Thursday, February 4, 2010

We're Spilling the Jumping Beans.

Here it is, my jump-happy friends: A tutorial on how to take a jumping self portrait! Aren't you excited? I bet you're jumping with joy: Now, just keep jumping, grab that camera & you're all set!

I am TOTALLY honored to be partnering in this hip-hip-happy tutorial with fellow Jumping Queen, Jessica, a.k.a. jek-in-the-box, who is all things superb, crafty, adorable & lovely in every way.

So, let's get to it...Here's all we think you need to know about taking a jumping portriat...
The (Han)Solo Jump:
Jumping by yourself is definitely much easier than jumping with other people.
First, find a spot to jump. Scan for a dandy backdrop & a place to set your camera. You can set your camera on the ground or up higher, like on a bench or something. Look through your viewfinder to make sure you'll have enough space to jump. Keep scootin' your camera back until you're pretty sure your whole jumping body will be framed in the picture. Of course, headless shots are quite nifty too! And even jumpy feet shots!

Now it's time to jump.

The Self Timer Is Your B.F.F.
A timer is essential if there is no one around to take the picture for you. Most cameras come equipped with a self-timer. But, you'll have to really practice & get the feel for your timer.
After you've framed up your shot & see where you need to stand, set the self-timer & push the button on the camera & then run to your spot & prepare to jump. Usually cameras have a series of beeps &/or flashes right before the camera takes the picture. Learn to watch for the flickering lights or listen for the beeps & practice jumping at the precise moment before the camera takes your photo. It will take some time to sharpen those self-timer skills, so don't get disheartened!

Up, Up, & Away!
No, it's not some secret superpower that launches you to great heights, but simply a wee bit of camera trickery to help aid in your jumpy launches. Setting the camera lower & slightly tilting it up gives the appearance that you are actually jumping higher.
To get even MORE height, you can start your jump from higher up: stand on a bench, a stool, etc.
Once you've got your jumping scene all mapped out, & your self-timer is set, press the shutter release button on your camera & then quickly run to your starting position. Crouch down.....wait.....JUMP!
If you jump too late, you get a picture of you landing. If you jump too soon, you'll get a shot of takeoff. Neither of which is very pretty. (But those shots sure can make for some great giggles later on!)

A Catapaulting Clan
A jumping shot with a friend or GROUP of friends is an adventure in itself. The more people you have trying to jump all at the same time, the harder it is. But, the more HILARIOUS it is too! Good times all around & up & down.
If you're familiar with the way your camera works & feel comfortable enough with the self-timer then you're gonna set up the camera for a goup photo the same way you would for a solo shot. But, you'll also have to shout "1-2-3-JUMP!" so everyone knows {&hears!} exactly when to jump. Jump on the word "JUMP". To make it easier, have everyone already in a crouching position ready to catapault on cue.

Keeping fit while taking photos? You better believe it. You might jump several times before you get a pleasing shot. All that running & crouching & waiting & leaping & jumping & running again is a workout!

 Simon says: "JUMP!"
Now, snapping photos of OTHER people is much easier. Let them do all the work while your lovely little finger rests so patiently on the shutter release button. Watch, as, back-n-forth-n-back-n-forth-n-back-n-forth they go, jumping, until you decide the perfect hoppy shot has been got. And even if you get the perfect shot right away, it's still fun to watch them go back-n-forth-n-back-n-forth-n-back-n-forth.....(They'll never know!)

The Bounding Beauty
Yes, jumping is super fun, but we also wanna look cute. So, here's some tips for looking like a lovely leaper.

1. Make sure your shirt is tucked in.

2. If you're wearing a skirt or dress, at least put on some knickers you don't mind flashing.

2. If you aren't gifted in the chin area, tilt that head up & drop your shoulders.

3. Work on your jumping smile.

4. When you jump, if you throw your arms up you look higher.

5. If you tuck your legs up while jumping it gives the impression that you've cleared a lot of air.

6. Experiment with different arm & leg poses.

Extra Jump-tastic Stuff:

*Do you know who started all this jumping photo madness? Philippe Halsman. Just LOOK HERE at some of the famous people he got to jump for him on camera.

*To see Jek's Flickr jumping photo set click HERE.

*For a quick little video of a jumping shot in action click HERE.

*To see Nik's Flickr jumping photo set click HERE.

Now go rocket-launch yourself to fantastic jumpy heights!!
by Nik & Jek


  1. Love it! Thank you soooo much! I figured setting the camera up somewhere and a timer were involved, but it seems a lot less daunting now. I have coveted jumpy photos for...forever. You. Are. Awesome.

  2. Cute post!

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    Yay! Congratulations on your award!!

    Have a happy day!


  3. double whee! who knows, maybe this year we can pull off a jumping shot together! :)

  4. Jek-- that would be amazin' & terrific!! I was gonna say, if you & the mr. made nebraska one of the stops on yer upcoming adventures that would be neato!!!

  5. it's 82 degrees here and i'm wearing a skirt! at least i'm getting some exercise lol. too much fun - i'm gonna post about it - watch for the link back! i'm sure i've already left a comment on this post??? :)

  6. I so want to try a jumpy picture but didn't want to steal your thunder. Now I feel I have permission to go forward and jump until my heart is content. Thank both Nikki for the great jumpy advice and I can't wait to try one. :-)


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