Treasure Chest Thursday: Let the Artifacts Tell A Story

I would love to share with you more tips on being a better photographer by knowing which settings to use for which occasions. However, today, I'm taking a detour of sorts. When we have awesome treasures, we should let them tell their own story so we don't have to. We can do that with photography.

So here's the story. When I became engaged to my husband, there was no ring involved initially. Call me crazy if you want, but I didn't need a ring at that time. So, here we are engaged without a ring to show for it. My darling had plans to cover that in a few months. In the meantime, I received a package in the mail. Inside a small box was this ring.

Photographing Family Heirlooms
Can you guess what this is?
Isn't this every woman's dream? There was a cute note inside from my future mother-in-law. Before I show you this note, I have to tell you want this is, in case you're wondering. It's a prairie diamond, or at least that's what it is billed as. These cute nails bent in the shape of rings are passed out when you visit the historical village of Nauvoo, Illinois. My mother-in-law told me that the prairie diamonds were good enough for pioneer women when they had to make a lot of sacrifices, or something like that.

In any case, my sweet future mother-in-law knew it would be a few months until I had a gold ring on my finger. She also had intiution enough to know that I'd like something to say I was engaged by. She gave me something cute and hoped I'd like it. Well, I liked it so much I've saved the box it came in, the note that came with it and the ring all these years.

So... now that you know the story, does that prairie diamond photo tell the story of my future mother-in-law? Nope. So... here's the note and the box that the ring came in.

Using photography to tell a family story
The sweet note my future mother-in-law sent me after I was engaged
Now... the note is legible. You can see the blue box that is a trademark color for Tiffany's but beside the note, you wouldn't know that it was from Tiffany's. And the ring is poking out underneath the note. Eh. This isn't that great. Besides, the white backdrop wasn't working.

So I switched the arrangement of the key elements in this story... the note, the box and the ring. I swapped the white background for a black background and tried again.

Using photos to tell a family story
I love the ring and the box, but without the note, the story is half told.
I liked this arrangement of the ring inside the box with the Tiffany & Co logo on the lid. Now we know the box is from Tiffany's. If we saw the note, it will now fully make sense. Imagine an engaged young woman, opening a box from Tiffany's. She lifts the lid and finds a note from her future mother-in-law. Then she lifts the note and sees the ring. Now she'll either think her fiance's mom is wacky or really sweet. (I vote sweet.)

Using photos to tell a family story
Using photos to tell a family story
Perfect. All the elements are arranged so that each carries the story of the prairie diamond. Yes I wore this ring until my engagement ring was presented by my now husband of quite a few years.

Oh... and I popped the levels in PhotoShop Elements. Now I have the perfect picture for the wonderful story about my wonderful mother-in-law.

Who doesn't want something from Tiffany's?


  1. This is so sweet! Glad I read it. Please continue to write more.

    1. Thank you for the support. I shall do my best to fulfill your request.

  2. That's a neat story! Thanks for sharing it!


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