“Zooming Out”


Photography…something I’ve always wanted to try but something I never actually dared to do, as I thought I wouldn’t be good at it…until this summer when I decided to not worry about being “good enough” or accomplishing a certain level of photography status. I let go of the notion of goal setting, achievement, and growth and development, and I simply started taking pictures for the pure joy and fun of doing so! I believe they call this play.

I’ve realized photography has helped me to be present and aware and in the moment, to see things in new ways, and to feel a sense of gratitude for the little things such as noticing a ladybug on a leaf after a rainstorm.

As I clicked and snapped, I also started to learn simple techniques of photography such as: lighting, angles, and the zoom lens, and I started thinking about the concept of zooming in and zooming out and how wide angle shots can actually help us see more in a photo and perhaps see more in life.

So often, I (and many girls I work with) zoom in, especially when there is a problem, an experience of making a mistake, or a disagreement of some kind. By zooming in, problems can become catastrophic, mistakes can become epic failures, and disagreements can become blown up events, overdramatized and greatly exaggerated. We naturally tend to fixate on the details of our lives that are problematic or not working and our thoughts and feelings can become magnified and all we think we are. We can over identify with our feelings and thoughts.

What I have learned, by playing around and enjoying my picture taking adventures is that by zooming out, or stepping back from a life experience, we can see the big picture and gain a much healthier perspective. When we can acknowledge our pain or difficulty objectively, and distance ourselves from our pain, we can see it in a new way. We can examine our difficulty, be curious about it, consider what (if anything) we can do about it, and we can give ourselves the understanding and self-compassion we need. Then, we can focus on something else.

By stepping back and creating some space in photos, and in life, we can allow much more into our lives and that may just include some good stuff too! Zooming out, and gaining some perspective, may just help us gain a sense of life balance and happiness.