New Castle News

Tim Kolodziej

November 7, 2013

Tim Kolodziej: Here's a photo experiment that just might make you smile

NEW CASTLE — We’re all posers, you know.

We are.

Doesn’t matter what the command is.

“Say cheese ...”

“1-2-3 ...”

“Smile pretty ...”

“What does the fox say ...”

We make peace signs. We make “Zoolander” lips. We make like gangstas with our buddies. And we make like choirboys at family events.

Posers.

That’s us.

We love to pose.

We’re all posers, you know.

Doesn’t matter if there’s a camera or not.

We love to pretend we’re someone other than who we really are.

I’m a geek. I’m a jock. I’m a dancer. I’m a liberal. I’m a conservative. I’m a  ... (fill in the blank).

We search for identity, for a common bond, in so many different ways — work, school, athletics, family, volunteerism, whatever.

But deep down, we know that’s not who we really are. It’s just what we do.

We just hope no one finds out.

We’re imposters. Frauds.

Posers.

That’s us.

We love to pose.

And yet we love to connect.

But the ironic thing is, the only path to true connection is transparency. And that takes a little relational work along the way.

That’s why I was captivated by a video I discovered on Twitter last week (you can view it at right or below). It was a “CBS On The Road” feature on New York City photographer Richard Renaldi.

The segment focused on a project Renaldi had been working on called “Touching Strangers,” where he would randomly select people off the street and pair them for a photo.

Hmm. Weird.

Then I actually watched the video.

(I ask you to do the same right now before reading any farther. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you. You’ll be glad you did.)

OK, ready to continue? Here are three things that really struck me as I watched.

1) “It was sort of awkward. Then sort of not” — That was the reaction from one of the young ladies following her photo shoot.

That’s a pretty common response for most new situations we enter. We’re a little nervous. A little apprehensive to jump in. A little hesitant to open up to those we really don’t know.

Have you ever watched parents try to get a couple of toddlers to play? It’s the same progression.

•An awkward introduction

•A warming-up period

then ...

•I can’t imagine playing WITHOUT this person today

Whether we’re toddlers of 3 or 43, not much changes.

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Tim Kolodziej