jo ann manolis photography

Welcome to the blog of Jo Ann Manolis Photography! I’m a wedding, portrait, and fine art photographer based in Santa Cruz, CA. I’ve created this blog as a means of sharing my work and life with my clients, family, and friends. I’ll be updating it regularly with my latest work, thoughts and ideas regarding photography and art, and links to many fabulous artists and vendors. So, take a look around, enjoy, and leave me a message here if you’re inspired. I can also be reached directly by e-mail via my website:, or by phone at: (831)359-7948. Thanks for stopping by!

Monthly Archives: September 2007

Nancy and Al’s Wedding

I have so much to blog, but will try to stay sequential and work my way back to the present. I begin with another fabulous wedding! Congratulations to Nancy and Al, who were married in the quaint little town of Monrovia, CA on September 15th. I must admit that I was nervous before this one! This marked the first wedding in which I had never met the couple. Nancy and I had some conversations over the phone and exchanged e-mails, but hadn’t officially met. Well, both the Bride and Groom turned out to be incredibly gracious, accommodating, and kind people. They made me feel very much a part of their special day. In fact, this ended up being one of the most enjoyable weddings to date! I’d like to thank Nancy and Al and their families for this warm welcome, it really meant a lot.

A few anticipation shots:



A friend designed the invitations, they were absolutely stunning.

The bride was stunning as well.



I love this series…



The Maid Of Honor was gorgeous.

I truly believe that the photojournalistic approach yields the very best portraits. Here are some of my favorite candids:




And a few prompted (not posed) shots…these two did not need cueing, they were naturals!


I used my macro lens to get a close-up of this yellow rose on the cake. With no Photoshop at all, this somehow ended up looking like more of a Georgia O’Keefe than an actual photograph. My photography instructor would’ve called this one a happy accident:

The ceremony took place under a nearly 100 year old fig tree. This location, drenched in the setting sun was both majestic and romantic. Nancy’s vows referenced the tree as a symbol of her love for Al. Beautiful…

Congratulations you two! Thanks again, I had a blast!

Happy Birthday Kostaki!

September 4th marked our son, Konstandino’s 3rd birthday. Kostaki or Kosta (as we call him) or Dino (as our non-Greek friends and family refer to him) arrived 3 weeks early in ’04. Physically and mentally, we were anything but ready (it took us 2 weeks to decide on a name and some of our friends actually thought that we had named him “baby boy” as this was the name on his hospital arm bracelet). Our hearts, however, were more than ready. He came home with us on Labor Day and since then our lives haven’t been the same. We laugh more, sleep less, paint more, clean less, and love more than we ever knew possible. When I was pregnant I would sit on the futon listening to Cat Stevens and Kosta would kick through the entire album. I had no idea if this person inside of me was a girl or a boy, a blonde Irish kid or a wild, curly-haired Greek, but I knew that anyone who kicked throughout an entire Cat Stevens CD would be my best friend.

…I was right.



In the zone at his birthday party last Saturday…

Some post-surf fun with Oisin at the party

The master at work


Rollin’ with Matteo…



Happy Birthday you big, beautiful boy!

Wilder Ranch Wednesday, August 29th

Whenever I spend time with my friend Tina and her twins, I feel incredibly humbled as a parent. Twins make the parent of the only child look and feel wimpy. There is no way around it, really. The adorable Zander and Rowan, just short of 18 months, are always on the go to say the least. We spent the afternoon at beautiful Wilder Ranch State Park in Santa Cruz (locals, if you have not yet visited this amazing place, it is a must!) last Wednesday, and I managed to capture a few shots of them with my brand new 85mm 1.2 medium telephoto lens. This lens is a great portrait lens, but I now realize that there are no such things as portraits of toddler aged, twin boys…I’d probably prefer to call them action shots. I’m sure you’ll agree that these guys are works of art! To see some other works of art created by their mom, (this time in the form of paintings), check out her website: Her work is beautiful…just like Zander and Rowan!

Zander looking cute, as usual.



Rowan was busier than Zander on this particular day…a little harder to capture,
but equally as photogenic:




And here is Supermom with her guys.
(The back of Dino’s head is in the foreground, he’s enamored with Tina and co.)

We Love you guys!