Monster Mash - #PSOOTD Halloween Cute For Halloweenies from ASOS Curve and Pearls & Swine

I'm not afraid to admit that I love Halloween. As someone old enough to know better, but young enough to not care, for me Halloween means more treats than tricks with movie marathons, dressing up and all manner of spooky tat.

It doesn't help that my science-brained-goth-loving boyfriend is a fan of celebrating anything and everything to do with the spooky or kitsch, and in a moment of cuteness brought me this ridiculous but brilliant Monster Print Cropped T-Shirt from ASOS Curve.  I teamed it with a high waisted ASOS skirt, and an adorable pumpkin bow from Pearls & Swine - the perfect outfit for some monster shaped mischief!

Pumpkin Bow: Pearls & Swine
Ghost Necklace: Tatty Devine
Bolero: George
Monster T-Shirt: ASOS Curve
Skirt: ASOS Curve
Leggings: F&F True
Heels: Vintage

Whether you're using Halloween as an excuse to be glam or ghoulish, I hope you end up with more treats than tricks! Have fun!

Until next time,

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


Wild Rose - #PSOOTD Featuring The Rose Print Embellished Collar Dress From F&F True

A little while ago, I absolutely fell in love with this beautiful Rose Print dress from the F&F True range. I must have snuck in under the radar and nabbed one of the last ones as it's sadly no longer available on the website, but I am so completely in love with the Autumn colour palette.

The dress is made up of a lovely rose print, fully lined with a embellished collar. And best of all? Despite the lining and sparkle, it's one of those mythical dresses which can still be thrown into the washing machine!

Dress: F&F True
Tights: M&S
Shoes: New Look
Rings: Vintage

It's one of those dresses which straddles the line between day and evening, and as such was the perfect item to wear on a visit to Hampstead's Kenwood House on my birthday weekend.

I teamed it with a vintage 50s Kelly Bag, burgundy tights from ASOS and a matching cardigan from Primark. As well as some beautiful art and a cream tea, I also had lots of fun jumping in the piles of crunchy Autumn leaves! I seem to be wearing a lot of this colour at the moment, and I'm really loving it!

To view the current (amazing!) F&F True collection, click here.

Until next time,

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


Making The Choice To Be Self Employed - Pros vs Pitfuls With Hiscox

Making the jump to being fully self employed can be a little bit scary, but it's also incredibly rewarding. Whilst you suddenly become your own HR, legal and PR departments, you are also your own boss and free to work around a schedule which suits your lifestyle.

In my case, this often means I'm often trying to cram ten days of work into a week! But it also allows me the flexibility to have a long weekend when I want to, and the freedom to edit from home in my pyjamas whenever I feel like it.

Insurance company Hiscox recently ran an event in London which gave  lots of tips on how to run a successful start-up. You can read their incredibly helpful post here which deals with everything from growth, to networking to time management. They have also published separate articles on chasing late payments, key mistakes to avoid and how to avoid what Harvard Business School calls "Heartbreaking Mediocrity".

I've been a freelance photographer for over six years now, and have found that almost all of my work comes from networking and word of mouth. I frequently get emails from new clients where my brand has been recommended, and it's always a great feeling to know that you've left a good, strong impression after a shoot has been completed.

Making those initial connections is key though. When I was much younger, I would assist other photographers and make myself as indispensable as possible which gave me a wonderful grounding in how large scale shoots worked. However it also introduced me to some wonderful people who would later on prove to be very useful contacts which is perhaps something more unique to people working within the arts.

Research is utterly invaluable. You need to know your market inside out, both from the perspective of who you're targeting and who you're up against. You need to have a solid business plan. And perhaps most importantly, you need to look into the legalities of setting your business up, from registering as self employed to filing your own tax return. I read a LOT of books on self employment both at the start of and during my six years of self employment, and whilst nothing can really fully prepare you, you can still create a checklist of the things you need to tick to be on the right side of HMRC.

There are many key things to consider when going self employed, far more than what could be covered in one blog post. However these are some things which helped me along the way in my early days.

1. Branding.
Your branding should be an extension of you, as it's what your customers will know you as. There should be consistency across your website, social media platforms, letterheads and business cards so that you are instantly recognisable by customers and consumers alike.

2. Know Your Dates.
Have a calendar specifically for your business with key dates for meetings, tax payments, deadlines and so on. Google have a feature in their calendar which allows you to show multiple calendars in different colours as one view. This enables me to see my business and personal commitments at once in a clear, concise manner.

3. Keep Precise And Up To Date Expense Records.
No matter how many times you've done it, tax returns are no fun. To make things a little easier, input all your expenses and payments into monthly tabbed spreadsheets. It also helps to have twelve monthly envelopes kept together to file your receipts in. The extra minutes you take doing this now will be worth the time and stress saved later! It's also a great idea to do your tax return at the end of the tax year rather than waiting for the January deadline. That way if any problems are presented, you've got the time to work out what's gone wrong.

4. Get Insurance.
As a photographer, this is an essential. Whilst it seems like yet another cost to swallow, a monthly fee is better than not being able to replace your equipment if damaged or stolen.

5. Use Social Media.
I am so grateful that we live in an age where it's so simple to connect with an infinite amount of people. I frequently use platforms such as Twitter and Instagram to interact with both fans of my work and potential clients. However don't get distracted and let it suck up all your time!

Until next time,

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


Purple Rain - #psootd with H&M, Primark & ASOS Curve

The second I saw this H&M hat, it was love at first sight. However with it being the tail end of Summer, it seemed an utterly frivolous purchase so remained in the shop,despite my heart pangs. On my journey home, despite sweltering in the late Summer's surprise heatwave I found myself regretting the decision and vowed to return the next day to be reunited with my new purple dreamboat.

Sadly the road to true love was paved with great difficulties, and despite running around all three H&M stores at the corners of Oxford Circus and Regent Street, it seemed like everyone had fallen for the hat's wide brim charm. I went home with a heavy sigh, penning missed connection notes I could send on to Metro in my head.

Like so many modern love stories, it was the internet which finally brought us together. Something just clicked - along with my debit card - and thanks to the H&M website, the hat was soon winging it's way into my arms. Now I just need the Autumn chill to stay put long enough that I can take my hat out for a romantic hot chocolate, possibly even with my boyfriend. Then this sartorial love story can very much have it's happy ever after. Until I fall in love with a boater hat next Spring...

Hat: Wool Hat from H&M
Cardigan: Primark
Dress: Primark
Boots: Daxon
Belt: ASOS Curve
Tights: ASOS Curve
Necklace: Blowing Bubbles from Sugar And Vice
Bracelets: Vintage
Moonstone Ring: Vintage

Although I wish the dress was a little longer, I absolutely love this outfit. Even though it feels like I'm wearing too many different burgundy variants, it somehow pulled together with a little Autumnal cheek. I'm currently obsessed with this shade (it happens every Autumn) so am now on the look out for a bright nail polish in a similar colour.

Until next time,

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


Paint A Pretty Picture - Business Cards And Canvas Prints from Printed.Com

After looking for a new business card supplier, I recently placed my very first order with printing company printed.com. I was intrigued after noticing they had a large range of services tailored specifically for photographers, so really wanted to find out more about them and what they offered.

Whether you're looking for wedding stationary, strut cards, business brochures or even just some Instagram prints, printed seem to have it covered. Their photographic tailored range alone covers everything from giclĂ©e fine art prints to stickers so are perfect for covering all of your branding needs.

I ordered two different products from them - business cards and a canvas print. The order was easy to do as I just uploaded my own artwork, and there were plenty of choices available from the finish, size and even if you wanted them laminated or not. I choose a standard double sided card which cost under £12 for 100 cards, and they were even sent in a durable plastic box which is perfect for safe storage. The colours were true to my original file and the quality was spot on. For full size business cards at a budget price, you'd struggle to get better quality elsewhere.

The other product I picked up from them was a canvas print. I decided to not get a stretched canvas as too much of the photograph would have been lost to the bleed at the edge, so instead got the canvas print which I intend to mount and frame myself.

I choose a black and white image as I wanted to check for two things. I used to work in a photographic lab when I was much, much younger and the biggest issue with printing black and white is that you can sometimes get a colour shift which will result in a magenta or green tint. Adding canvas to the mix just makes it even more difficult as those suckers absorb ink like crazy, so sometimes subtle gradients can get lost and result in giant black splodges. I am happy to report that the product I was sent suffered from neither affliction, and was an exact replica of the file with perfect contrast and no loss of quality from the ink sinking in.

In conclusion, I couldn't be happier with both products, and will certainly be using them again to print any exhibition or large scale work in the future.

To see their whole range of products, you can visit their website here.

Until next time,

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


We're Gonna Party Like It's Your Birthday - F&F True Disco Ball Plus Size Dress

When I first set eyes on this sparkle laden dress from F&F True, it was love at first sight. The shape, the fabric and the shimmer produced cartoon like heart eyes and I could barely wait to squeeze myself into it!

As a lovely surprise from the F&F team, the dress arrived just before my birthday and knew in a heart beat that it was the perfect dress to wear out for a day of fun. Even though the weather in London yesterday was nothing but rain, I brought a little shimmer to the streets whilst doing my best happy disco ball impression!

F&F True Disco Ball Plus Size Dress (£28)
Tights: Marks and Spencer
Flowers: Pearls & Swine
Necklace: Tatty Devine
Shoes: Thrifted

The dress is an absolute dream to wear. It's cut with a scoop neck and a v-neck back whilst the elasticated waistband creates a lovely silhouette. Available up to a UK size 28, it's designed to sit about the knee and is lined ensuring no static cling.

F&F True Animal Print Faux Fur Plus Size Coat (£39)
To complete the party look, I teamed it with their fantastic animal print faux fur coat which is the softest, warmest faux fur I've ever come across. If I could, I think I'd pretty much sleep in it as it's like being wrapped up in a snugly, giant blanket. Even at the incredibly low price point, the coat is fully lined and cut in a classic shape with concealed press stud fastenings and pockets to stuff cold hands into.

This is the perfect pairing for all the impending Christmas and New Year festivities, and with some cute shoes and a flick of red lipstick, you're good to go!

Until next time,

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


Vintage Queen - Beautiful Fabrics For Perfect Home Furnishings at Hillarys

Image / Patterns (c) Hillarys.
I've been a bit of a vintage magpie for as long as I can remember, and whether true vintage or vintage repro, I just can't resist a fabulous print. That's why my heart was a flutter over the new range of kitsch styles from Hillarys with all manner of vintage styles waiting to be made into made to measure curtains and blinds.

Image / Patterns (c) Hillarys.
Whether you're looking for bold florals or subtle swirls, Hillarys have the perfect vintage inspired fabric to finish off your interiors.

Image / Patterns (c) Hillarys.
This sweet boat print is my absolute favourite, and I would love to wear this on a dress as well as having curtains made. It's so delightfully kitsch! Sadly I can't wear it as a dress or a skirt, but the prints can be made into a range of made to measure roller blinds, curtains and more.

You can view all the fabrics on the Hillarys website, and with more than 40s years experience they will be able to bring your vintage inspired room to life.

Until next time,

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


Under Pressure

These last few weeks have been a whirlwind of beautiful dresses and swishy veils as I've photographed several lookbooks from different bridal and evening wear clients. This is probably my favourite time of year for shooting product shots as it tends to be where I get lots of big gowns to photograph. It's hard work as you tend to have a steamer going at all times, but the images are always worth the effort in the end.

Sadly I can't share any of the photos yet, but will certainly blog about them once they've been released to the public. One of the designers in particular has started to design for the plus size market, and her prints and tailoring are utterly divine. I spent some time with her earlier this week for a dress fitting, and you have no idea how excited I am to see the final product. I can't wait to share it with you and tell you all about her!

In the mean time, work has taken over my life a little at the moment which is why things are a little slow in blog world. That said, I am going to make it my mission to shoot some outfit posts over the weekend as I have a huge pile of dresses and cosmetics which I can't wait to talk about!

Until next time,

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

Latest Instagrams

© diana@fashionlovesphotos.com. Design by FCD.