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!

Confessions of a Karaoke Convert

OK, so today I want to talk about Karaoke.

Not a typical blog post, I know. Nevertheless, this has been on my mind quite a bit lately and I just have to get it off my chest…

So, my friends Annie and Jonathan, who were married on August 9th, had this amazing wedding weekend with three days of festivities. After the rehearsal dinner on Friday night there was a Karaoke party planned. I’ll be honest, up until last Friday night, I hated karaoke. I assumed that it was something that sad, lonely people did after having a few too many cheap domestic beers at really lame bars. Admittedly, when I got the wedding schedule I cringed when I saw Karaoke as a late-night festivity and prayed to the Gods of sanity that this was simply a misprint and that I wouldn’t have to endure this type of torture the night before a big shoot. Usually on the night before a wedding, I like to spend a quiet evening relaxing, cleaning my lenses, and ironing my clothes for the next day. I wasn’t sure what a late night Karaoke party would do for my emotional well-being on a wedding day.

I’m not sure how it happened, exactly…but my ice-cold aversion to this odd activity melted first into understanding, then to respect, then to…well…love. I don’t have the correct words for the change that transpired inside of me on 8/8/08, but I do have a few photos. Enjoy.

I showed up to the bride-to-be belting out a duet with her friend Dave and was mildly disturbed amused.

Apparently there is this book that lists song choices. It was circulating all evening and receiving a fair bit of chuckles.

Karaoke can be quite macho. I noticed some big talk amongst the crowd.

But then I observed the smiles on people’s faces and thought…”Maybe karaoke isn’t so sad and lonely after all…”

I love this shot:

Ok, now down to business:

The talent was pretty tight. I mean, this has got to be the best rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody that two high school biology teachers have ever performed. Ever.

I won’t lie, things did get a little intense there for a moment…

So I headed outside to the campfire, had a s’more, and took a breather. The s’more lady was adorable, don’t you think?

Thankfully, when I returned, things had simmered down a bit. My love for karaoke was pretty much solidified here.

And here.

And here, of course.

The look of a performer after smoking the competition.

And the look of a satisfied customer. I’d definitely say that Friday night’s kareoke show was well worth the price of admission!

The die hards. Notice Kevin, my second shooter in the background. What a slacker!

Biology, bowling, and belting it out!

Was karaoke an elective at Pomona or something?

Make no mistake, though…Annie was the star of the show!

More on this awesome weekend to come!

**EDITED TO ADD: My apologies to anyone who saw the early version of this post, where I repeatedly misspelled the word Karaoke. I didn’t even think to spell check this as I had never even considered it a real word! My Bad.


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