ana gil-taylor: Headshots | Hair and Makeup question

One of the first questions I get asked by my female headshots customers is; Should I have my hair and make up professionally done?

Answer: Yes.

Hair and Make-up should go hand-in-hand when investing in your headshots.  Not only will having your hair and make-up professionally done bring you an instant confidence boost, but it will also transfer to your photographer.  The way my customer’s demeanor and attitude changes after hair and make-up is incredibly fascinating and undoubtably energizing.  It allows for a bit more creativity and flexibility.

When photographing, experimenting/playing with lighting is a lot of much fun for me; I can create different moods, enhance my customer’s beauty even more, and ladies… lighting also smoothes out the face even more, by filling in shadows – Shadows create lines – not good for us ladies. The right make up application, great lighting and photographer, will return beautiful and natural looking headshots, and very little retouching to boot!

I leave you with these selfies I took with my iphone playing with my nightstand table lamp and my professionally done makeup 🙂

Oh I was feeling great; the hair was on point and so was makeup!  I had just come home from an event and was feeling it.  These were taken at 1:30a.  My make-up was professionally done, assisted by my night stand lamp as fill.  As per retouching, I applied a filter to darken the background a bit  and that made my face look a little lighter, but that was the extent of it.  

In this shot the lighting is evenly distributed throughout my entire face. I love how in this shot you can see how simple but on point for me, my make up was.

I like this shot as well, you can see “hot” spots from the highlighting the MUA applied.

Here, I wanted to show contrast between my lipstick and the nails. I got really close to the light to lessen the intensity of my lipstick and positioned my hands in a way where the light wouldn’t affect it much. I was pretty happy at the way it came out. 🙂

That lamp is boss, isn’t it? 🙂 

Gentlemen, don’t worry, I have tips for your headshots session as well. Stay tuned and make sure to follow me! Facebook, Instagram   

Thank you for reading! – ana

Contact us with any questions or to schedule your headshot session. 

Headshots are your personal trademark,  a small investment with huge returns.


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!


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

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,



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

ana gil-taylor | Photographer | Portfolio

ana gil-taylor: Head Shots for everyone!

Head-shots are not only for actors, models or corporations. They are for everyone! Online presence; self-branding is imperative, especially now in this media driven society. What is the first thing we do when we meet people, whether it is business related or personal? We “google” or Facebook them right?. We want to know more about them.   How are you representing yourself in social media? 

Head-shots should show your prospects a glimpse of who you are with a hint of mystery for them to take the next step and find out more about you and your services.

Mom and owner of POW promos promotional marketing materials

Mom and owner of POW promos promotional marketing materials

I had a customer who chose me to photograph her family solely based on my head-shot. How do I know this? I asked her how she heard about me and why she chose me.  She said “..because you looked very easy going, mischievous and energetic on your head-shot, perfect match for my family” My head-shots accurately portrayed me and my personality and I got a great booking out of it;  kind of awesome right?

IT Business Development, Sales Engineering, Sales Management

IT Business Development, Sales Engineering, Sales Management

I know it can be intimidating to get in front of the camera by ourselves, with no props or children to distract us. Believe me, as much as I love to show off in front of the camera and behind it, I still get nervous at head-shot time. However, I trust my photographer he knows the angles, and the light and how to get me to relax to capture the best possible representation of myself and personality. 

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Mom and Personal trainer-

To ensure we get the absolute best head-shot to represent you; we will have a pre-consultation to discuss what you are looking for in a head-shot and what to expect the day off the session.  We talk about wardrobe, make up, hair, what to expect the day of the session and after.

The day of the session feels less scary to you and for me it feels like I am photographing a friend and this!…. is a recipe for great looking, full of personality, head-shot that represent you and what you will be using them for.

To visit our head-shots gallery visit us here.

To schedule a meeting and learn more about our head-shots or to schedule your session please click here.

We would love to meet with you and hopefully photograph you!

Thanks for reading!


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