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Photographer puts strangers together for cozy photographs — the results are heartwarming

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, Rare Staff

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Enterprising photographer Richard Renaldi persuades unrelated passersby in New York City to pose together for spontaneous photo shoots — some of which are rather intimate, reports CBS News.

“They’re not exactly sure what they’ve just signed up for,” Renaldi tells CBS News in a video posted to YouTube. “And people are a little nervous at first,” he added.

The project, called “Touching strangers,” took off six years ago — time enough for Renaldi to build on his portfolio of “unlikely intimates,” reports CBS.

Young adults are asked to pose as lovers, desk jockeys and blue-collar boys inch toward each other, women are asked to pose as though they’re family.

“It was sort of awkward, but then sort of not,” one participant — who warmed up to the idea of getting cozy with complete strangers as the shoot progressed — told CBS News. “We are probably missing so much about the people all around us,” she added.

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