Norma Waterson and her daughter Eliza Carthy have a new recording called Gift. The evocative cover image, which I imagine to be of this mother and daughter duo, prominently and lovingly features jewelry.

Being a full-on music geek, my first thought for this blog was to gather examples of iconic album covers that feature jewelry front and center. But I think that would stifle an opportunity to ask myself smaller, more precious questions.

What makes this image emotionally powerful?

Does the jewelry elevate the intensity of the photo?

How large a role do the hands play?

What if the bracelets were reversed on the wearers?

What if both hands were youthful or both were elderly?

What if the bracelets were switched to an all vintage style or all contemporary one?

Is this a crop from a larger photo or is it an intentional close up?

Is the gripping gesture by the older hand one of support and guidance ?

Is the younger hand pulling away or drawing nearer?

What messages, subtle or overt, are passed from one generation to the next through jewelry?

What other tangible objects connect us to our ancestors?

While making their work, do jewelers ever think about next-generation wearers?

What does this image offer that tabletop jewelry photography does not?

Why isn’t jewelry photographed on the body more frequently?

Does photographing jewelry being worn dilute the presence of the maker?

How much can or should narrative be considered in model photography?

What are some of the ways in which jewelry is a gift?

Marthe & Sara Le Van, August 18, 2010

Please share your own questions and thoughts via the comment box below. Thanks!


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