The Next Day: My 2013 In Review.

I still can't quite believe that it's almost the end of 2013, and that we're about to say hello to January. Where on earth has this year gone?

It's been a very varied year in terms of new clients and interesting projects, so thought I'd do a review of my favourite images from each month. Some of them feel like they were shot a million years ago, whilst others just yesterday!

Burlesque star Miss Banbury Cross with make-up by Empress of Slap, Lana Pillay.
January decided to throw me straight in at the deep end, with a shoot lined up for superstar make-up artist Lana Pillay (also known as Al Pillay and The Empress of Slap.)

The shoot was for Lana's portfolio work, and we were thrilled to have burlesque superstar Miss Banbury Cross lending her beautiful face for Lana to work on.

Marnie Scarlet Diva.
February kept the burlesque theme going strong, with another of the cabaret world's top performers being captured by my lens. This time it was a fun latex filled shoot with Marnie Scarlet Diva who I had been lucky enough to meet when shooting her for Diva last year. I'm really looking forward to getting her in front of the lens again in early 2014 as she is an absolute joy to work with.

Amazing hair by Alex Hardy at RUSH Hair. Make-up by Coco Syed. Latex by Sasha Louise. Accessories by Lovechild Boudoir. For full styling and model credits, click here.
March was a fun month as I got to work on quite a range of high fashion and vintage inspired editorials. The two which really stood out for me were the above series for Alex Hardy at RUSH Hair (which can be seen in full here) and the series below for Brighton based milliner, B Millinery.

Bettie Blue in B Millinery.
My first task for April was shoot one of my favourite people and capture all of her tattoos. As her body is a stunning work of art, we went for a series of artistic nudes with the intention of conveying a feeling of freedom and liberation for Volup2 Magazine.

Part of the editorial for Volup2 Magazine. To see the full series without the tactical blurring, click here.
The second interesting shoot came quite by accident. One of my dear friends and favourite models travelled with me to do a shoot on a vintage Harley Davidson, but it was the owner who caught my attention on the day. Although the images of the model were beautiful, it was the gruff exterior of the gentle giant shot in-between outfit changes which became my favourite portrait. I think it was mostly because it's a world which I would normally have no access too, and I found him really intriguing.

The Enforcer, from the Vikings pack of Harley riders.

Adventures on a narrow-boat.
May was a wonderful month, where I spent almost half of it sailing across the North canals in a beautiful narrow-boat with Howard and his family. It enabled me to have some much needed relaxation, with beautiful views, sunshine, rain and boardgames all featuring very heavily! As a child, I wanted to grow up and travel the world in a tiny boat writing stories and it was pretty difficult saying goodbye to it at the end of the two weeks. Although it's not an easy or glamorous life, I'd definitely swap land for the canals given the opportunity.


The dazzling Lana Pillay, aka Al Pillay and The Empress of Slap.
June say my studio filled with sequins and songs as the always stunning songstress and cabaret star popped over for tea and a photo session. It's always a lot of fun shooting with Lana Pillay, and you can check out some her brilliant make-up tutorials here.


July was a month of events, with lots of cross country travelling to capture a variety of celebrations, parties and happy memories.

Introducing Lord Dicely, Gentleman Gamer.
My favourite shoot from August was incredibly easy to choose, as I managed to get my darling Howard in front of the camera in his guise as Lord Dicely. For anyone interested in boardgames, he has a fascinating (and often quite funny blog here. Hopefully next year will bring lots of videos too from the dashing gentleman gamer.

The stunning Luna DeLovely starring in her Behind Room 8 series.

Although it is also very much a work in progress, another highlight has been working on the Behind Room 8 series with one of my favourite people in the world, Luna DeLovely. I cannot wait to finish them off properly in the New Year and get them out there for all to see!


September had too many wonderful shoots and events to choose from. I absolutely loved wielding the camera at Howard's father's 70th birthday, which involved lots of acting and poetry reading as well as the usual party spirit.

I was excited to work on some more portfolio work with Lana Pillay, this time aiming for a series which had a little more bite to them.

I was also thrilled to shoot chef and humanitarian Simon Boyle for both The Brigade and Beyond Food Foundation, with one of the images due to appear in a book soon.

October saw lots of corporate events and product shoots, but the one which stood out the most to me was once again at The Brigade. This was because one of the events lined up was a chocolate making and decorating class with Coeur de Xocolat, and I of course had to sample all of it! I even got to make and decorate a chocolate lollipop for Howard, and it was such a fun and lively evening to capture.

The beautiful Bettie Wishes and her friend, Ted.
November really spoke to my vintage sensibilities, and I was excited to work on Bettie's Christmas promo material.

I also picked up a new client called Bohemian Rose Vintage who sell the most stunning range of vintage jewellery. The only downside is that I wanted to buy almost everything I shot, but I did at least manage to pick something up for my sort-of-sister-in-law's Christmas present.


Sadly most of the work I produced in December still needs to be kept under lock and key until publishing / competitions deadlines are over. However I was happy to work once again with Make-Up By Coco, Alex Hardy and another new client from RUSH Hair, Asta Gudiene. These photos are so beautiful, and I cannot wait to share them with you once I'm able to!

I'm really looking forward to seeing what 2014 brings, and hope that it brings all of you lots of fun, happiness and memories.

Happy new year! 

Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

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