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Quaranteam Diaries
Photograph: Courtesy Quaranteam Diaries/Spenser Mestel/Kris KelkarQuaranteam Diaries' "Titanic"

This NYC couple has been taking themed photos every single day of quarantine

Every day is something different.

Shaye Weaver

New York City couple, Spenser Mestel and Krishnanand Kelkar, have lived many, many lives in their 74 days of quarantine.

The 31-year-old journalist and 27-year-old data scientist created "Quaranteam Diaries," a collection of themed photos they upload to Twitter and Instagram daily. Some are on the "real life" side, such as their "Quarantine Haircuts" photos, but some are crazy imaginative, like their take on Titanic with Kelkar as a stoic Rose on the door and Mestel as a tragically frozen Jack.

Their photos span genres, from film, music and video games references to whimsical takes on personalities and types of people.

A magic trick

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Quarantine Diaries Day 59: Abra! Kadabra! Alakazam!

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Quarantine diaries Day 19: #Thieves

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Super Mario Bros.


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Quarantine Diaries Day 44: Super Mario Bros

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Quarantine Diaries Day 53: #Ghosts happily ever after

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One thing is clear through all of their photos—they have fun together, but they have clear differences, which can been seen in their Swiftie / Bey Hive photo.

"If you look at my Swiftie sign, it's kind of a mess," Mestal told us. "The letters are jagged and mis-sized, and there's tape everywhere to cover up my mistakes. On the other hand, Kris' has three kinds of lettering, the penmanship is flawless, and he's even got a little bee buzzing at the end of the word 'Bey.' When it comes to execution, he's incredibly diligent, thorough, and patient, whereas I'm typically focused more on the drama: What's the story? Where's the tension?"

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Quarantine Diaries Day 38: #Stans (Inspired by swifties and the bey hive at the MTV VMAs 2009 probably)

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"For that reason, I often over-complicate our ideas. When Kris said he wanted to do video games, I was like, 'Okay, so I'll end up throwing this glass of water in your face, and...' And he's like, 'No, we can just be playing MarioKart.'

"Kris is good at predicting which photos will do well, probably because he remembers that people like things they can relate to," he added. "I'm horrible at predicting. I thought our Olympic gymnastics GIF was gonna break the internet (it didn't) and that we'd get a lukewarm response to our Jaws photo, which was actually one of our most popular."

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Quarantine Diaries Day 49: Jaws 🦈

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The duo lives in a one-bedroom apartment with "pretty modest wardrobes," so they've had to get creative. Sometimes they'll take ideas from their followers, who pitch ideas like ET, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Mother's Day, but other times they have to lean on their own fantasies, Mestel said.

"People have DMed us really ambitious ideas (Game of Thrones, astrological signs, Heidi and Tim Gunn, Met Gala, Devil Wears Prada, board games, Moulin Rouge, tandem sky diving), but how do you pull those off with cardboard, tape, and the clothes in your closet?"

"Kris and I were both missing the gym, so we did one where I coach him through 'breaking the world record in deadlift,'" he continued. "For me, that's the perfect quarantine photo. On one hand, it's dumb and campy. On the other, it's a way for me to tag my gym and my coach and remember that this (hopefully) isn't permanent."

Props have been a saving grace for the couple—around the 20th day, they ordered construction paper so they could make them. Around day 50, Mestel rode his bike to a friend's apartment in Williamsburg to borrow his sanitized wig collection, which his friend dropped down out of his window. That allowed Quaranteam Diaries to do "glam rockers" and "bachelorette party."

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Quarantine Diaries Day 65: Bachelorette Party!! 💍

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Mestel also recommends—for those who want to do their own quar pics—to keep them light and uncomplicated.

"You can tell a pretty interesting story with a few props, but I'd also recommend keeping your concepts simple," he said. "Thankfully, we already had a fun costume for our magic trick photo, which is my personal favorite, but I think that one worked well mostly because it had a very clear story and a surprise ending."

"Ultimately, these posts are an escape for us and hopefully for the people who follow us," he said.

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