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!

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep


I’ve put off blogging about this for awhile now because I haven’t been sure how to put it all into words, but here it goes…

In February 2005, a baby boy named Maddux was born in Colorado. He died 6 days later. Before he passed away, his parents decided that they wanted some portraits taken of him. They had three other children and their walls were filled with family portraits. They wanted images of Maddux on their walls as well. They asked the nurse about the photographer responsible for the beautiful images hanging on the walls of the maternity ward and called the number on the business card. That evening (the evening of Maddux’s death), Littleton, CO photographer Sandy Puc came and photographed Maddux with his parents. She told mom and dad to call her whenever they were ready to see the images. Mom called the next day. Sandy delivered the images a few days later and mom mentioned that as grateful as she was for the images, she knew that there had been several other mothers who had recently left the hospital without their babies…and without beautiful photographs.


Together, Sandy Puc and Cheryl Haggard (mom of Maddux) started Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, a non-profit organization of professional photographers who visit hospitals or hospices to photograph babies who will not survive. There is no religious affiliation and no exchange of money, just a CD or DVD of high-resolution, professionally processed images for the family. What started off with Maddux and his parents is now a 7,000+ member organization in the U.S.and 25 other countries.

I’m honored to announce that I’m officially one of those 7,000+ members. Last Friday, I attended the first official N.I.L.M.D.T.S. regional meeting for the Monterey Bay area, headed up by the talented Andy Rea. We’re working to affiliate ourselves with nearby hospitals so that if this sad situation arises locally, we are only a phone call away should the parents be interested in our services.

For more information and details, to locate a photographer in your area, or to apply to be a N.I.L.M.D.T.S. affiliate photographer, check out the N.I.L.M.D.T.S. website.


One response to “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

  1. Nicole May 28, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Hi Jo Ann,

    I attended Sandy Puc’s tour this year and was blown away by this charity. I want to volunteer, but don’t feel like my skills are there yet. The moment I feel that I am capable of taking such precious images, I will sign up. I would love to hear about your work with this wonderful charity – please keep us updated!

    As always, great work!


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