Paint It Black.

I'm not going to lie, it's been a bit of a weird start to the new year. I had intended to run straight into 2014 filled with hope, excitement and enthusiasm, but all of that fizzled out thanks to a dreaded throat infection and an incredibly difficult and unhappy relationship with penicillin.

Today I left the house for the first time since my medical mission on New Years Day. I hadn't quite realised until today, but that was nine straight days without leaving home. Nine days wearing nothing but pyjamas and the clothes normally reserved for runs across the Heath. I was feeling so low and lethargic, but put it all down to a mixture of lurgy and antibiotics. Whilst the feeling ill was incredibly real, there was no doubt that I was going stir crazy too as I holed up in my editing cave wearing a penguin fleece with a graphics tablet and pot of tea for company. I'm lucky that I live with my boyfriend and have great flatmates so I wasn't completely isolated. There's no doubt though that I got myself into a strange working routine, one which I'm glad was broken today by needing to shoot some headshots and interiors for one of my corporate clients.

I had made a point of getting up earlier and earlier this week to so that when my alarm went off at 6.30am, it wouldn't be a big deal. I didn't get up on the first sound of the alarm, but had built in enough time to wake myself up slowly and ease myself back into the life of a normal person. I had genuinely expected that putting on make-up and dressing up with my camera in hand would jolt me back to being me, but it was with a slight tinge of apathy that I fought my way onto the Northern Line to commute to my shoot's destination.

There was one thing which cheered me up about where I was heading - it's a part of London filled with incredible architecture and is a wonderful place to feel inspired by. Something was still missing though. I just wanted to just get on with my shoot and then crawl back into my cosy pyjamas once home. Although I could see so many beautiful images framed in front of me, taking out my real camera seemed like such a mission. As I (shamefully) snapped a few quick frames with my phone's camera, I knew I really needed to shake myself out of my mood.

Sometimes it's really difficult to break out of cycles, and you need to step outside of what you're used to in order to snap yourself out of it. The last time I felt like this, I ended up being sketched by an artist which was an incredibly scary and surreal moment in my life. It made me see myself differently though, which I think what exactly what I needed at the time. It gave me my confidence back because I'd made myself do something I didn't really want to and survived!

(C) Mac20.
I've had other experiences of a similar manner where I've been photographed - mostly by Tom Perry - and have been pleasantly surprised by the results. Despite being around cameras and photoshoots all the time, I still feel a bit useless on the other side of the lens. However I've increasingly made myself do it more and more over the last year, and is a big reason as to why I started to blog more frequently about myself rather than my work. Most recent was this one which was shot by Tom back in December on slide film.

(c) Tom Perry.
I guess since New Year, I've been feeling bored, restless and unsettled. I'd lost my focus and my mojo and needed to shake things up a little. Nothing big, nothing life changing - just something new. I have no idea what it was which made me do it, but the unrelenting need to try something new resulted in purchasing a black Barry M lipstick. My teenage goth years were pretty unremarkable - baggy tees and black jeans rather than going the way of the pretty vampettes with painted faces. Yet I wanted to try and see if I could incorporate it into something which didn't look completely ridiculous on me.

Black Lipstick by Barry M.
I felt a little silly when I opened it upon getting home. However I decided I'd see how it looked with toned down make-up with a small eye-liner flick and was pleasantly surprised. Is it something I'd wear everyday? No. However I would certainly wear it to a club or to DJ in, and would happily be photographed in it. Most importantly, I felt less dreary and dull. I felt relieved that I could just about get away with it.

Although the moral of the story here is to not get ill and then decide to avoid leaving the house until forced to by a client, I'm choosing to take the self validation as a positive touch. I'll be happy when this week is over - tomorrow sees the last four pills on my course of antibiotics, and I've got Monday in my diary to start running again. I'm reclaiming the 13th January as the new first, and am inviting everyone else to celebrate a happy mid-January with me!

Until next time,

Diana xx

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

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