The Good Old days. Photographer Wes Simpson at Fabric Studios Liverpool

Live The Good Old Days Right Now. The Power Of Photography

Embracing the Present: An Inspiring Journey Through Photography.


If you knew that you were living in the good old days right now, would you capture it or let it slip?

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a photography networking event at Fabric Studios in the vibrant city of Liverpool, celebrating the launch of FedWed, a new community for photographers and videographers. Amidst the buzz of creativity and camaraderie, I reflected on a timeless theme: “The Good Old Days.”

Drawing from my interest as a Tony Robbins life coach and my insatiable appetite for self-help literature, from “The Secret” to the timeless wisdom of “Think and Grow Rich and the Power of Now,” mindfulness has long been a personal passion.

As a photographer, I’ve come to realise that in the act of capturing a moment, we often find ourselves in a meditative state, intuitively practising breathing techniques without even realising it.

During the event, speakers Adam and Ste shared an insightful quote from the TV show “The Office” that struck a chord with me: “The Good Old Days.” It sparked a chain reaction of contemplation.

Photography, for me, has always been intertwined with the concept of preserving the present for the future. As we live and breathe each moment, we are crafting memories that will become cherished relics of days gone by. It’s a sentiment beautifully encapsulated by the words, “Often we don’t value a moment until it becomes a memory.”

In the past, I’ve often found myself overcomplicating this notion. However, as I continue to evolve, I find clarity in its simplicity.

The Good Old Days Are Now

In the words of Andy Bernard from “The Office,” “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve left them.” How often do we find ourselves looking back with nostalgia, longing for days gone by?

Yet, we seldom afford the present the same reverence. We’re preoccupied with the past or consumed by worries about the future. What if we shifted our perspective? What if we viewed the present through the lens of nostalgia, recognising the beauty of the here and now?

Life unfolds swiftly, whether we’re fully present or not. So why not make a conscious effort to appreciate the present, to recognise that these are the good old days in the making right now? We have the power to shape our narrative and infuse each moment with meaning.

It’s time to start living like it.

“Life passes most people by whilst they’re busy making grand plans for it.”

The Good Stuff

In the film Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams’s character talks about the “Idiosyncrasies” and the “Good Stuff” in the same light as “The Good Old Days.” The movie is a favourite of mine and I’ve read that the “Good Stuff” was an impromptu scene. If you look closely you can see the camera is shaking due to the cameraman laughing as he films the scene between Matt Damon and Robin Williams.

I think the fact that this scene was improvised and that the cameraman lost his s++t makes this scene all the more enjoyable.

The “Good Stuff” are the moments we take for granted but often mean so much. I find this resonates with my wedding photography. More often than not, it’s the in-between moments that I capture during a wedding that mean the most to the clients and myself.

The Power of Print

At the FedWed event, sponsored by Sony and Graphi Studios, I had the pleasure of reconnecting with Jeremy, head of Graphi Studios in the UK. Our conversation turned to the significance of photography and the art of printing in the modern age.

Jeremy eloquently articulated the importance of preserving memories through print, a sentiment I wholeheartedly endorse. As a personal anecdote, I share a favourite photograph from a family trip to America below, immortalising a moment of shared joy at the iconic Rocky Steps in Philadelphia. 

The photograph captures 3 generations (my Mum, brother Jack and myself) who are all fans of the Rocky movie. We are standing with the Rocky statue shortly after running up the iconic steps from the movie. It now hangs proudly in my home, a testament to the power of photography to capture the essence of “The Good Old Days.”

Memories in the Making

I’ve included additional photos below from the FedWed event, captured by talented fellow photographers and videographers Gavin, Ste and Matty. Perhaps one day, we’ll look back on these moments as “the good old days” in their own right.

Enjoy The Moment

There is of course a caveat to capturing the good old days in photos, and that is being totally in the moment. In one of my all-time favourite films – The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, megastars Ben Stiller (as office worker Walter Mitty) and Sean Penn beautifully demonstrate the power of now and being in the moment. As a photographer, this is something I can identify with. I’ve often found myself simply being present during a wedding.

In the film, wildlife photographer Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) discovers a snow leopard after months of gruelling high-altitude research. In the film, the photographer’s persona is as elusive as the snow leopard in real life, but Walter Mitty eventually catches up with O’Connell just as he is ready to photograph the leopard.

When O’Connell advises Mitty to remain motionless, he refers to the snow leopard as the “ghost cat” and states, “Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.” And instead of photographing the snow leopard, he just appreciates the moment.

6 Tips for Living in the Good Old Days Right Now!

Feeling inspired to embrace the present and cultivate your own “good old days”? Here are some uplifting tips to guide you:

  • Set Your Goals: Create a vision board filled with photos, quotes, and ideas that inspire you to pursue your dreams. Manifest your aspirations into reality with intention and creativity.
  • Practice Gratitude: Cultivate a mindset of gratitude by reflecting on the blessings in your life. Keep a gratitude journal to remind yourself of the abundance surrounding you each day.
  • Embrace Exercise and Nature: Infuse your days with positivity by incorporating exercise and outdoor activities into your routine. Connect with the natural world and nurture your physical and mental well-being.

Tips for living in the Good Old Days- Continued

  • Find Joy in Everyday Moments: Train yourself to seek out joy in the ordinary. Whether capturing moments of happiness through photography or simply savouring the small pleasures of life, cultivate a spirit of joyfulness.
  • Harness the Power of Music: Let music transport you to different eras and evoke a range of emotions. Use it as a tool to enhance your mood and create moments of reflection and nostalgia.
  • Practice Kindness: Spread kindness wherever you go, both to yourself and others. Foster a culture of compassion and empathy, knowing that small acts of kindness can ripple outwards, shaping the world for the better.

Thank you for joining me on this journey through photography and the art of embracing the present. Here’s to living in the good old days—today and every day.

Warm regards, your friend,

Wes x


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