#034 – Zoom In, Zoom Out, Repeat.

I just wrapped up recording an audio response to my strategist, continuing our conversation, and I was thinking after about how much I love this pattern I do in both my biz and my life where I zoom in and zoom out constantly.

What I mean:

I zoom out to find clarity, to pulse check different areas of my life + business, and to gauge the direction of my next right step. Then, I zoom in, do the work, distraction-free, shelf ideas, accomplish a few things, then zoom back out.

It’s a process I do over and over and we can do it every area of our lives.

I talked about this in episode 001 of IDP where I talk about how to reconnect to what matters most and I gave you a whole bunch of exercises you can do to help.

Lately, I’ve been focused on TPP and growing where that’s growing. I hired a strategist for this time around. This will be my 4thtime launching and man we did some big work. Not only did we work on the sales page and sales emails, which sounds so strategic and tactical, but we went really deep.

Internally, I feel better than before and I didn’t even know I could feel better than before when it comes to the value of this thing. I feel like I can communicate the value on a much deeper and more impactful scale than before.

So, this was me Zooming Out to get perspective (and bringing in someone for outside perspective) and then Zooming In to do the work. And it was this repeated process throughout the entire process working with Kyla.

That’s just one example.

I do this also in my life with where I’m at in my life. Episode 001 mentioned the book Living Forward. It talks about looking at your life in different categories, where you’re at, where you wanna be, and one thing you can do to bridge that gap. Doing this has been super impactful on my life – it’s literally what sparked my move to South Carolina.

It’s one thing to set goals and dream about what we want in our lives, but sometimes all of that feels so far away.

The best way for me to eat healthier, is NOT to restrict, but to add. Rather than saying, “I’m cutting out all the sugar, processed foods, and carbs,” this week I’m gonna have a lot of protein at dinner 3x a week. Or, I’m going to add a salad to my lunches this week. Things like that. THAT, for me, is much more sustainable.

It goes back to Zooming In and Zooming Out, because being Zoomed In is saying “I’m gonna eat healthier,” and you just go for it – you don’t really analyze or audit how it’s going or how you’re feeling along the way, which can easily lead you into giving up if it’s not going well.

Relationships you have – same thing. With where I’m at with SC, this was a result of basically spinning my wheels – like on a hamster wheel – in my life overall. I think sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and set these expectations that are so big – with an all or nothing mindset. 

I wanted to retire Dave, I wanted him home more PERIOD. He just has your average 9-5 (11 hour days) / 12 hr night shifts and I just wanted him home more. At first, I was working so hard on F&F with grit and ambition, thinking, “well I just need to elevate my income up so he can retire and we can afford insurance without his employer insurance.” But man, that was just a BIG, lofty thing. It’s kind of a big income to replace over night.

So, I looked at:

What IS in control that we CAN do to make our lifestyle closer to exactly what we want it to be?

My answer to that was: I’m my best version of “mom” when I get outside and get my kids outside.

When I can get outta the house. I work from home, so it’s so easy for me to be cooking a meal and thinking about this one thing I could’ve / should do this – it’s like your laptop becomes magnetic and then 3 hours later you’re like, “What just happened?” You get back into the zone, then your kids are done playing with whatever and need you, and you’re frustrated like, “But I’m in the middle of this and it’s so good right now, just give me 5 minutes!” And then they DON’T.

There was a lot of that happening.

So I asked myself, “Ok, in terms of how I’m showing up in my life, what’s the next best thing?”

For me, that was being in a place where I can get outside and get away from it all. The MI weather was not my friend in that case – I don’t do well with the cold. I don’t love it. I REALLY don’t love it. I don’t love the brown. Where we were living, in the middle of farmland, it was a little bit of a drive to really get anywhere that lights me up inside. So, that was our next step – to look for somewhere else to live. It was a big decision.

It was a big move – 12 hours south. But we did it – and it just goes back to that core thing I’m talking about: Zooming In and Zooming Out.

You can’t live in the Zoomed Out space all the time – where you’re dreaming – you have to do the work. Shonda Rhimes said something to that effect in her book Year of Yes:

QUOTE

You have to Zoom In and do the damn work, but if you live in that do the work, do the work, do the work space, that’s where you can DRIFT and all of a sudden be somewhere SO FAR from where you actually want to be.

I’ve kind of been living in that Zoomed In space in my business. It’s so easy to fall into.

One thing I’ve learned lately:

I was thinking about closing the GPG Facebook group. It’s because it’s pretty quiet and I honestly don’t even know the purpose of that group anymore. Not for how it serves me for my business, but I don’t even know why people post in there anymore.

Often, you know, you go to a group and know “this group is about sharing _________.” You kind of gauge that and know what to do. My group has kind of lost that through the last couple of years, mainly, because I don’t even show up there anymore… and that’s because I don’t relate to a lot of photographers who are growing their photography business, which kind of is the vibe of that group.

I’m not trying to grow a photog business anymore. It doesn’t make me any less of a documentary photographer – I still love to shoot and document stories and I still have a TON of biz experience. 12 years now!

I’ve lost my audience a bit from not showing up and because they’ve evolved and moved on. They met me in 2014, 2015, 2016 and got value from me and grown on past me.

My downfall has been in creating content and serving my existing audience – meaning, I haven’t brought new people into my audience in a really long time. My audience is burnt out. In a way, I’m not looked at as a photographer anymore – I haven’t been sharing my work and I’m not running a photog biz, so it feels like I’m not photographer enough to be a photographer and I haven’t been teaching the marketing education stuff in awhile, so it’s like I’m not marketing educator enough to be of value to anybody else.

So, idk, that’s me. That’s all a result from being too Zoomed In, doing the work I wanna do. I missed that part in assessing my biz that I’m just now realizing is a crucial piece that I should’ve done better at and will do better at now that I’m aware.

The Preservation Project is my Zooming In and Zooming Out process for how I’m recording my life – but deeper than how I’m recording my life, because really, that’s a bonus. It’s about being better tuned into the things that matter in my life – SEEING them.

You know the movie Avatar and the Na’vi meaning for “I see you” is more than point blank – it’s I see your soul, your inside. TPP helps me look at my life and the things that matter in that way.

Homework Q’s:

  • Where have you been leaning in more: Zooming In or Zooming Out?
  • Can you work in doing one or the other?

More goodness:

My Subtle Ask:


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The Intentional Documentary Podcast

Author: MarieMasse
I help client documentary photographers fine-tune their workflow + marketing game, so their work is filled with sessions that represent their voice + client values while earning a living. I shoot undirected, off-beat stories that aren’t preserved often enough (like the story of couples before starting a fam or becoming empty-nesters – a dream project of mine), so my clients’ old box of photos is a meaningful, visual diary of their life + legacy to leave behind.

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  • Gosh i feel so relieved to hear all this. Thanks so much for your words that speak absolute volumes for me about F&F. I was very aware I’ve not been contributing to F&F. In fact I’ve not even looked at it recently. I have so much respect for the very talented photographers in there but find it hard to connect with an approach to documenting families. I know now that it’s not just about the photographs. I think I need a strategist too! You hooked me right in to the Preservation Project through the very persistent emails. Your language was pushy but in a very encouraging way that really made me think what I needed to do not in a way that felt you were grabbing for my money. I can see that must take a lot of hard work to hit the right tone. I knew the emails were generic but also felt you weren’t letting me go easily – very patient and very comforting as I’m a thinker and a slow burner and don’t have money to spend on things that I’m not totally sure are going to benefit me. Hah, yes a very successful campaign and i admire that so much – it was your voice and i like listening to what you have to say and that’s what makes me want to be part of it. Keep the podcasts going. Respect to you for stepping back for a while and I hope you get your things attended to so you can come right back!