo in close quarters with a stranger, but when you look at the pictures, especially the faces, it is remarkable that there is a sense of love and respect for the other person.  Subjects for the photo shoot also commented on the fact that they felt something change within them as they allowed their normal defenses to drop.

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Another still captured from the video. Source: Richard Renaldi.

Many of the stories featured in “On the Road” segments come from viewers.  I haven’t’ been watching Steve Hartman’s work, but will definitely watch some of the segments online, now that I know about them.  I loved watching Charles Kuralt’s stories, collected over a span of 25 years, and I read at least one of the three books he wrote about his travels:  On the Road with Charles Kuralt, A Life on the Road, and Charles Kuralt’s America.  Small-town America shines in every one of Kuralt’s stories, and I can see that Steve Hartman has the same touch with human interest stories.  We are fortunate to have someone like Hartman to carry on Kuralt’s original mission.

We are also fortunate to have photographers like Richard Renaldi, whose photographs remind us not only of our humanity and our connection with one another, but also of the wonderful land we live on.  Check out Renaldi’s Photography Blog here, and scroll down a bit to find a link to other articles about “Touching Strangers.”

Thanks also to Upworthy for sharing wonderful things like this on Facebook! 🙂

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