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

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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.

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
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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

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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

Hello 43!! – Thank you for being so awesome 42!

The 40’s.. I remember growing up hearing women around me talking about the 40’s as if reaching it was going to be the end of their world.   I was so scared of reaching 40, I seriously thought I was going to die at 39; of a heart attack nonetheless!   Then, I turned 40 and I woke up with my little one hugging me, breakfast in bed with soggy cereal and I saw her smile and I felt my smile. Oh my gosh! I made it! was the thought in my mind.

The 40’s are AMAZING! I have really enjoyed turning older every year since I was a little girl. Dancing, parties, cake, it was great. However, nothing beats the feeling of the wisdom that comes from being older, the confidence, the way my perspective changes for the better and beliefs strengthen. I can truly admire how I take care and keep taking care of the blessings God has sent my way.  I feel very strongly about the fact that I can admire it even more now because I am older.

So I think, If being older brings this sense of peace, admiration, security, and happiness to my life I look forward to my 50’s and 60’s and oh wow, imagine the 70’s and 80’s? Goodness wow!  For now, I will keep enjoying every single year, every new experience and myself. There is a lot of greatness in store for me:

Today is my last day as a 42’er and here are some silly things I learned that make me smile and laugh at myself because it was such a wow moment for me.

– I learned that sometimes one has to go “Clinical Strength”  I LOVE the style of some synthetic fabric, but it doesn’t love me; it gives me the worst BO EVER! One day,  I am not sure how in the world it happen, I picked up a deodorant that would supposedly form a barrier between the skin and the fabric. I tried it.. and WOW… oh my gosh!! I was dancing, lifting my arms, IT worked!!! I don’t even want to look at the ingredients in that deodorant – it is probably so harsh! so I made it a point to just wear that fabric once or twice a month.

– The second silly but awesome thing I learned- I LOVE  to feel my feet soft when I am going to bed. So I am always moisturizing, but for some reason, this crazy winter, my feet would not stay moisturized so I kept waking up in the middle of the night to dry feet–the worst! One day, when I went to bath & body, I was not even looking for a foot cream. The girl goes, ” …. and we also have a special on foot spa products” DING! I  asked her what she would recommend for my situ. she recommended a scrub and a lotion. It took one day! The next night, my feet were SOOOOOO soft… oh my gosh!!

So yea, at 42, I was able to wear synthetic fabric and keep my feet soft. amongst other amazing personal lessons.

I leave you with a cute and fun photo shoot I did of myself, celebrating 42.

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annie gil-taylor-0133EThanks for reading,



Happy Mother’s day!

Happy mother’s day to all the mothers in the whole universe! I absolutely love being a mother dispite all the headaches, the sleepless nights, the premature gray hairs, the cold meals; because these all get erased with one simple kiss, a hug, a cute the ultimate magic eraser, an “I love you mommy”

I leave you with this cute heart melting mommy slideshow.  Wishing you an awesome Mother’s day!

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ana gil taylor mother's day 2015

ana gil taylor family_6951Enjoy!

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Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation: Basket Ball 2015: My recap

This year marks the Jim and Juli Boeheim foundation 16th anniversary Basket Ball.  Held at the Turning Stone, in Verona NY.

Basket Ball Gala 15-0224eNo doubt, the Gala is their biggest fund raiser. They go all out for their supporters.   Starting with an intimate VIP reception hosted by Joyce Hergenhan where about 300 VIP guests get to enjoy three open bars, delicious looking Hors d’oeuvres, and hang out with the Syracuse Basketball team.

Basket Ball Gala 15-0195Basket Ball Gala 15-0190This year they added the “Orange carpet experience” where their VIP guests, definitely dressed to impress, got to take their photo with Jim and Juli Boeheim.

Basket Ball Gala 15-0162Juli herself did not disappoint her fans.  She looked stunning in her Armani dress; without a doubt one of the most beautiful women at the Gala.

Basket Ball Gala 15-1460e2The Atrium was adorned by a great variety of silent auction items sure to please all bid ranges. From sports memorabilia to beautiful painting to handsome bow-ties and professional head shots.Basket Ball Gala 15-0258A great hit for SU Basketball fans was getting their pictures taken with the team, made even better because they got to take a hard copy of the photo home! – thanks to Best Eye Photography.

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Their live auction was one of my favorite parts at last year’s Basket Ball;  and it didn’t disappoint this year.  Jim and Juli’s stage dynamic is phenomenal already, bring in Bob Costas! – a recipe for a fun live auction! Basket Ball Gala 15-1427 Basket Ball Gala 15-1464Live auction Items included, trips to the final four, to dinner with Jim and Juli, to great Dome seats. The really fun part was the auctioned off Rakeen Christmas, Jim Boeheim, and Bob Costas’ custom made J. Allen inspired bow-ties.  All three bow-ties were signed live by Rakeem, Costas and Jim.Basket Ball Gala 15-1534Basket Ball Gala 15-1548Of course the bid war started high for Rakeem’s bow-tie! The bidder bargained well and got all three signed bow-ties for $10K. However, as Jim often does he gave away a second bow-tie, this one was a basketball themed bow-tie which also went for $10K. The energy was so great, some of the players got on the floor to help collect the bids. Great, great time.   Basket Ball Gala 15-1562Basket Ball Gala 15-0355blog

Basket Ball Gala 15-0347eblogBasket Ball Gala 15-1579Basket Ball Gala 15-1592blogWhat can I tell you about the food? I can tell you what I heard – Guests were commenting how amazing the food was and how deliciously scrumptious the dessert – sea salt chocolate caramel.. YUM!

My second favorite part was the energy of all guests on the dance floor!  Everyone was enjoying themselves so much! Guests of all ages, smiling, singing along, dancing to the great music of Prime Time Horns.  – Not even Jim and Juli could resist the dance floor call.  It was so hard to contain myself – I love to dance!!

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Basket Ball Gala 15-0516Last, but certainly not least, the raffle! Donated by M. Lemp Jewelers– a beautiful pink sapphire and diamond bracelet. It was a a bit of a nail bitter as the first number called was either in the bathroom or had already left – oops!!  The crowd around was very liberal showing their support to pull another ticket! The next ticket pulled… Jim called it a couple of times.. then one winner yelled out!…..but it wasn’t the winner either.. soooo on again.. the crowd even more energetic and hopeful cheering to pull another ticket.  A number gets pulled out one more time… FINALLY, a winner! Her smile was as shiny and beautiful as the diamonds themselves.

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Basket Ball Gala 15-0550Basket Ball Gala 15-1666 Basket Ball Gala 15-0572 Basket Ball Gala 15-0575 It was meant for her!

At the end of the night, I am sure with tired feet, but still looking amazing, guests came out to claim their bids, and so it goes..Every guest came in happy and left happier! Their  donation goes to a great cause – to enrich the lives of kids in need as well as to support cancer research and advocacy.

Basket Ball Gala 15-0591The Basket Ball 2015 was a great success thanks to the event organizer and foundation administrator,  Kelly Taylor and her team of volunteers.  I would also like to give a shout out to the Turning Stone security team and staff it is always great to work with them!.  They are all equally helpful and a joy to work with.

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Kelly Taylor, Foundation Administrator and Gala organizer

Basket Ball Gala 15-0650It’s a wrap!

You can view my recap from last  year’s gala here . If you were at the Gala and would like to see more pictures, please feel free to send me an email. You can also follow me on any of these: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter Thanks for reading!

Need and events Photographer, please keep us in mind, we would love to document your next event! email us for more information

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