Photography Installation: Touching Strangers

How often do you think about the possibilities of strangers, of two random people coming together and making a moment so magical that it stops you in your tracks?

That’s what a photo exhibit called “Touching Strangers” is doing to Torontonians through the month of May during the annual CONTACT Photography Festival.

American photographer Richard Renaldi has spent years travelling through the US with his large format camera, making portraits of two complete strangers he meets in the streets. Richard poses his subjects as though they were a real couple, and creates some of the most stunning portrait work I’ve ever seen.

It’s this type of work that makes me extremely jealous of some people’s creativity, but it also inspires me to be better and more original in my own life.

touching strangers 1touching strangers 2touching strangers 3touching strangers 4 touching strangers 5



  1. wow, the pics are really cool. i love your intensity of colors. its not to colorful or overdone, it transports such a deepness… i really dont know how to describe it in english! 😀

  2. I love this post, Shane. You are right, what a unique idea. You really captured the exhibit’s heart with these photographs. Way to go.

      1. I can totally see why you are so interested in this project. I think you really did it justice in bringing it to more folks attention. Thanks!!

    1. This is on the south side of King St, right across from the Princess of Whales… King, east of John. They’re very impressive in person.

      If you happen to see it sometime this week between business hours, let me know and I’d love to meet… even for a few minutes 🙂

  3. What a fantastic project this is! I’m always inspired by the imagination of other people and love the positive message behind this project. I’m sure we could all be a little less “hands-off” when it comes to dealing with people we don’t know. And what a great way to display the work along the sidewalk. Thanks for sharing Shane.

      1. Yeah, absolutely agree. It’s easy to look at something like this and assume it was just someone taking a few pictures but it’s so much more than that. To have the idea, the vision and the commitment to follow it through to the end over months or maybe years of work. There aren’t many people who can do that!

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