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Friends With Strangers

Maureen Beitler | New York, United States


I met Samantha and her family by chance in the spring of 2020, a couple of months after the pandemic started. She had been living in a motel room in the Hudson Valley with her family and was waiting for an apartment to become available. I had lost my job in NYC and moved to my house in upstate NY. We were living very different lives and circumstances, but we became friendly and I began visiting her and her kids. I was living in isolation, not seeing friends or family, and it was a welcome connection with another family, if not my own. We did not talk a lot about what had led us to this point in our lives and I didn’t want to pry into how she had come to be living in the motel. I was grateful that she allowed me to photograph and spend some time with them. We each had been impacted by very different circumstances including the pandemic but our paths crossed for a while and we shared a connection during a difficult time. The photographs are a record of this time.


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