Capturing the beauty of the human spirit in mid air around the world. A co-creative adventure focusing on the positive shift of attention to a perspective to joy.
Photographer, entrepreneur, avid traveler Eyoälha Baker speaks about creating a universal shift towards joy.
What inspired you to create Jump for Joy! Photo Project?
I have always been an optimistic and positive person. I believe in the power of our thoughts and that our perception of life, what we believe to be true and how we choose to see the world becomes our reality. For many years I have noticed that news casts, and media tend to report primarily negative and fear based news stories. I recognize that there are many horrific and terrible things occurring in the world that need to be acknowledged. At the same time, there are also incredible stories, inspiring people and amazing occurrences happening every day, yet these good feeling events rarely become front page stories.
I want to feel good, so I choose to direct my intent and focus my thoughts on the good that is happening in the world. I believe that the more we create a collective shift in our perception in our every day lives by choosing to focus on joy, positivity, making life fun and supporting people to succeed, the more of this we will experience in our own lives. I am not by any means suggesting to deny or ignore the devastation that continues to take place every day, only to shift the way we feel about it and were we choose to direct our energy. There is always a positive way to view every situation, even the heart breaking ones.
This is why I decided to create Jump for Joy! Photo Project with a focus on joy, positivity, inspiration and lifting people up. I came up with the concept by making a dream list of all the things that inspire and bring me joy in my life. This list included: Travel, photography, meeting unique, interesting, creative and talented people who are risking it all to follow their dreams, to be inspired everyday, to play and have fun, to laugh, I love taking and doing jumping photos, creating and co-creating with others, I love to post photos on-line, I love inspiring quotes and supporting others to feel and express their own creativity and joy. The combination of these things became the foundation for Jump for Joy! Photo Project. My goal is to create a book with 1000 photos of people jumping for joy around the world and several art shows with a select few of the best images.
A big part of this project is meeting and learning from interesting and creative people who are inspired and following own dreams, so I love my weekly newsletter which features different participants every week. I have always been a big supporter of anyone who is courageous enough to take a risk and follow their dreams and live authentically and passionately. I am inspired by every person who agrees to put themselves in front of my camera and express themselves by jumping for joy with me. My newsletter gives them a voice to share their own inspirations and to talk about their work and innovative projects etc. I feel that as my project grows, I can give more exposure to these amazing people doing interesting and inspiring work.
And of course, I love the jump photo shoots. I love capturing the essence of the moment as people express their joy, leaping through the air. In this split second, we are spontaneously co-creating joyful art. The beautiful aspect of sharing this feeling with others on my blog then perpetuates this feeling and experience to others.
Jumping for joy is incredibly invigorating and energizing. The mere physical act itself activates energy and adrenalin that flow through your body. The action of lifting yourself up into the air is symbolic in itself, you are reaching higher, feeling lighter and expressing yourself. It is an opportunity to play and create. It is a freeing feeling, I have had few people have told me that they are uncomfortable in front of the camera or that they cant jump very high… and after just a few jumps they forget about the camera and just have fun. It is almost impossible not to feel good after jumping around and laughing. If you do a little research you will find that it is also good for your heath which is an added bonus.
What have been your greatest challenges?
I have been faced with many, many challenges along the way which have all turned out to be wonderful life lessons. One week after deciding to create this project, I sprained my ankle very badly and was unable to walk for almost two months (yes, I did sprain it doing a jumping self-portrait). This was an incredible lesson on patience, asking for help, and turning a situation from a discouraging set back into a creative and productive use of my time. It was during this period that I created my blog and clarified my vision and goals for the project. The greatest challenge by far, however, has been raising the funds to complete the project which is still a work in progress. I have not let the lack of financing throw me off course, as challenging as it has been at times. I have been incredibly blessed and humbled to have many people who believe in me and what I am doing who have made donations, provided me with room and board, and been endlessly supportive. This kind treatment and support has expanded my heart and created the most profound gratitude and desire to give back that I have ever experienced. Such a valuable learning opportunity.
How can people get involved?
On a personal level, focus on feeling joy and positivity in your own life. Take notice of how you view the world. When you find yourself complaining or feeling negative about life, take a step back and try to view the situation from a positive perspective. Go out and do some jumping photos yourself one day, its energizing and feels good. I have started a facebook page for anyone who would like to share their own jumping photos and would love to see yours there: https://www.facebook.com/JumpForJoyPhotoProject and of course, I would love to have you follow along my jump for joy journey so stop by my blog anytime to feel uplifted: www.jumpforjoyphotoproject.com
I had Eyoälha send this to me to post. She had sent me something to check out her site and I get so much that I rarely get a chance to check too much out, but she was different. She was direct, not pushy, just confident and inviting.
I really liked her site. You need to check out the pictures she has been sent by others. First go to her blog to check out the jump of the day at www.jumpforjoyphotoproject.com. The photos are uplifting and full of life. Amazing…. There is this simple idea that she is taking to a very cool level. She is growing fast and as she starts to travel; I believe she will just blow up! Become part of her community early… You will thank me later…. Just sayin.
If you send her a picture she posts, let me know and I will try to reblog it here.
Eyoälha thanks for giving us this gift and thanks for our wonderful phone conversations. Check out what she is up to. You just may get hooked in JOY. – JW
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