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Richard Renaldi's 'Touching Strangers' photos touch on human relationships

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John Rabe talks with a street photographer who poses strangers intimately. Richard Renaldi's work is showing at Loyola Marymount University's Laband Gallery into November.

Three photos: a white Orthodox Jew linking arms with a young black man with dreads; an old bald white man sitting close to a Latina at a diner and holding hands; and a beautiful young black couple - he's looking into the camera, she's about to kiss his cheek.

For each photo, you wonder: what's the story here? Some of the couples look comfortable together, even amorous; other couples look a little uneasy ... but then why are they touching?

( Shalom and Jeff. New York, 2013. Richard Renaldi)

Here's the thing: they were all strangers before the photographer — Richard Renaldi — posed them for the photos in cities across America.

Renaldi's photos get at the relationships between photographers, their subjects, and you and me. And they're in an exhibit called "Touching Strangers" atLoyola Marymount University's Laband Art Gallery through November 22.

(Annalee and Rayqa. San Francisco. 2012 Richard Renaldi)

KPCC photographer Maya Sugarman and I caught up with Renaldi at Venice Beach a couple weeks ago as he was trying to teach LMU photography students the basics of approaching potential subjects on the street. 

Listen to the audio (click the arrow in the player above) to hear Renaldi talk about and teach his craft.

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