#065: Holding Hands - Author & Photographer Diane Conn

Over the last seven years Diane Conn has taken tens of thousands of pictures of people holding hands. As the COVID-19 pandemic broke apart so much of the fiber of our community she was motivated to put her pictures into a book, called Holding Hands, showing us all just how important holding hands actually is in our lives.

Fran Racioppi sits down with Diane to discuss the impact the loss of her mother to suicide had on her. She shared her battles with depression and a severe concussion that changed her outlook on life. And she talked about the film industry, her late husband, Mace, and how she captures pictures of total strangers holding hands in New York City. 

Take a listen to our conversation then check out our YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to Fran and Diane searching for the perfect shot. 

Read the full episode transcription here and learn more on The Jedburgh Podcast Website. Check out our video versions on YouTube.


 -Fran asks Diane to define connection and the power of touch; yet why we never touch for long. (5:04)

-Diane describes her process for taking photos from behind and how her technique has only gotten her caught once. (8:08)

-The science behind holding hands has a medical explanation and benefits to our entire emotional physiological system. (11:10)

-Fran and Diane break down Holding Hands (and Diane’s life) into its three sections: Childhood, Love Together; as well as Diane’s key words for each of these parts of our life. (15:10)

-Diane’s mother died by suicide throwing Diane into a blackness and depression that lasted much of her life, bringing her to her own thoughts of suicide. (19:43) 

-The movie industry has been a big part of Diane’s life as she worked in film finance, met her husband (Mace) working on the set of Patriot Games with Harrison Ford and spent a career in Hollywood production. (29:01)

-Diane explains how Mace, a Pulizter runner-up,  taught her photography and what makes the perfect photo. (30:30)

-A blackout concussion five years ago resulted in a year straight of headaches,  dizziness and a relapse of severe depression. (38:50)


-”People don’t hold hands for long…There’s not one case where people just kept on walking for blocks and blocks and never let go.” 

-”I don’t want to look at their faces and I don’t want to see the front of them.”

-”Sometimes there are unique hand holds that you can’t even imagine.”

-”That hunger for connection has driven humans forever.”

-”It never occurred to me that I wouldn't have two parents.” ) 

-“I spent, in my head, the next 25 years trying to save her. Trying to figure out how to rewind time.”

-”He taught me how to see that one shot.”

-”Even in that state, I felt better when I looked at the photos of people holding hands.”

-”We all need somebody.”


Diane’s Three Daily Foundations to Success:

-Mediate in the morning no matter what


-Connect with somebody

This episode is brought to you by Jersey Mike’s, 18A Fitness, and Analytix Solutions