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: August 2009


What do you say to someone who has loved, really loved your child for the last three years? How, exactly do you thank them?













LoLo, we left a few pieces of our hearts beneath your oak tree this week. I think that they just might stay there forever…

I have a dirty little secret…

Want to hear it?






I still love film best…

What Love Looks Like. {Los Gatos Family Portrait Photography}

I was so honored when Nicole contacted me all the way from Europe several months ago about a family portrait session. She, her children, and her brother would be in the country visiting her parents and she asked if I could capture some images of their family together. The answer, of course, was a resounding yes! Nicole and her family were so incredibly gracious and her two little ones were as sweet as they look.









If someone were to ask me what what love looks like, I would show them these next three images…blog9



Beautiful mom + happy children + stunning location + late afternoon sun +Love = a photographer’s dream come true!


I was so taken by how sweet and gentle Nicole’s brother was with his nephews. I later learned that he’s a preschool teacher.blog14


The whole gangblog4

And of course, I couldn’t help but to do my favorite thing…shoot right into the setting sun! Could I have been any luckier on this day?blog16

Nicole, I was honored to be contacted by you, but even more honored to have been able to spend time with you and your family. Each one of you radiates so much beauty and joy. Thank you for including me in this evening…I loved it!


Jo Ann


Today is a good day. It’s my mom’s birthday and I can just smell late summer in Bath, Ohio where we gathered to eat pie and celebrate. I miss her so much…


Happy Birthday, Mom…I Love you.

slipping away…

Away I go for a few days to enjoy some late summer sunsets, trail runs, and river wading. I know I’m overdue because I’m actually debating on whether or not I should bring my camera along. I’m leaning toward leaving her behind. She has been so good to me, after all…and just may appreciate a break as well.


I’ll be back in action on Monday, August 10th and will be answering all e-mails and voice mails then. Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding.

With Much Love,



Yesterday was my second consecutive Sunday of not turning my computer on. So hard to do with deadlines looming, clients waiting, and ideas, thoughts, colors, and dreams floating around in my head…but, I did it and it was magical I tell you. This is my new creed, a day unplugged with my family and loved ones receiving my undivided attention…with the exception of an hour or so alone on the running trails or maybe in yoga class. Other than that, I get to enjoy the precious things.

We had the most glorious afternoon visiting friends in their new home. We played with trucks, hung out on the lawn, and ate a yummy dinner in their gorgeous fruit tree-filled backyard. As I watched the sun dip down, I had to pull out my camera and snap a few quick ones of the delicious light. Most are of my tree-climbing almost-5-year-old which I’ll save for Yia-Yia…but I did grab a shot of my favorite tree in the yard. I’m trying to figure out why I’ve gone 36 years without tasting these little gems. Everyone else said that they were too sour, but I found them perfect and mouth-watering. How lucky am I to be able to taste my very first ones right off of the tree?


I send you love right off of the tree today…