What most people don't realize is that I have people staring at me or giving me weird looks in 80% of my levitation pictures. They're just not always shown in my instagram crops. I actually have a whole folder full of pictures that have captured weirded out and startled expressions of those that witness my levitation. I've been saving them for a rainy day, but I thought I'd share a few in this post.
So I think people have a pretty good reason to stare. Even if you know what I'm doing, it's a spectacle. And if you don't have any context...well it looks kind of insane. People sometimes ask me if I'm exercising. I guess I am...indirectly. I generally take 20-30 shots per location...so I think the 20-30 jumps plus the running back and forth keeps me fit.
When I take pictures on stairs, this involves a lot of climbing stairs in a hurry before jumping at just the right spot.
And for pictures like the following, I know it looks like I'm teeny-tiny and very far away...and that's because I am. I run as far as I can in the allotted 10-second self-timer.
Some people ask if I need any help in taking the pictures, and while I appreciate the thought I usually turn them down. Once I was taking pictures next to the road and a guy stopped at the light asked me if he wanted me to take the picture. I had this sudden vision of him grabbing my camera and driving off into the sunset while laughing maniacally, so I declined. I'm sure he had the purest of intentions though. Maybe.
My initial goal was to showcase Seattle in my levitation shots -- meaning that I took pictures at usual famous locales from Pike Place Market to the Fremont Troll...But as I continued, I also wanted to have pictures of Seattle that would be familiar to locals, but not necessarily recognizable to tourists.
What has become a big part of this, of course, are the cafés of Seattle. I've taken levitation pictures at over 30 different cafés in the Pacific Northwest so far. I feel like coffee and cafés are integral to the Seattle culture. Plus, I love coffee...so it's natural to combine them with my hovering adventures.
However, taking pictures in cafés is more challenging than an average levitation shot. I don't have control over lighting or space, there are people constantly bustling about, and a lot of people are in intimate conversations or studying and don't appreciate someone jumping around them to take pictures. Understandably.
This might be part of the reason why I have a bit of a guilty conscience when I attempt pictures in shops. Yesterday while I was taking pictures at Neptune Coffee, one of the baristas came over to ask what I was doing. I flinched and immediately blurted out: "Oh I can stop right away!" ...but she was just curious about what I was doing right in front of the counter.
Consequently, I always buy coffee in the cafés I patronize since I feel like I'm bothering them. Once I start my floating shenanigans, I'm sure it dawns on the baristas why I tipped a little extra.
This is always a bit disappointing (especially since by this point I've already embarrassed myself), but it's completely within their prerogative and 100% justified, especially since I'm worried I scare away customers for cafés sometimes. Once I was taking pictures on the second floor of Bauhaus Books and Coffee and while the place is usually bustling, a few times I heard/saw customers come up and take one long look at me jumping...before turning around to clamber back down the stairs. When I was finally packing up after finishing the pictures, I heard a couple come up the stairs with a startled exclamation of "Wow! This place is usually so busy! What happened?" I looked around the room and gave them a puzzled shrug.
In the meantime, you can find me on instagram @bungeejumpwithme.
Café Solstice - 4116 University Way NE, Seattle
Stumptown Coffee Roasters - 1115 12th Ave, Seattle
Ristretto Roasters - 2181 NW Nicolai St, Portland
Kaladi Brothers Coffee - 517 E Pike St, Seattle
Neptune Coffee - 8415 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle
Coava Coffee Roasters - 1300 SE Grand Ave, Portland
Bauhaus Books & Coffee - 301 E Pine Street (currently moved)
Heart Roasters - 2211 E Burnside St, Portland
Bakery Nouveau - 137 15th Ave E, Seattle
Zoka Coffee Roaster & Tea Co - 2200 56th St, Seattle