ana gil-taylor Photography: Jim and Juli Boeheim Gala recap

Oh what a night, late April, back in 2016, what a very special time for the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation, as I remember, what a night! Ok ok, that was inspired by the Four Seasons Band, but it is so fitting here!  This was the 17th year gala for The Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation and it was a hit! Held at The Turning Stone Hotel and Casino, on April 30th 2016 and hosted over 800 guests.

The Gala raised over half a million dollars for our community – This is Syracuse, NY, ladies and gentlemen!  The Gala is one of The Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation main fundraising events and all proceeds funds their grant program which supports many local organizations.  Among these are: The Boys and Girls Club and Clear Path for Veterans.

There was an added bonus for Jim and Juli this year, which made their night even more special.  This was the first time in seventeen years that their kids attended the Gala. One could definitely see the excitement on both of their faces throughout the night, but especially on the dance floor!  Here is how the night went.

The night started with the VIP reception.  The reception included pictures with Jim and Juli at “The Orange Carpet” and the opportunity for VIP guests to snap a picture with their favorite Basketball player.  Gourmet hors d’oeuvres circled the room and three bars decorated each corner of the room. They definitely needed those three bars this year; that VIP room was packed! I wonder if that had anything to do with the great season the Syracuse Men’s Basketball team had?  Or perhaps it was to take pictures with Juli? She looked STUNNING on that red dress. ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-0152ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-5183

ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-5187ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-0159A general reception followed the VIP reception. All guests meet and greet Jim and Juli as well as browse through an assortment of well balanced silent auction items. This included these Yankee stadium seats from the old stadium, Trevor Cooney’s sneakers, headshot packages (from your truly), high end bow-ties from J Allen Inspired to a custom stylist consultation from The Small Town Stylist, a one of a kind ring handcrafted from the #44 key to the historic Hotel Syracuse by JoJo Rings. Of course, a great variety of sports memorabilia for all those sports fans such as, a Final four signed poster of both Men’s and Women Basketball teams and a presidential picture of coach Boeheim. As you can see, there is absolutely something there for everyone to bid on, well planned.

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ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-0040At the general reception, guests also got an opportunity to have their picture taken with the team, a very popular attraction, I may add.  This year, as predicted, the line was the longest I have ever seen it! But guests patiently waited for their turn to take their picture with their Syracuse Men’s Basketball Final four team – Go SU! ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-0233

Now to my second favorite part of the night, the LIVE Auction! The Live Auction is like a comedy show, I love it!. Jim and Juli’s on stage presence and chemistry is phenomenal! Add American Sportscaster and radio personality, Dan Patrick as an emcee and well, you’ve got yourself a show! ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-5612ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-5682ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-5430

Congratulations to Neil, Helene and Amanda Gold; 2016 Basket Ball MVP’s. ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-5357_MVP

Part of the live auction was really emotional with Pearl’s passing and Griffin’s Guardian’s story. but the fact that guests were given an opportunity to make a difference by donating to help others, definitely lightened it up.  Donations from $500 to $5000 made an accumulative grand total of forty-thousand dollars raised for Griffin’s Guardians; simply amazing!ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-5597Brian Hanlon, sculptor of the Plaza 44 statues and Syracuse University Football coach Dino Babers, joined the stage to auction off four replicas of those statues. Pretty cool stuff!ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-0634  This years entertainer was Robert Channing, America’s got talent speed painter. He wowed the crowd with three speed paintings:  Syracuse Basketball Team, “Super 7” which was signed by all 7 players, Jim Boeheim, and a painting of Pearl, which Jim purchased to have on display at the Melo Center. The other two paintings were auctioned off and raised seventeen thousand dollars for the Foundation.ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-0671

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Now on to the Dance floor! My absolute favorite part of the night! I tell you, it gets harder and harder every year not to break my dance moves on that floor! Although the dance floor was packed, room was made for Jim and Juli to break it down and get jiggy with it! 

ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-5950ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-5955 Prime Time Horns, delivered! Coach Boeheim even gave them a shout out calling them “The best band in Central New York!” Let’s hear those Horns Prime Time! 

Last, but definitely not least, M. Lemp’s Jewelers $20,000 diamond necklace raffle, what a dreamy necklace! Juli got to happily wear it, but wasn’t so happy to take it off.  “What a lady what a night” ana gil taylor_Boeheim Ball_raffle

Speaking of wonderful ladies, a shout out is in order for Kelly Taylor, Foundation Administrator and event planner extraordinaire.  Here is a picture of Juli, Kelly and all of the wonderful volunteers. ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-6128FB ana gil-taylor_ Boeheim_Ball 2016-6135FB

Almost done, but first, let me take a selfie!FullSizeRender

Thank you so much for reading! This is ana gil-taylor signing off, until next year, well unless you would like to hire me to photograph your next event. 🙂

Here is a fun video Officially-Unofficial put together, of some of the highlights of the night. Another video is coming up soon! Let’s connect: YouTube Twitter | LinkedIn | website


 Want to see more pics? Go here and check back often we will be adding more galleries throughout the week.

Are business cards in or out?

I believe they are IN one hundred percent. As an event, head shots and family Photographer, there hasn’t been an event or networking meeting I have photographed or attended, where I haven’t been asked for my business card. I enjoy interacting with people and feel that pulling out my phone to add their contact information creates an immediate disconnect. Exchange business cards, at the end of a conversation and later connecting with them on LinkedIn or via email has worked out well for me.

I purchased a super cute business card holder to keep the business cards I receive, nice and organized.  Let’s be honest, those of us who still believe in business cards spend hours if not days, designing  them to make sure it reflects our brand and looks appealing.  Storing them in style is the least I can do to give them the respect they deserve  right?

There are however, those who think business cards are dead – their views here – and there are others, like me, who agree business cards are still very relevant- their views here.  Summarizing, if you  and your audience believe in business cards, it is a no brainer or controversy. Thanks for reading!


Brazzlebox Small Business Summit: ana gil-taylor recap

Brazzlebox, “The applied social network for small and home-based businesses” This is how Glen Zinszer, Brazzlebox founder and CEO describes it.  After having the pleasure of chatting with Glen and his wonderful communications manager Sarynna Cruz, I can confidently say, Brazzlebox is more than an applied social network for small and home- based businesses.  On November 4th, 2015 Brazzlebox put together a local event in Syracuse, NY, which touched more than social media.
The way the Small business summit was laid-out and its content is an indication that Brazzlebox has done its homework and understands small business needs, at all levels.Brazzlebox-0811

The event opened up with a great panel discussion moderated by Sarah Roche, co-founder of Platypus TV,  which touched on a variety of topics such as, the importance of a business plan, Dan Rickman, SBA, believing in yourself and faith, DeBorah Little, Lil’MorStix, being confident and using your entrepreneurial fire to fuel your way to success, Mark Dengler, Research & Marketing Strategist, Inc, be your own cheerleader, Evin Robinson, New York On Tech, be humble and open to learn from others, Mac Cummings, Co-Founder/CEO Terakeet Corporation.

After the panel discussion, there was a nice little break for networking, followed by a fun and energetic presentation by Juli Boeheim of the Brazzlebox_ ana gil taylor-0830Jim & Juli Boeheim Foundation on the importance of community involvement and the personal rewards she has gained from being part of her beautiful Syracuse community. Jim Boeheim, Brazzlebox_ ana gil taylor-0851Head Coach of Syracuse men’s Basketball  and also her husband –  surprised the crowd by coming on stage and joining Juli – agreed by saying something like this –  Donating your time to your community will pay double your dividends, guaranteed, get involved.

Glen came on stage with motivational messages for everyone in the audience;  Brazzlebox_ ana gil taylor-0888I specifically enjoyed and related to the message he delivered to students – it went something like this-  It doesn’t matter what rank you graduate in, what matters is where you want to go and what you do with that desire. Glen had success stories after success stories which certainly defined who he is and what he has achieved and has yet to.

The crowd already hyped up from all real and relate-able success stories, gave Daymond John a resounding cheer as he came on stage. His story is inspirational, reachable, funny, and thought provoking. Of the many messages he had for 1100 attendees, the one that resonated with me were, you can have all the reaches in the world, but will be the poorest man without your family. Family first! The second was, keep swimming, no matter what, keep swimming. Brazzlebox-0929_D_ana gil taylor

An enormous congratulations goes out to Brazzlebox for putting on such fantastic event for small business owners and the general public. Summarizing, below are my awesome take take-a-ways.

1.There is nothing scarier that the thought of losing your family – Family First!

2. Let your desire to success lead you to where you want to go, then do it again.

3. Community involvement leads to a great return on your investment

4. Keep swimming

5. Take crowd selfies.. ha!

I leave you with a quick video recap by Officially-Unofficial and gil-taylor Productions.

Thanks for reading!

ana gil-taylor | Photographer & Officially-Unofficial Host

Portfolio | Facebook | Instagram | Officially-Unofficial |Twitter linkedin

Syracuse NY Family Photographer | What to wear and the color wheel

So you scheduled your family or children photo session, now you freak a little.. What am I going to wear!? 

Without a doubt this is one of the first questions asked by my customers once they schedule their photo session.  Answering this question became much easier and more fun once I learned the basics on how to read the color wheel.

Color wheel by:
Color wheel by:

I am going to share basic information on how to use the color wheel, from what I have learned. There is definitely more to it than what I am about to explain here. However, this will be enough for you to come up with great color combinations for your photo session and beyond.    Let’s start with some basic information. Then I will share how I use it.


Complementary Colors: Those colors located opposite to each other on a color wheel.

Analogous Colors: Those colors located next to each other on a color wheel.

Monochromatic  Colors that are shade or tint variations of the same color.

Neutrals:  Black, white, grey, browns, etc.

Here is how I use the color wheel applying the basic color rules above.

I will start with monochromatic since I love how the same family of color looks together. My color scheme is yellow.

– Say it is a nice Summer day and I am feeling very happy.

I would wear: Warm yellow shorts, a cool yellow top. Accessories: I would complement with a red belt since it is at 90 degrees from yellow (this extra information is on my what to wear guide – email us to get the full guide). depending on the top I am wearing, I may or may not wear a necklace, if I do, it would be a long necklace with a touch of red, my sandals would probably have some brown and red as well.  I know, I know.. very happy cheery.. but that is my personality, and we have to dress to reflect who we are right?

Say it is a  nice Fall day: I would wear jeans and a burgundy top. Accessories: Directly across from burgundy is green so I would compliment it with a green scarf and brown boots.  I say this is a super cute  and comfy outfit!

Say I am going out to a dressy party: Now I have to think of an outfit for myself and the husband.  – I would wear a red dress, nude stalkings, beige shoes, beige purse (it is a neutral color so we are good) and a gold necklace.

Now my husband: Neutral color – Black suit with either a red shirt and beige tie or a white shirt and a red tie or bow-tie, black shoes.

It is super fun to accessorize and compliment a color once you choose your color scheme.  Try it out!

  1. Choose a color, from the color wheel.
  2. Decide whether you want to go monochromatic, or analogous (more info on our what to wear guide)
  3. Compliment that color.
  4. email us/comment with your combinations; we would love to see/read them!

Remember to get on our email list to receive our full “what to wear guide” with more details and to receive more information on our Fall and Christmas mini sessions!

Interested in a photography session? send us a email here 

Thanks for reading! Have fun!!


ana gil-taylor | Photographer
Portfolio | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Behind the scenes: Momprenuer, Annie Taylor

It is 7:30a. Floor do not dare to creak – I demand…

I have memorized every creak in my house, a twister champion has nothing on me.  I Tip toe as high as a ballerina in her first major performance.  I stop and listen as I make it to the last step; Yes!! I made it without her waking up!

My stomach dares to make hungry noises – I grab a piece of fruit; peaches have been my favorite lately – And I am ready for my two hour “follow up” marathon before my little one wakes up.. Ooh… the momprenuer diaries!

You are reading, momprenuers of CNY second blog in the series of five.  In July, I featured my good friend and  Personal Trainer, Hannah Salomon – you can read that blog here. This month I am featuring a momprenuer who has her time well balanced between work and life. Our behind the scenes photo shoot was at 8:45a – time chosen by her- and her house was spotless, two of her boys were already at camp and her youngest one was dressed and fed!!  AND she looked as vibrant and graceful as one of her designs. What in the world!?

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Who is this momprenuer?  Annie Taylor from Annie Taylor Design a designer who has mastered the use of pastel colors and typography, to bring all of us pastel lovers, beautiful designs.

ana gil-taylor momprenuers-0043I got to see how Annie makes things happen! Surrounded by her two 4 legged children and her youngest human. It was so familiar to experience her behind the scenes as she tried to work around her little one.   She would start working on something and had to start and stop numerous times to help her little one with something, eventually she got it done.

One aspect of Annie’s business philosophy I love most is her gentle encouragement to keeping hand-written cards/notes alive.  I LOVE writing cards/notes as well as receiving them. My day gets extra bright when I receive a hand-written note from my customers telling me they love their family portraits.  Here is a picture of some of my daily dosage of love.  It is an instant, pick me upper.

ana gil taylor hand-written notesWhen was the last time you mailed a handwritten note? When was the last time you received a handwritten note? Isn’t that a wonderful feeling? So simple, yet so impactful.  I always look for reasons to write notes, and reasons are plenty!   I had Annie custom design Thank You cards for me using my favorite pastel colors. I get my favorite stamps, my favorite pen and away I go writing thank you and birthday notes.

Hope you have enjoyed this blog post. Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for our video interview with Annie Taylor where she will share with all of us moms and momprenuers, how she manages to keep a happy business and a happy home while still taking care of herself (because let’s face it, that balancing act is the toughest!).  She may also teach us a thing or two about dressing up your hand-written cards/notes!  Remember to subscribe to be notified when the live interview is posted!

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PS: We have our famous ONE portrait for Christmas special coming up soon. Please subscribe and/or send us an email to be notified when the schedule is all set so you can join in the fun!.

ana gil-taylor | Event Photographer | My recap: mr. habitat 2015

Another great event documented! “mr habitat” 2015, Syracuse Habitat for Humanity premier annual event took place this year at the Landmark Theater. Sponsored by Anheuser-BuschBizEventz, as always, put together a great event. The hallways were decked out with sample foods by local vendors such as Carrabbas, Sky Armory, and Creole Soul Cafe amongst others. Of course savory follows sweets, and Gannon’s ice cream was there to satisfy that sweet-tooth.

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Suzanne Williams, Executive director for Syracuse Habitat for Humanity, introduced Melany Littlejohn, regional executive director for National Grid to the stage.  Littlejohn  gave a nice motivational speech about the impact donations to mr. habitat make in our CNY community.   Although the main attraction of this event was its live auction hosted by Lisa Chelenza from TK99; the raffle prizes were not too shabby. It included furniture, Mackenzie Childs pottery, Head-Shot Photography packages, and etc.  


ana gil taylor mrhabitat2015-6118Now to the main attraction: Guys got on stage to auction off their packages; and by packages I mean their contribution. Performances ranged from a break dance, where the performer did a split – my imagination automatically displayed a funny picture for me – to salsa dance where Joshua Diesti from Syracuse Dance, had Lisa Chelenza join him on stage, to a very soothing violin solo. Auction items included: Disney Hopper passes, 12 row Yankee tickets, and beer packages ( these ones were a hit) amongst others.

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There was a fun break between contestants where raffle ticket winners came on stage to claim their prize from a mystery tree. This tree was decorated by hanging envelopes which contained unknown gifts to its winners. A very fun idea.

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After all of the guys did their boogie dance a, winner was chosen based on how much money they had raised both, before and during the auction.  Scott Farnett, from National Grid was crowned mr. habitat 2015. His family (wife and children)  were so proud of him, It was so adorable I couldn’t help but ask them to join us on stage for a family portrait! ana gil taylor mrhabitat2015-6032ana gil taylor mrhabitat2015-6041ana gil-taylor mrhabitat2015-5714ana gil-taylor mrhabitat2015-6099E

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All contestants with Lisa Chelenza and main sponsor anheuser-busch

Simply put, it was a great community event which raised money for a very worthy cost, a home for a central new york family to raise their children in, which would not be possible without the support of Syracuse Habitat for Humanity and its premier event, mr. habitat.

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BizEventz and its volunteers

For more information about Syracuse Habitat for Humanity or to make a donation please feel free to visit their website.

I leave you with a couple of videos from the event:

Quick intro video of Joyl Clance from BizEventz and I before the show started.

and Lisa Chelenza and I behind the scenes before contestants came on stage

To contact ana gil-taylor Photography to document your next event

To contact BizEvents to plan your next event

Thank you for reading! Visit soon!


Behind the scenes: Mompreneurs

Being self-employed is a very rewarding accomplishment; One that brings fulfillment to my life each and everyday.  My active mind gets exercised with the demands and challenges of being self-employed; a welcomed side effect. I love being able to relax with my little ones when they get sick, bring them to their appointments and my favorite, being able to volunteer in their school activities.   The ease of being able to take a mental day off when necessary also deserves a mention.  All of these are awesome perks that would have been a bit harder to manage had I been working in the corporate world.

On the other hand,  being self-employed does come with a significant amount of challenges.  For me, the face off has been: finding the camaraderie I loved in corporate, establishing business hours and policies, keeping on top of business trends, and separating work and family.

I have been able to find the camaraderie and business support I miss from corporate from mompreneurs friends and support for the business aspects through local organizations and networking groups such as Onondaga Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Women Business Opportunities Connections (WBOC) amongst other means.

Having the support of other “mompreneur” friends is invaluable.  I feel lucky to be surrounded by an interesting variety of other business women.  I appreciate these ladies’ support so much, I have decided to feature them all on my blog.  These women are smart, great mothers, wives, and friends. This group of powerful and beautiful women is comprised of a personal trainer, a graphic designer, a promotional products guru, and two wonderful clothes designers. Syracuse, NY hit it big with these wonderful and talented gems in town.

ana gil taylor-Salomon-5791EThe first gem I am going to write about is my juicing partner, recipe inspiration buddy, party friend and the one who has gently encouraged me to try new and exciting ventures in the exercise world. Hannah Salomon, Personal trainer. 

Hannah Salomon, the exercise whisperer! Hannah is amazing at what she does. Her gentle but firm encouragement is one of the traits I love the most about her approach to fitness and self-transformation.  “Come to my Spin class, I will make sure your bike settings are right, if you like it you can come back, if you don’t at least you tried again.” this was her proposition for me to give spinning another try.  I had tried spinning  before and my body had a big tantrum.  My knees were in pain and back felt like my three kids made me carry them up and down the stairs three times! I was very hesitant.  I went to her class, she adjusted my bike, gave me a gel seat cover and played awesome music.  The workout was tough, however, 45 minutes  flew by.  I was hooked – so hooked I asked Santa for biking shoes that year.

Hannah customizes every workout based on her clients’ needs, goals, activity level and most importantly, she addresses any injuries her clients may have.


I love seeing my girl in action.  I recently did a photo session of her training one of her clients;  It was so intense and targeted, I felt sore after the session – Home girl means business!



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Salomon-6082E_FBConnect with Hannah if you are looking for a fun and inspiring instructor who offers an intense no nonsense workout with great music – or if you rather have the individualized attention of a personal trainer who will assist you in taking your body to the next level.  You will love her and the results!

She also teaches at Urban Life Athletics downtown Syracuse.  The first kick-A class is always free, so there is no obligation to buy or join anything.. but beware… her job is to give you a workout so awesome that you will want to come back for more!

Next month, I will introduce you to another Syracuse, NY gem,  a super sweet and talented graphic designer.

Thanks for reading! – ana

Watch the video to get motivational tips on getting started and staying focused in your goals as well as a kick -A- 8 minute workout to keep us going on those days when a longer workout is not doable.

To connect with Hannah: Facebook | Instagram | Website

To connect with ana gil-taylor and plan your next head shot or family session Portfolio | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

A little girl’s first love…

Four boys deep, with only hope inside that one day, God will gift him a little girl.  The story goes  he made promises to God and one of the virgins that if they gave him a little girl he would do XYZ.  One of these promises which will be with me for the rest of my life; My middle name is the virgin’s name. The day I was born was one of the happiest days of his life. People tell me how he spent hours watching me through the glass in the nursery where all the babies were kept back then. I imagine if I was crying with any discomfort his energy and love were so strong, it would smoothly sail through that glass and sooth me without a touch.

I was his girl. He was the first man I loved. We were inseparable. I remember how much I loved waiting for him at lunch time so I could scratch his head as he took his “siesta”. I loved shining his shoes so he could go back to work looking handsome. He is so handsome.  I could do no wrong, he could do no wrong. We made each other stronger. Every decision I made as a child, adolescent, young adult, and as an adult always had him in mind. I know it was the same for him. I am so thankful to God for choosing him as my dad. As cliché as it may sound, I am who I am today because of his love and what he taught me, not by words, but with actions.

It was the end of April; the day was beautiful it must have been 75 degrees.  The sunlight made my room feel so nice and warm. Yet, I woke up feeling uneasy. I got a text from my brother. “Papa just died”.  He had been sick for seven months, we all knew it was coming and still, It was a Surreal shock. I stared at that text for what seemed like hours. I felt nothing inside…My kids came to the room and without asking what was wrong gave me a hug, I guess it showed in my face. I remember, not reacting to it.  It was as though the self I knew I was before then was gone and replaced with another. I kept thinking…we still had so much to do. We had so many plans, this is not real.  The day he moved on, so did part of my soul.  I was not ready to let him go; I am sure he wasn’t ready either.

It has been six years and I still feel like calling him. The best dreams these days are when he visits me, when I can feel his hugs, hear his voice and hear him laugh once again. We share stories as we used to do. I love those dreams, it makes my day extra special.  These dreams  carry me through; I am still working on accepting he is gone. I am very thankful for the wonderful memories we shared but I would rather have him here with me.

I leave you with some of the memories captured physically which I am VERY thankful to have.

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Christmas in NYC_NJ_0510navidad_90_papi and usDR_04 Papi_josh_I