At left: Thailand, 2005
From this image going forward are the original photographs we published in 2012 and the interview from that time is included below.
The Advocate: What generated the concept of keeping this record photographically?
Richard Renaldi: It happened organically. I instinctually shoot in nearly every circumstance whenever I travel. About a decade ago, I saw a pattern of hotel room self-portraits emerging in my work, and I decided that it was a theme worth exploring. Originally the series started out as "my" project but it quickly became collaborative with Seth sharing — if not sometimes surpassing — my enthusiasm to make them.
Was this ever a hard sell for your partner, Seth, and did the taking of these pictures ever cause less-than-pleasant feelings?
No never. Seth was very enthusiastic about it from the start. He is a commercial architectural and interior photographer himself, and he has always been extraordinarily encouraging of my creative work.
Why in hell do you travel so much?
We really enjoy exploring new places, and returning to ones we have found to be very special. I work on many projects simultaneously and these take me all over the place. Seth often accompanies me. We also love going on road trips and Seth enjoys long-distance driving. We have both been to all fifty states. I shot a large commercial job for Microsoft a few years ago that that took me to eighteen different countries and Seth was my first assistant for much of the job.
The images are such a powerful statement of intimacy.
We definitely see this work as not only a record of intimacy and a journal of our travels together, but also as an affirmation of our commitment to each other over the span of many years. It is also a document of the changes that occur in our physical appearances as our bodies age and change. We plan to make these photographs as long as we are able to.
Richard Renaldi was born in Chicago in 1968. He received his BFA in photography from New York University in 1990. Exhibitions of his photographs have been mounted in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. In 2006 Renaldi's first monograph, Figure and Ground, was published by the Aperture Foundation. His second monograph, Fall River Boys, was released in 2009. Richard Renaldi is the founder and publisher of Charles Lane Press.