The Jumping Project group says they draw their vision from the pioneer of the jumping portrait, Philippe Halsman. Halsman was one of the most famous portrait photographers of the 20th Century and his work graced the covers and insides of Look, Esquire, the Saturday Evening Post, Paris Match, and especially Life.
He once explained his “jumpology” by saying that “When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears.“. I was pretty surprised to learn from this Smithsonian article on Halsman that:
This odd idiom was born in 1952, Halsman said, after an arduous session photographing the Ford automobile family to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary. As he relaxed with a drink offered by Mrs. Edsel Ford, the photographer was shocked to hear himself asking one of the grandest of Grosse Pointe’s grande dames if she would jump for his camera. “With my high heels?” she asked. But she gave it a try, unshod – after which her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Henry Ford II, wanted to jump too.
For the next six years, Halsman ended his portrait sessions by asking sitters to jump. It is a tribute to his powers of persuasion that Richard Nixon, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Judge Learned Hand (in his mid-80s at the time) and other figures not known for spontaneity could be talked into rising to the challenge of…well, rising to the challenge.
Might as well JUMP!