Mirrors and Windows: Zales Jewelers by Bowen Ross

This series of images by Bowen Ross depicts loving couples in highly idealized versions of everyday life. While the subject matter in these photos is similar throughout, each image is quite different in style.

  • The lighting moves from a dramatic sidelight to strong backlight to diffused light.
  • The photos also range from a fairly low-key image (the food truck) to a high-key image (the snowman).
  • The figure/ground relationship shifts a bit throughout as well; in the snowman image, the couple appears almost swallowed up by the scene around them. The image in front of the house is zoomed in a bit more on the couple, followed by the laundromat, and the tightest shot of them is in front of the food truck.
  • The viewpoint also shifts throughout the images; we move from ever-so-slightly overhead to low-level to eye level.

While all of these elements are very different, what ties them together is the subject matter. The images presumably depict couples just after becoming engaged, or possibly simply declaring their love, via a piece of Zales jewelry, naturally! They are all in the process of doing everyday things: laundry, watering the lawn, building snowmen, getting a hot dog. It’s appropriate that the images are all different, because every couple is unique. Every couple wants to think that their love story is different from everyone else’s. I like the idea that even while performing the most mundane of tasks, one can still bring a sense of romance to even the most commonplace events.

Despite the fact that these sweet images depict familiar occurrences and activities, I think this campaign is more of a mirror than it is a window. True, we all perform similar activities to these, but I’m pretty sure that the last time I did laundry with my fiancé, we were not embracing passionately. For me, getting a hot dog has never looked quite this romantic. These images are aspirational; we can all hope that we have the type of loving relationship that can transform even the most boring chore into an outpouring of affection.


3 thoughts on “Mirrors and Windows: Zales Jewelers by Bowen Ross

  1. Khyriel Palmer

    I agree with you on the idea that this campaign is more of a mirror than a window because people in love don’t always showcase their love doing everyday activities. What you see is what you would hope to embrace in life.

    I like how you compared these designs to a Zales Jewelry piece saying that these are done naturally. Overall I love how you expressed and explained how this was a mirror instead or a window because when i first saw these images, I felt like they were windows until you explained why they are the opposite.

  2. Tera Cunningham

    I agree and like how you described the photos. They are definitely mirrors because they look like something out of a movie. I laughed a little when you talked about the laundry photo and your so right! I never seen anyone passionately loving one another while waiting for the rinse cycle but all in all your depiction is spot on.

  3. rmichals

    These are interesting photos because as you say they are highly artificial ordinary scenes. I think one of the agenda’s you didn’t mention is to position Zales. it’s not Tiffany. The underlying message is that a piece of Zales jewelry will transform your ordinary life but also that the jewelry is affordable.


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