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!

55 Years. {Santa Cruz Portrait Photography}

I was so excited when my friend Sandra called and asked me to photograph her family. The session itself was a birthday gift for her mother. I honestly believe that there is no better gift that anyone can give than a portrait session (are you reading this, sweetie?) I know, I know…I’m a photographer and I’m supposed to say that. But believe me, I’ve done this enough times to know that something kind of amazing happens while I’m snapping away. Maybe it’s the fact that everyone slows down for long enough to realize what brought them to the session in the first place, or maybe it’s just dumb luck. Regardless, I almost always feel something unexplainable transpire during family sessions and this one was no exception.

Here are a few that caught my eye.

Sandra’s nephew and niece. I’m not sure how, but I always luck out and get to photograph the most beautiful children.

The whole gang (Sandra is in the back row, left hand side).

A sweet moment.

And another…

Sandra’s parents have been married for 55 years. I just love the way that they’re looking at each other in the next two images.

And I can’t possibly post these images without thanking Anthony. He was a fabulous assistant and was incredibly gracious and helpful. Here he is holding a patio umbrella for me, what a guy!

Sandra, I was not at all surprised to find your family to be warm, gracious, and so very welcoming, just like you! A huge thank you to ALL of you for a lovely afternoon. Joining you was a true privilege.


Jo Ann


2 responses to “55 Years. {Santa Cruz Portrait Photography}

  1. Sandra October 11, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Jo Ann,

    We had a great afternoon with you. The pictures are wonderful! We all felt so relaxed and happy. Thank you. We now will have so many happy memories.


  2. joannmanolisphotography October 11, 2008 at 10:04 pm


    I am so glad that you’re happy with the photos. I loved being there with you and your wonderful family, thank you for having me!

    With Love and Gratitude,

    Jo Ann

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