"I was motivated by a genuine curiosity. After all, life has taught us to control and disguise our facial expressions, but it has not taught us to control our jumps. I wanted to see famous people reveal in a jump their ambition or their lack of it, their self-importance or their insecurity, and many other traits." –Philippe Halsman
Monica Rich Kosann received her first Rollei camera at the age of sixteen. She quickly began taking art-quality photos and never looked back.
One photographer she is inspired by is Philippe Halsman. Philippe Halsman began taking photographs at the age of fifteen after discovering his father's old view-camera in his attic. By his late 20's he gained a reputation for one of the best portrait photographers in France. During his 30's, after moving to New York City as a refugee from World War II, he quickly made his name in the US. Monica loves Philippe's philosophy on jumping. Philippe explains it perfectly in his Jump Book,, "I recognized that jumps also had a therapeutic value. When my sitters were self-conscious and tense, I asked them to jump. The mask fell. They became less inhibited, more relaxed - i.e., more photogenic."
While photographing her clients, Monica asks them to jump. Featured below are a few of Monica's jumping photos.
In Philippe Halsman's Jump Book, that was recently put back into print, he recalls his inspiration that started his infamous jumping photography. He was commissioned to photograph the Ford family and after a grueling family portrait sitting, he was inspired to bring life back into the mix. He asked Mrs. Edsel Ford if he could photograph her jumping and after she jumped a few times, Mrs. Henry Ford asked Philippe if she could be photographed jumping as well. Philippe explains "This was the turning point in my hard road to jumpology. My inhibitions disappeared and were replaced by faith. I realized that deep underneath people wanted to jump and considered jumping fun. From that moment, every time i photographed important people, I asked them to jump." This exquisite book features 197 jumps by some of the most prominent people of our society. Featured below are a few highlights from the book.
Next time you find yourself taking a photo, consider jumping and see what it reveals.