Stepping out from behind the lens – My Celebrate You Session

Stepping out from behind the lens is not something I am typically comfortable with.  I have always found myself hiding behind it.  Honestly, I have been trying to make a conscious effort to be in photos at family functions & things because I never am.  I recently have come to realize that if I am always hiding behind my camera then I will not leave any photographic memories for my family when I am gone.   Now that would be a tragedy.    I have been a big proponent of embracing your curves & focusing on the things you love about yourself.  That is what my “Celebrate You” sessions are all about.  Well, I was talking the talk, but not walking the walk.  So – it was time for me to put my big girl panties on & do one myself!

Finding a photographer was the more difficult part.  I kinda felt like I shouldn’t have my local photographer friends do it for fear that they would make me look so good that potential clients would choose them over me (Yes, I know that is a very insecure & silly thing to think – but I did, nonetheless).  Then, I thought about having someone in the northeast do it for me when I was up there over Thanksgiving visiting family (but that didn’t pan out either).  Well, once I made the final decision to move back to the northeast, I realized that my wonderful local photographer friend Elle Ruiz wouldn’t be local anymore, she would be PERFECT to do my shoot.

Really – it was her soft, gentle, loving, supportive, and amazing personality that made me realize that I needed to put the BS excuses aside & have her shoot MY “Celebrate You” session.  I work with two amazing hair/make-up artists and I just couldn’t choose one to work with for my session; so I decided to go with them both.  I gave them free reign to do whatever they wanted.  Jo’Ah May of Jo’Ah Artistry is very eclectic and LOVES DRAMA, so I knew that her look would be something completely out of the box & fun!  Jackie Johnson of Abyss Salon is an amazing hair stylist & make-up artist who knows how to take all of the best of someone and showcase that.  I KNEW she would be able to give me a very glamorous version of myself (since I have gotten very lazy over the past few years & don’t even wear makeup really anymore).  It was the perfect blend having them BOTH do a look for me.    Then – it was Elle’s turn to have full creative control because she is a very stylized & crafty artist.  I knew we were going to have FUN FUN FUN!

I had more fun than I ever could have imagined.  Being in front of the lens was very nerve wracking, but in the end – one of the best experiences of my life.  I finally was able to see myself in a different light.  To truly embrace the curves that GOD has given me & to see myself as I believe my husband sees me when he looks at me.  He has been telling me since the day we met how hot, sexy & beautiful I am.  I never fully realized it until I saw these images that Elle took!  I mean, I am seriously IN LOVE with these.  I cannot stop looking at them.

DVG Boudoir_0024How smoking hot are these images???  My eyes are INSANE thanks to the makeup skills of Jo’Ah & the photography of Elle!DVG Boudoir_0025Playful & flirty (oh, and BTW – this is NOT my hair.  It is actually a wig that Jo’Ah picked up for me for the shoot.  I now wanna grow out my hair now & dye it with blue streaks!)DVG Boudoir_0030Sexy Sexy Sexy – I don’t even know what to say about these.  My hubby has these on his cell phone & is using one as my profile pic for when I call him.  Are you surprised?  I think not! LOL

DVG Boudoir_0026I think these are some of my favorites!  Well, let’s be honest, they are all FREAKIN’ AMAZING!  The styling that Elle did for this was so much fun!  She even kept with my hot pink & black color scheme for my business!  Yes, these are totally going on my website so my client’s can see that I have done it too!  Even being a plus size woman – I pulled it off, so can ANYONE!DVG Boudoir_0027I love unique & out of the box headshots.  These totally are that!DVG Boudoir_0028My two final images are the look that Jackie did for me.  I cannot even believe how damn GLAMOROUS I look!  I mean seriously – that headshot is KILLER!  Elle Ruiz – your photography skills are OFF THE CHAIN!DVG Boudoir_0032I always do a before/after shots of my client’s.  Here is mine (with the after look from both Jackie Johnson & Jo’Ah May)!

I need to say a huge THANK YOU to Elle Ruiz for doing this for me.  I seriously never imagined that I could LOVE photos of myself.  I have always “liked” or “been ok” with images of myself.  But – HOLY CRAP, I cannot stop looking at myself.  I think she has created a monster!  I want to do this again!  I must admit – I am kind of obsessed!  😉  I have them on my phone, my Ipad, my wallpaper of my computer, Skip has them on his phone, and of course, they are my profile images on Facebook and everything.  Yes, I am smitten (with my sexy photos & Elle’s AMAZING work/vision).  ROTFL

BTW – after my shoot, I had a little get together with a few of my closest friends from the industry.  Elle did a little “step & repeat” board for us to do some fun photos in front of.  Here is her collage design from those fun images!  I love all of you and my moving back to the northeast is bittersweet because I have some amazing women in my life! 504_490733174320477_1484412647_nElle – KEEP STYLIZING!  Seriously girl, you have found YOUR BRAND!  If anyone is interested in a STYLIZED SHOOT with Elle Ruiz – be sure you contact her via her website!  Don’t forget to Like her Facebook Page too!

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


  • Elle Ruiz
    Mar 7th, 2013 - 4:36 pm - REPLY

    Aaaaw! I love what you wrote for this post. What I love is that it sounds just like you! I’m so glad we could do this before you leave us. Now you can tell all your clients you did it! I’m so glad it put a pep in your step, a little sass in your swagger and more love in your heart for yourself. Know that you are beautiful inside and out and we will miss you so much! You cannot be EVER be replaced. Thanks for letting me do this for you my love! And PS You totally ROCKED this shoot. You are ONE.SEXY.WOMAN.

    • Dawn V Gilmore
      Mar 7th, 2013 - 5:39 pm - REPLY

      Elle – THANK YOU for everything you have done for me. I love you girl! Now make STYLIZED SHOOTING your brand & do NOTHING ELSE BUT THAT! xoxo

  • Jen
    Mar 7th, 2013 - 5:25 pm - REPLY

    Good for you for stepping in front of the camera. I think every photographer should! I love the different looks you guys created – you are a beauty. Great job behind and in front of the camera. 🙂

    • Dawn V Gilmore
      Mar 7th, 2013 - 5:38 pm - REPLY

      WOW – Jennifer R; THANK YOU for the wonderful compliments. I cannot wait to finally meet the woman who inspired me to do this in person.

  • Jen Swedhin
    Mar 7th, 2013 - 5:25 pm - REPLY

    You look gorgeous, Dawn, and your style and photography team did a great job!

    • Dawn V Gilmore
      Mar 7th, 2013 - 5:40 pm - REPLY

      Jen – Thx so much for the love. I really appreciate that. I am blessed to know some amazing women!

  • Bridget
    Mar 7th, 2013 - 5:32 pm - REPLY

    How awesome is all of this? Well, it’s pretty darned awesome! You look fantastic. Everyone involved did an amazing job. I’ve recently reached the same conclusion about hiding from the camera and not wanting to do it anymore. We all need to love the body we are in, no matter the size, shape, color, etc.! We are all beautiful. You rocked it, Dawn! I can’t wait to bring the fierceness for YOU when you move back up here.

    • Dawn V Gilmore
      Mar 7th, 2013 - 5:40 pm - REPLY

      Thanks so much cuz! I cannot wait to get you in front of the camera so we can show off all of your gorgeousness! xoxo

  • Kari
    Mar 7th, 2013 - 7:21 pm - REPLY

    LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you’re gorgeous!

    • Dawn V Gilmore
      Mar 7th, 2013 - 7:26 pm - REPLY

      Thank you Kari!

  • Dave
    Mar 7th, 2013 - 10:17 pm - REPLY

    Congratulations on the great shoot, and welcome back to Delaware! Confidence is a woman’s sexiest asset to me. You totally rocked this, and Elle brought out the true you!

    • Dawn V Gilmore
      Mar 8th, 2013 - 5:48 am - REPLY

      Thanks so much Dave for the wonderfully warm welcome!

  • Anne
    Mar 8th, 2013 - 1:57 am - REPLY

    Look at you!!! You are such a beautiful woman and you are smoking hot! Love all the pics!

    • Dawn V Gilmore
      Mar 8th, 2013 - 5:48 am - REPLY

      Thank you so much Anne.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.