BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Instead of snapping pictures at networking events, weddings and parties, a Baltimore photographer is now capturing a crisis nobody was ready for.

James Trudeau has been a photographer in the city for around 10 years, often taking photos at events and functions. Lately, he’s been shooting empty streets and masked faces in an effort to document history.

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Through his lens, he said it’s a sad story.

“It’s unfortunate I have to document this story in history,” he said, calling it interesting but also depressing.

His black-and-white snapshots show a once-busy city that has become a ghost town and the lives of everyday residents trying to live their lives amid the pandemic. He has taken a series of photos of people wearing masks, hand washing, empty streets and what life looks like now.


While so much has changed, some of Trudeau’s photos show what remains the same.

“This little boy, he must have been 9 or 10, (was) riding a scooter. He had his mask on, he has a police badge, fake handcuffs and he’s just still being a kid,” Trudeau recalled.

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A black-and-white photograph shows a young boy riding a scooter through Baltimore amid the coronavirus pandemic. Credit: James Trudeau

When he isn’t behind the camera, Trudeau works at Johns Hopkins collecting data from patients who tested positive for COVID-19. He has to get decked out in personal protective equipment and take precautions he has never had to take before to make sure he is protected and not carrying the virus out into his personal life

The new protocols are a daily “in-your-face” reminder of the danger.

“I can’t hug my kids until I take a shower and make sure I haven’t carried anything with me,” he said.

The desolate Baltimore Trudeau once saw filled with life, makes him yearn for brighter days ahead.

“I am looking forward to capturing the weddings, the networking events, the corporate events, so the best thing people can do is stay home, social distance, do what you gotta do until this can be over,” he said.

Billboards with some of Trudeau’s pictures are on display on rotating billboards around Baltimore through this weekend.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachael Cardin