Philippe Halsman was a renowned portrait photographer who was particularly active in the 40s, 50s, and 60s and most famous for his iconic photos of Salvador Dali and Albert Einstein. For a period in the 1950s, Halsman ended his portrait shoots by asking his famous subjects to jump. The results were disarming.
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.
Halsman got all sorts of people to jump for his camera: Richard Nixon (above), Robert Oppenheimer, Marilyn Monroe (above), Aldous Huxley, Audrey Hepburn (above), Brigitte Bardot, and the Duke & Duchess of Windsor (above). He collected all his jump photos into the recently re-released Philippe Halsman’s Jump Book.
Repost from kottke.org
First off, kottke.org is just a great resource for fun information so thanks to kottke for yet another inspiration/stolen post!
Second, what's so great about these pictures is the "other side" of those being photographed - the "real person." Everyone has a child inside, often hidden and suppressed by expectations, judgements, and "maturity." Jumping seems to be the key to unlocking the cage. If only for a little while.
Thanks Philippe Halsman for the great photos!