The History of the Diamond as an Engagement Ring

As Valentine's Day approaches and with it some very romantic proposals, I wondered why and when diamonds became popular as the stone for engagement rings.

The History of the Diamond as an Engagement Ring

A man presents his prospective bride with an engagement ring upon acceptance of his marriage proposal. Anthropologists believe this tradition originated from a Roman custom in which wives wore rings attached to small keys, indicating their husbands' ownership.
In 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring on record for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy. This sparked a trend for diamond rings among European aristocracy and nobility.
The sentimental Victorians popularized ornate engagement ring designs that mixed diamonds with other gemstones, precious metals and enamels. Often these rings were crafted in the shapes of flowers and were dubbed “posey rings.” Diamond rings crafted during the Edwardian era continued the tradition of pairing diamonds with other jewels, commonly mounted in filigree settings.
The opening of the DeBeers mines in Africa made diamonds more accessible. In the 1930s, when demand for diamond rings declined in the U.S. during hard economic times, the De Beers Company began an aggressive marketing campaign using photographs of glamorous movie stars swathed in diamonds. Within three years, the sales of diamonds had increased by 50 percent.
In 1947, De Beers launched its now classic slogan, "A Diamond is Forever." This campaign spurred even more sales. The implied durability of a diamond conveyed the meaning in the American psyche that marriage is forever. A diamond's purity and sparkle have now become symbols of the depth of a man's commitment to the woman he loves in practically all corners of the world.
Diamonds still signify the celebration of a union and cherished memory, though more cuts make more styles an easy option for diamond lovers.

The History of Popular Cuts
Over the years, the most popular cut for diamond engagement rings has always been the round brilliant, consisting of 58 facets that divide the stone into a top and bottom half. Runners up include the princess cut, the emerald cut and the oval cut, with the cushion cut quickly gaining popularity as a recent trend.

Read the story here from The American Gem Society

What Price On Professional Photography?

I read an interesting article recently from Rock N Roll Bride on thinking carefully about asking a friend or relative to take your wedding photographs.

Loads of good advice and it was good that the writer understands that not everyone can afford to employ a photographer at £2000 or to some people there are things of a much higher priority to spend their wedding budget on. I am of exactly the same opinion - spend the most and on the best you can afford on the parts that matter the most. Now the 'but' - but remember that at the end of the day the photographs will tell the story and show the detail of this momentous occasion. In years to come when hard drives have failed, smart phones have been lost - you will have a professional album full of memories altogether in one place.

I adore being a photographer and I invest time, effort and eagerness into everything I do. I love working with people and get so enthused about their wedding plans and how I can make their photographs a reflection of their personalities. That's what you want from your photographer - a person who is just as excited about your day as you are, who knows your style and can communicate this through fabulous images, professionally taken.

Of course - if your friend or relative is a professional wedding photographer then do please ask them to be your wedding photographer!

Have a read:

Photographer at Jones & Co Photography

Nostalgia Now and For The Future

A week-or-so ago there was a thing on Facebook called 'Way Back Week'. A lovely idea, where people dug out their old photographs and posted one as their profile picture for that week. What absolute fun, and a time consuming experience that was - rummaging through the packets of photographs, howling with laughter at our clothes, remembering important occasions and feeling sentimental about friends lost.

What struck me was that those packets of photographs came to quite an abrupt end at a period of my life. What happened? Did my parents no longer want to fill drawers of these moments in history, ready to be pulled out, ready to embarrass or reminisce at a moments notice? No, Mum was always ready to do that. So why? I have to say it was digital cameras, then smart phones. We no longer needed to print anything - all our memories were right there at a touch of a button, stored on hard drives, CDs, DVDs, USB sticks, in the cloud... This is genius, right?

I'm afraid I have to disagree somewhat. Outside of work, where everything I shoot is captured, stored and delivered digitally, I still love to print my photographs. I have albums stuffed with memories.The main reason I became a photographer was a bag of tiny photographs taken by my Grandfather during his years in the Royal Navy. Lots of ships, handsome young men in smart uniform, his monkey and guns, war and death. Just about every time I visited him I looked at these photographs, a single point in time preserved, that was it, the job for me. 

In years to come if Facebook or similar has another 'Way Back Week' - we will not have the photographs to look back at because in years to come our hard drives will have failed, our smart phones are no longer smart, children will laugh at us for talking about these old 'CD things' and we all are wondering just how exactly we are going to retrieve the images from a USB stick that we have nothing to plug it into anymore. And if we do manage to print something off - will we know who these people are? When it was taken and where it was? 

What I'm alluding to I suppose is that is so important to print your photographs, write on them where and when it was and importantly who the people are. We will always want look at albums of photographs of friends and family, galleries and museums should always be filled with historical photographs.

It just might inspire another youngster to become a photographer and keep on documenting life.

Inspirational Talk

Embracing Change

Ray Massey - Embracing Change
Ray Massey - Embracing Change
Last night we went to a really fascinating talk put on by the AOP, Association Of Photographers, from Ray Massey, a photographer of many years. He has a huge body of work and he let us into his (extremely tidy!) studio to talk to us about his successful career.

What I found most inspiring was his problem solving ways of shooting. We are all guilty of falling into the trap of - "we'll do it in post". Don't get me wrong - photoshop is a brilliant tool and has made my life easier and there are some absolutely superb retouchers out there whose talent blows me away, so not knocking that in any way. I just think we may have forgotten how to find a solution to shoot something in real life. We were shown some of his work from, I believe, the 70s where think had to be suspended by wires, stuck with glue, multiple exposures, masks made, etc - genius.

It was also reassuring to hear that this takes time. We are so often given a brief - that sounds like an amazing job - but the deadline is Friday, today is Tuesday. It would be great to be given that brief, problem solve, find a solution, create and build the solution and then shoot it. Maybe it's that our clients don't understand, they're under pressure too, we are keen to please our clients, our world has become too instant.

Ray showed us lots of personal work, interesting shoots involving liquids and movement with people. This ultimately lead to commissions.

Think harder, slow down, consider what you do, shoot for yourself. This is what I took from the evening, valuable advice.

Thank you to the AOP and Ray Massey.

Busy As A Bee!

I am most definitely alive!

If you were wondering where exactly I've been then I would love to say 'a long exotic holiday taking in fabulous scenery, relaxing and taking it easy'. Afraid not. We've been really rather busy which is fantastic, lots of lovely weddings, fun portrait shoots and some really interesting commercial shoots in the studio and out on location - one of which involved 16 dogs and 20 cats.....

When I have another free moment I will post some pics so you can tell I'm not telling fibs!


Love Is All Around Us!

Here at Jones and Co we are such a romantic bunch that we are offering all you lovers out there a special discount on your wedding photography!

Book with us by 28th February 2014 and you will receive 15% off the package price and if you book on Friday, Valentine's Day itself, one lucky couple will receive a 50% discount!

Makes me feel all mushy....