Alexandria, VA

In mid-April, Alexandria photographer Billy Sabatini took to Alexandria’s streets and found them empty. The coronavirus pandemic created a strange opportunity for him to take photos of places he visited hundreds of times, but never quite like this.

“It was really kind of eerie, because we’ve all been to these places especially at the foot of King Street where there’s always mobs of people during these spring days,” Sabatini told ALXnow. “There was nobody around at all. There was no sound, either, and it was very strange and very peaceful.”

Sabatini, who has lived in Alexandria for 20 years, also took photos of monuments and iconic structures in Washington, D.C., in addition to his free Front Steps Project photo series, which has taken off with more than 500 requests in Alexandria.

Now Sabatini is busier than ever. With a telephoto lens, he’s photographed more than 300 Alexandria families in front of their homes and has pledged to continue taking their pictures for free in the hope that they will donate to the Goodhart Group’s fundraiser for Alexandria restaurants and medical workers.

“I’ve been so busy, I finally had to take a day off on Sunday just to edit photos,” Sabatini said of his Front Steps Project. “The response has just been phenomenal.”

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