Oh, the "Jumping Picture"

Today’s Cup of Tea: Paris Black by Churchill's Fine Teas, Cincinnati. I love this tea--it is absolutely one of my top favorites. This morning, I took my time to make a perfect cup, with filtered water, at the right temperature, steeped for the right time. Pay attention to how you make your tea, it will always be worth the time. 

This post I originally wrote back in the spring of 2011. I happened across it while sorting through an old personal blog. The topic here is joy--a concept that has been on my mind this past week. And so, please enjoy a few thoughts on why I loved (and still love) the concept of the "jumping picture". 

Oh the jumping picture--you know, when everyone lines up, you count to three, and everyone hops into the air for a millisecond while someone else snaps a picture, just a fraction of a second to early or to late. Now you have a picture that either looks like everyone is stretching or desperately needing to use the restroom. But the moment you freeze the action--that one picture of every one's feet off the ground, hair flying in various directions, faces contorted into a concentrated grin--now, wasn't that picture worth the 523 tries?

An episode of The Office begins with the entire staff, outside, lining up for a group picture, when someone has the bright idea of everyone jumping! The humorous next few moments of failed attempts leads one character to ask the question--what is the point? So, what is the point of jumping pictures? Although many tend to dismiss these pictures as mere stupidity and a waste of time, I want to share with you the true genius of the jumping picture.

So where did jumping pictures begin? My mom once pointed out that those who were caught up in the whole High School Musical phase where the first to begin integrating the wonderful jumping picture into their own lives. Was this true? Well, after researching in my own personal photo archive, I found the first jumping picture to be back in August of 2007.

Perhaps it's time for me to admit--I loved High School Musical. Senior year, RA week, what was our favorite movie? That week was full of sayings like "We're all in this together!" and breaking out into random dance and song. This also lead to my first jumping picture:

Oh yes. Here we are! Nessa, Carrie and I attempting to jump with Laura capturing the action. Even though you could say this picture was a fail due to the fact that my foot is still on the ground, the fun we had while attempting this is what I remember--I remember laughing hysterically, jumping continuously, and feeling completely satisfied when we got the shot! Little did I know at the time: this was only the beginning.

So why have I come to love jumping pictures so much? Please, let me share with you....

Jumping pictures can capture the mood of an event, for example, senior year: we began the year with a jumping picture (above) and ended with one:

Sometimes, the attempts at capturing the jump turn out better than the final:

Jumping pictures are can be beautiful, especially when a someone who can making jumping look artful takes a flying leap:

Also, the nice thing about jumping pictures is that it's fun for every age:


They can be an attempt at flight:


And they can make time stand still:


These kinds of pictures can lead to some entertaining portraits:


And they can entertain not only the people involved in the picture, but those around them (please note the lady jumping behind us in this picture--no clue who that is):


I could go on and on with jumping pictures and why I enjoy them; however, it wasn't until last Friday that I realized why I enjoy them.As I was heading home for the weekend, I stopped at one of my favorite places. It was a gorgeous day and yet I was feeling considerably under-the-weather. The stress of school, combined with the lack of sleep had forced me down into a not-so-good place. While I was standing by my car on the side of the road, watching the windmills through my lens, I decided that I wanted a jumping picture.

So there I was: my camera delicately balanced on the trunk of my car as I pressed the timer, ran to my spot, and attempted to fling my body into the air at the exact moment the shutter clicked. I found there is something quite liberating about this routine--perhaps it's the fact that I knew I looked completely insane to the rest of the world (and was reminded of the fact when one car honk at me as they passed by); however, I think it has more to do with the fact that I got the picture that I wanted.

As I got back into my car, I realized that I felt different; I didn't feel as stressed or depressed as before. And at that moment, I remembered something that I had heard a pastor talk about once--something about leaping for joy. Luke 6:23 says to "rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven..." I don't know about you, but how many jumping pictures have you seen with people frowning? There is something about physically leaping that brings a smile to your face!

Do I still jump because I want be just like the kids in High School Musical? Hardly. But I know I will continue to take jumping pictures.

I don't know about, but in my life, I want a bit more joy.