How to Capture The Best Jumping Shot

This guest post is written by Instagram photographerand the founder of @jumpoftheday Ido Simyoni (@ido8all). Keep reading for his photography tips on taking the best jumping photos, exclusively for the Kaplan International Colleges #jumptokaplan competition. For more information, please visit the competition page

Many people have been asking me about my secret tricks for jumping shots, and how they can make theirs better. I’ve decided that now is the best time to share 6 steps to get the best photo of people jumping, just in time for the  #jumptokaplan competition.

Step 1- The Jumpers

Just as you would for any photo, choosing who will be “the stars” of your shot is one of the most important steps. Make sure that your jumpers know how to jump and can jump at least 60cm into the air. I have met so many people who have asked me to capture them jumping, but when I ask them to do it, gravity works too well on them and they barely get off the ground.

If you really want your photo to tell a story, you should also pay attention to what your jumpers are wearing and if it has any relevance to what you want to portray. When participating in the #jumptokaplan, I would try to find something that reminds people of the destination that I want to visit. For example, if you want to go to Kaplan in New York, you might consider wearing an “I <3 NY” shirt.

Step 2 – Location, Location, Location

There are many great action shots of people jumping, but one detail that really makes a jumping photo stand out is the background.

Landscapes and the sky are always eye-catching, especially when you can create the effect that the people jumping are miniature in a big, wide space. However, I must admit that I have also seen many great pictures taken in the street that tell a story. For example, jumping in front of colourful graffiti might make for an even more interesting photo.

Step 3- The Jump

Legs up, hands to the side, legs spread, hands down, kicking, somersaults (for the advanced), punching, flying, head springs, falling, holding an umbrella, riding a broom, capturing a ball in the air - there are so many creative ways to jump and I am always surprised to see how creative people can be! You just need to find the one you like the best and deliver it in one shot.

Step 4 – It’s All About Timing

Timing is very important when taking jumping shots. Since movement can sometimes lead to blurry photos when using a phone camera, I would suggest taking a photo in full light, or at least the brightest you can get, so your jumpers will be sharp and clear. If you want jumping silhouettes, try in the sunset with the jumper facing the sun.

Since jumping happens quickly, always remember to take more than one photo and ask your jumpers to give you more than one jump until you get the jump you like the best.

Step 5 – The Angle

An easy trick to making the jump look higher is to capture the frame from a very low angle, or to crop the ground from the final shot. This can create the illusion that the jumper was jumping higher than he was.

You can also use other objects in the background to make a jump look higher. If it looks like the jumper is above an object, it can make the jump look more dramatic. Again, though, it’s all about where you shoot from. Try a few different angles.

Step 6 – Effects?!

I went through more than 1,000 photos apps to find the ones that I really like. My favorite is Snapseed, which you can use for everything from sharpening to color control to HDR drama effects and much more. Another great photo app, especially for light and colors changes, is PhotoFx. And if you want to go wilder with colors I would definitely suggest Vintique.

I hope these tips have given you the confidence to take some jumping photos! Don’t forget to post the best of your photos on Instagram with the caption, “I want to jump to Kaplan in…” + the hashtag #jumptokaplan, so we all can see and enjoy your results.

Time to get jumping, don’t you think?

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