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!

Mid-Winter Thoughts

It is always nice to read nice things about yourself…

With that said, I was so tickled to read an entry in my friend, Cayce’s blog about a portrait session that I did for her family back in November. She posted some images and recounted what went on during the shoot. It is a lovely post and left me blushing.

People often ask me how I can get small children to look so happy in my portraits. My answer? Sit back, let the child and his/her family do their thing, and take lots (and lots and lots and lots) of photos. I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t want to smile. It is just that they may not want to smile for an hour continuously. Who would? My cheeks hurt just thinking about it. So, instead of trying to make a kid laugh or squeeze a squeaky bird-like toy, I just try to disappear and click away constantly. In the end, regardless of whether it is a great day or not, I get images of a happy child. I may get 60 smiling images and 360 frowning images, but after I delete the unwanted ones, I have 50 gorgeous smiling images. And as for all of those frowns? Well, I always keep a few for good measure as nobody wants things to look too unrealistic;), but beyond that, the trash can gobbles them up and we all forget that the frown to smile ratio may have been 6:1 that day.

So, thank you Cayce for the kind words! To read what she had to say, CLICK HERE.

On a completely unrelated note, I wanted to share a few personal images. We had the most delightfully warm weather here in Santa Cruz a few weeks ago and we tried to take full advantage. On one of these days, Kosta and I went to Happy Hollow Park and Zoo in San Jose and found it to be in the mid-seventies. Here are a few from the goat area at Happy Hollow. For those of you who may not know, I am of Greek descent and have always had quite a penchant for goats. It was heart-warming to see that my son shares my sentiment!



The Goat Whisperer

I cannot believe that I managed to locate these, but here I am in the summer of 1979 with Honey, our family pet. The neighbors were perplexed with our choice of pets (there were not many Greek families living in Bath, Ohio at the time). I distinctly remember my mom taking both of these photos.



And back to Happy Hollow. A couple of fun close-up shots with my 15mm fisheye lens:



The following day, I pulled Kosta and his buddy Matteo down to the beach for hours of fun. It was a sight to behold, so I grabbed a shot with my point-and-shoot before we left.

I send each of you warm mid-winter thoughts!


3 responses to “Mid-Winter Thoughts

  1. Lia March 3, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Love the little katsiki…awe…honey….

    miss you guys.

    beautiful photos

  2. Paul March 3, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Love the little kotstaki too!

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