Monthly Archives: April 2016

Final Project

For the final project, I would like to base my photographs off of the story, Birdie Num-Num by Lavanya Sankaran. This story is about Tara Srinivasan, her mother, and their very different point of views regarding Tara’s future. While Tara is visiting her parents in Bangalore, India, she is focused on completing her PhD. Her mother, however, has other plans for her. Tara is now 27 years old and she doesn’t even have a significant other in her life. Since Tara has no intention of fulfilling her mother’s wishes and getting married anytime soon, Mrs. Srinivasan takes matters into her own hands. Mrs. Srinivasan plans a cocktail party to market her daughter to potential buyers, which she refused to admit to Tara, claiming it was just a warm homecoming party in her honor. All of Mrs. Srinivasan’s friends had grandchildren, she was the only one without grandchildren and an unwed daughter. Whatever selfish reasons Tara had for not wanting to get married, she had to realize that none of that no longer mattered. More than enough time had passed, it was her duty and obligation as a daughter to give her mother what she wanted most – grandchildren. This was the way it had always been, it was all Mrs. Srinivasan knew – it was all part of the social contract.¬†¬†

“Birdie Num-Num” is an ideal representation of parental expectations, traditional gender roles, and perhaps most importantly – societal pressures. For each photo shoot, I would like my subject to represent the point of views of both Tara and her mother.


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1) The mood of the first photo shoot is bright, happy, colorful, typical of a wedding. The second photo shoot is more serious since it represents Tara’s focus on completing her thesis for her PhD and what she would rather be doing.

2) Both of my approach is pretty literal instead of metaphorical because it is easy to interpret.

3) My approach will be a still life. I would prefer if my pictures had a sense of mystery to them. By not having models in my photographs, I think it makes viewers wonder whether not someone is getting married or whether or not someone is making use of these books and studying.

4) Not Applicable

5) For the first week, I plan on photographing bangles and a shawl, two very important items in an Indian wedding, in order to represent Mrs. Srinivasan’s point of view. The next week, in order to represent Tara, I would like to photograph a stack of books and maybe a wine glass.

6) I would prefer to use brighter, even lighting for the first shoot. For the second shoot, I would like the lighting to be a little more moody.

7) I’d like both photo shoots to be shallow depth of field.



Final Project

For the final project, I want to use the article “How an Ad Campaign Invented the Diamond Engagement Ring” (read here).¬†The article talks about how in the late 1930s, the practice of giving a diamond engagement ring was on a slow rise and De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd. wanted to get more people excited about diamonds so they hired N.W. Ayer, a New York based ad agency to build a campaign that would popularize the sale of¬†diamonds. The campaign coined the phrase¬†“a diamond is forever,” and sold people the idea that diamonds were ” symbols of indestructible love.”¬†This strategy proved¬†insanely successful for De Beers. As the article says, “Between 1939 and 1979, De Beers’s wholesale diamond sales in the United States increased from $23 million to $2.1 billion.” Today, it’s commonplace to propose with a (huge) diamond and many women aren’t satisfied with anything less than amazing. It’s interesting to see that there is such importance placed on a piece of jewelry¬†and it all started with an advertising campaign.

The ideas I have in mind for the shoot are a close up of a ring itself (maybe in a box or on a table) to show it off, for a ring to be on someone’s finger (making it a little more personal/romantic), or a more humorous approach like a ring with a price tag or ad attached.


  1. The text is informational; the tone isn’t overly serious¬†and it’s very positive in the beginning when the author talks about his personal experience.
  2. My approaches are literal because¬†they both show an¬†engagement ring. The idea with the tag/ad¬†would be more literal than the other since it’s actually showing the reason/method N.W. Ayer made the original campaign while the other idea is more about the emotion or people associated with engagement.
  3. I think one still life approach is necessary because my main focus is the importance placed on the ring itself. One approach with people involved is also necessary to give the shot a little more personality and make it relatable.
  4. My models would be whoever is in my group if they’re willing. I don’t plan on using any faces in the photos, just arms/hands. I’ll need both a male and female participant.
  5. The object in each photo would be the ring. A price tag or a ring box may be included as well.
  6.  Both ideas need a good amount of light Рthe couple shot needs to be well lit and the ring shot needs enough light on the ring itself to show the detail but not in the overall photo.
  7. I want the photo with the people to resemble a shot that would be in engagement photos – very bright, soft, and optimistic but also romantic. For the ring by itself, it would be similar to food photography in terms of the shallow depth of field but I would want it to be darker and a little less optimistic.


Margie Warrell’s¬†article strongly encouraged her readers to have a “the glass is half full”¬†outlook on life.¬†Having an optimistic¬†point of view benefits your health, wealth, and relationships. This is why it is important to get out of bed every morning and face the day¬†with a positive mind set.

This photo shoot is all about portraying optimism and a lot of things signify happiness and positivity. Shooting against a light, bright background with even lighting and minimal or no shadows is going to be very important toward capturing the quality of optimism. The first thing I immediately thought of using as a prop were flowers in order to help reinforce the idea of happiness. Sunflowers are usually big, bold, and bright so I think that they will be the right match. Other possible props that would help to emphasize optimism are food dyes to  brightly color the liquid and maybe even fruit Рthe way healthy drinks usually are. After all, Warrell does conclude her article by saying that exercise is key for a happy, healthier lifestyle.