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I prefer to be the person taking a photo rather than the camera’s subject. But over the years I’ve come to appreciate being in a few because otherwise I don’t exist as far as albums and my sister’s crafty calendars are concerned. Willingness, though, doesn’t change the fact that I’m one of the world’s worst posers for pictures. Candid shots are worse. Someone says “act natural” and I either sneer, go bug-eyed or one arm goes up like I’m chopping the the air.

All my sister asked for for her birthday was a good picture of us (and Muay Thai kickboxing classes, a tiered chocolate cake, Pad Thai dinner and so on). This request though was a tall order. It took a lot of concentration and because it was windy we wound up having to take quite a few and they still came out blurry but we don’t have great vision so this is how we see the world anyway.

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Now that that’s done, I’m retiring from posed photos. I don’t even want to know how to take a good picture. Screw it. Jumping is much more fun. Jumping puts all the pressure on the photographer to snap while you’re in the air. Plus you can’t help but smile when you’re jumping. Or at least trying to.

My sister and MoonPie have some work to do. They grasp the concept of jumping, but attempting to launch their bodies in the air is another story. Then you try to coordinate them… It’s a joy for me to watch until they get tired. Then the weird dance party begins.

I supply the tunes all by myself. Sounds like: 1, 2, 3, JUMP! You didn’t jump. Why didn’t you jump? You both have to jump at the same time. 1, 2, 3, JUMP! No! Higher. Again. 1, 2, 3, JUMP! Why is this so hard?

Turns out jumping photo sessions are a good workout. My old step instructor would be proud. Remember step classes? She was a “Woooo!” girl who kept the class going for a full hour without pause. It took me forever to realize if I wanted water I just had to stop and get some.

I guess now those years of torture cardio classes are paying off because so far I out jump everyone, and by “everyone” I mean the two people above. Then again, maybe they’re just faster on the trigger when it’s my turn to jump. That would make the one below a win-win-win as our feet are off the ground, all of them. So what if it’s blurry and the wind makes my hand and legs look disappeared?

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Raising your arms and kicking up your feet helps. As does a strong espresso and slice of chocolate cake prior.

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