The Fstoppers Daily Diary While Quarantined in Puerto Rico

Like much of the world, Lee and I have found ourselves in mandatory lockdown in our home. During this uncertain time, we thought it would be interesting to record our thoughts, experience, and predictions in a daily diary that we can reflect on years from now. We welcome you to our Coronavirus Journal.

More than a week ago, the governor of Puerto Rico issued an island-wide curfew from 9 pm to 5 am every day and told all of us we were not to leave our homes, or else we'd face a $5000 fine and/or potential jail time. Just two hours later, that curfew was upgraded to a full 24/7 mandatory lockdown that prevented us from leaving our homes at all unless we were buying food, medicine, or needing to visit the bank. Needless to say, this mandatory quarantine put a big damper on our normal photography-related work. 

For the first few days, like many of you might be experiencing now, Lee and I basically did nothing but watch the news and slowly started to sink into a depressing state of paranoia. We literally did nothing for the first 48 hours. As we settled into the third day of our 14-day house arrest, we decided to get off the couch and be productive. As we brainstormed ideas, we decided it could be interesting to document the ever-changing world caused by the novel coronavirus sweeping across the globe and record some sort of diary that we could reflect on years or even decades from now.

What would happen during these early stages of this horrible outbreak in America? Would millions of people die? Could our entire economic world collapse? Would governments around the world implement radical laws and measures as they tried to fix the panic and fear building among their citizens? How would we navigate our own financial worries, protect our businesses, and look after our mental health during such a scary time? And perhaps the most interesting question would ultimately be "did we as a society overreact to the largest pandemic in modern history or did we take the necessary steps to lead our panicking world to a place of future prosperity?"

Episode 1: Lockdown in Puerto Rico

Obviously, this diary we are creating on the Fstoppers YouTube Channel is not the normal photography content our readers have come to love. We are currently experiencing day nine of our quarantine and have filmed six episodes (which you can watch on this playlist). I'm honestly not sure what will ultimately happen throughout this process, but so far, it has been an interesting journey in the short week we have been producing these videos and conversations. Nothing is scripted, everything is honest fears and worries, and I'm sure we are bound to cover a lot of topics. 

Episode 6: How to Prepare for Your Future

Last night, on March 23rd, we filmed perhaps our most uplifting conversation, as we talked about how people can and should start spending their time in quarantine, working through what their career aspirations are and how to begin planning for a life free of corporate employment. Maybe you are already a full-time photographer or videographer, but maybe you are only working part-time and are scared about your financial future. Hopefully, these open conversations about how we transitioned from part-time photographers to full-time photographers will not only ease your mind but also inspire you to work towards the future you want for yourself. 

At the moment, I'm a little worried that this 14-day quarantine is going to be extended even longer as we shelter ourselves from the SARS Cov-2 virus. Hopefully we can find a way to bring guests in on these conversations and explore some of these topics with other entrepreneurs and friends in the photography world. In the end, Lee and I are creating this journal for ourselves, but we are quickly getting a lot of feedback that people are not only enjoying these conversations but that it has actually been therapeutic in some ways, as we all try to find comfort during these uncertain times. 

Stay safe, everyone. Wash those hands and cover your coughs, and hopefully, we can end this horrible pandemic together even as we remain quarantined alone. 

Log in or register to post comments


Andrew Johnson's picture

I love these, I've been watching them everyday you guys post one. It would be cool to see you guys make an action film using nerf guns in the house that is wildly over produced or like a mission impossible video for the secret toilet paper. Something goofy just to have some good old fashion childish fun which we tend to lose when we get older. Thanks for the content guys

Andrew Johnson's picture

Or a spot the difference challenge using photos. You guys could each take a photo of a room and then have time to move things around, add stuff, or remove other items and then take another photo and the other person has 60 seconds to find all the differences from comparing the photos. Loser has to do a tiktoc dance while wearing everything piece of clothing they own.

Francisco Hernandez's picture

Hey guys, during this downtime you can look up Godox products. Lots of misinformation you've shared over the years.

Patrick Hall's picture

What specifically? We have some godox gear here and have always done fair comparisons. What do you feel has been misinformation?

Teresa Oldenbourg's picture

Nah, can you do a stuck at home challenge? Only photos taken during the quarantine. Show what you can do stuck at home :)

Matthew Lacy's picture

I'd be up for that. It would be interesting to see what the community could come up with.

Dan Grayum's picture

Should be the next CTC

Francisco Hernandez's picture

1) Metered comparisons without making distinctions in bulb styles that affect results.
2) Saying B10 has a larger capacity battery than AD400 Pro.
3) Saying you can drip charge Godox batteries while using them (still on your site today despite being corrected all over the web).
4) Ignoring existence of support in the US.

Mutley Dastardly's picture

Isn't it time to play with some gear? Do some tests? Maybe you could destroy some broken equipment by opening it up? I have some old projector lenses - if you want to do something with that let me know. What can i do with them???
We want fun - no Trump-alike stories... Listen to the scientists of the CDC.
We do in Belgium and it's not good - but it could be worse. We have no complete lockdown - but it's not great either.

LA M's picture

Yup. Wish they would stick to photo/video and quit the fear monger/speculation and amplifying wild stories.

Andrew Johnson's picture

You apparently glazed over the several times they address this is the videos... If you don't like these then don't watch them when they are uploaded. Common sense is clearly not that common.

LA M's picture

I’ve watched every singe one. But ya...if someone doesn’t see it you’re way attack. Idiot.

Andrew Johnson's picture

lol ignores my point... shocking.

Patrick Hall's picture

How can we play with new gear when so many businesses are closed and we can’t even leave our home?

Pedro Pulido's picture

Your insights on Covid-19 have been very interesting to follow since day one. I wouldn't change a thing. I don't care that it's not all photography related all the time. I hope you keep the format the same.
This will also be very interesting to watch in a decade or so!

Keep it up!

Catherine Bowlene's picture

Interesting, thanks. I support people talking about an action film, this would be quite a thing to watch!

Douglas Turney's picture

Has anyone noticed any information in the US stimulus packages that addresses the self employed? I see things for big businesses, and also for small businesses, but most of the small business stuff is related to employees of small businesses. Most of us are self employed so what help is out there for us? Lee and Patrick have you heard anything about any support for the owners of small businesses?

Patrick Hall's picture

Not totally sure but this article from today mentions it. They say self employed workers are eligible to $600 in federal support which is pretty awful if other W2 workers are getting up to $1200. USA Today has a calculation you can make to find out how much you would make:

W B's picture

"a little worried that this 14-day quarantine is going to be extended even longer" haha DUDE!!