Helen P – Celebrate You – Fort Pierce Boudoir Photography

For anyone who doesn’t remember; I held a contest back in March for a cancer/patient survivor to be entered to win a complimentary “Celebrate You” session (which included hair/makeup by the fabulous Jo’Ah May of Jo’Ah Artistry; as well as a custom designed 6×6 photo book from her final edited images.  After MANY submissions and entries – we narrowed it down to 5 finalists (you can see the final 5 finalists story on my previous blog post here).  Once we opened it up for the facebook fans to vote for their winner – Helen’s story moved them and she won the shoot.  Here’s the catch:  Helen actually lives in Pennsylvania!  Well, when she heard that she had won, she immediately planned a family trip to Fort Pierce so she could  do the shoot.  We all met up at her in-laws condo and began the transformation.  Here’s Jo’Ah in action working her makeup and hair artistry skills.

A little “before/after” shot!

One of the things that I was so impressed by with Helen is her optimism.  The entire time that we shot; she was so happy/thankful/energetic/and fun!  It was a blast photographing her!  Not only is she a beautiful woman inside & out she is so STRONG!  She has been through so much and she has prevailed.

I have to say that this series of black and white images are my favorite because I think it really shows off just how strong and beautiful Helen is.  In my head, I hear the words:  “I am woman!  Hear me roar!”.  She totally ROCKED this shoot!

I just loved this t-shirt!

For those of you who don’t know; the reason that I do things like this are because finding a cure for cancer is something that is near and dear to my heart.  I remember when my step mother was battling breast cancer.  It was a terrible, terrible fight and it took such a toll on her.  Fortunately for us, she was able to get all of the cancer and has been cancer free for over 10+ years.  Many women aren’t so lucky.  If you want to do something….go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure‘s website and donate anything you can (money/time/services).  There are so many deserving people out there & we need to find a cure for cancer now!

Helen – know that I am thinking about you right now and that you have a friend for life with me!  I am glad that you made the trip to Florida to come down for this session & I know in my heart that everything will turn out alright!

I followed up with Helen to find out what she thought about the entire experience & here are her words to describe what it was like for her:  “Thank you so much, it was so much fun to be the proud recipient of your Cancer Survivor Shoot. The pictures came out AWESOME! Thank you SO much for being so fun to work with. I had a really great time; it made the shoot really comfortable and relaxing. It was a privilege to work with such a professional and talented photographer. You were so fun and easy to work with and completely professional yet brought a fun and sexy element to the photo shoot.   A cancer diagnosis can be a life-changing event. I naturally wish to see myself in my best light and wanted to feel confident about my body once again. After going through 12 surgeries feeling comfortable again in my own skin can be a challenge. These photographs were a huge self-confidence booster after going through such a difficult experience.

Like most women, I can be pretty self-conscious about my body, but once I got into the session I was very relaxed. Every woman deserves to be made to feel beautiful. From the very beginning of our communication, you were very encouraging, personable, and professional. I was slightly nervous about having these pictures taken (let’s face it- I don’t have strangers taking pictures of me frequently), but you had a way of making me feel completely comfortable and beautiful. Thanks for showing me a few photos that you took of me to build my confidence.  Every woman should do this at least once in her life. Going through the make up and photo session is amazing but the moment you open your gallery and see these beautiful images of yourself is beyond words. I cried as Dawn had the “PERFECT” song for me playing through my slide show. I listened to it over and over.

We all put so much pressure on ourselves to be thinner, smarter, be a better wife, get a promotion etc… that we rarely take a moment and think about how beautiful, intelligent and capable we are. Having a boudoir session gives you a moment to challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and to see yourself as an amazingly beautiful woman. Dawn guides you through poses, finds out what it is that you or your significant other would like to see in photos. Even if you are a reserved, shy person, you will feel totally at ease with Dawn.  Every gal out there should do a boudoir photo shoot. I look forward to working with you again in the future!!!   Thanks again – You ROCK!!!”

Dawn V Gilmore is a Port St. Lucie boudoir photographer, glamour photographer, and women's portrait photographer with a studio located on the Treasure Coast of Florida. She specializes in making women feel comfortable in their skin & empowering women to love themselves as they are! Photos for women by a woman! Her passion, ability and skills will reveal your seductive side and capture your inner coquette while being tasteful and professional. Celebrate You and bring your sensuality to life! Serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, Indian River & Martin Counties. St. Lucie County Photographer. For more information go to: Dawn V Gilmore Fine Art Photography


  • Sharon N. Anderson
    Jun 7th, 2012 - 9:18 pm - REPLY

    This is my “little sister”, Helen Parkins. I worked with her for 4-1/2 years when she was going through cancer surgery and treatments, along with other family problems. One of the most inspiring moments was when my my Sister-in-the-Lord called three of us into the ladies’ room one afternoon and began to pray for each of us. Helen left that restroom at work with, as she called it ‘goosebumps’, and we had to explain to her that that was the power of the Lord moving through her body and healing her completely as she submitted herself to His will and way. Although she did not fully understand what we were saying at first, she started to read the Bible that I had given to her (her first one ever), to understand God’s Word and His unending love for her and her family, and to make time for prayer and going to Church services with her new husband. She was upbeat even when going through her most trying moments and learned that she was indeed a strong, young and vibrate that God had put on earth for a special purpose. My utmost gratitude to the Lord, and to you who chose her for such an honor. May God bless each of you for your thoughtfulness!

  • Helen Parkins
    Jul 23rd, 2012 - 1:51 pm - REPLY

    Ohhhhh Miss Sharon, I miss you so much. You were my biggest support in DC and helping me keep my chin up. I love you girl! They were hard times but the Lord held our hand and walked beside us. Amen. The will of Got will never take you to where the Grace of GoD will not protect you.


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