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: March 2010

Santa Cruz Family Portrait Photography: Bliss at the dog beach

I feel so lucky that I got to shoot this beautiful family last weekend. The weather was perfect…

Perhaps the only stationary image that I was able to capture of this sweet guy:

Wow, you guys really are so beautiful…

As I posted these images, I realized that I never got the chance to post the last shoot I did with these awesome people last fall. The day was overcast, but the subjects glowed just the same!

The beach images are actually for an artist who will be doing a painting of this family. Can’t wait to see the finished product! K,M,A,N,&R…thanks for a wonderful evening, you guys are so easy to be around that I forget I’m working! Many thanks and much Love to you all! -Jo


Santa Cruz Engagement Shoot: Tina & Ryan

Congrats to Tina and Ryan who are tying the knot this summer. Thanks to the amazing weather lately, we took advantage a gorgeous spring afternoon in Santa Cruz…complete with blooming wildflowers and the most beautiful sunset!

Beautiful Bride:

Handsome Groom:

I love the cameo in this one…

Tina’s friend will be choreographing their first dance on their wedding night…and so they did a bit of practicing in the wildflowers.

Tina & Ryan, thank you for such a lovely evening. I had a great time with you guys. I was especially taken by the incredibly gentle and kind way in which you relate to each other. Pat and I are so excited to photograph your wedding in July, it will be an honor! With Love, J


it is here…

and so are Evelyn’s daffodils…

A, J, & E…we love you guys! xo

the most precious one of all

Spring has definitely sprung in our little garden.

We planted so many bulbs in November and it has been so much fun watching them resurface transformed as beautiful flowers. The below one, however, is the only one that I really care about. It is Evelyn’s flower, it is the bright, shining star of our springtime and it is almost here.

We’re waiting with bated breath and will keep you posted…

Nonviolent Communication Santa Cruz

Back in October, I donated a family portrait session for Nonviolent Communication Santa Cruz’s annual silent auction. NVC is such an awesome organization. They provide opportunities to learn lifelong skills for communicating with compassion, fostering mutual respect, and resolving conflicts peacefully. They work with schools, organizations, places of worship, families, and businesses just to name a few. They provide mediation, counseling, information, and ongoing workshops and classes for the community. This is such an amazing resource for our community and I was honored to be a very small part of their annual fundraiser.

Thank you, beautiful family for generously supporting such a worthwhile cause. It was an honor to meet and photograph all of you!

To learn more about NVC Santa Cruz, check out their website or blog. I love their logo, a hand making a peace sign. We could all use a little more peace in our lives, no?

to the beach

I’ve spent the first day of the weekend holed up in front of my computer catching up on work, but the boys were beach bound this morning and are still there. Maybe tomorrow I’ll take a little break and enjoy the lovely weather a little bit. Definitely a trip to the farmers market and maybe even a run or a yoga class if I’m really lucky. In the meantime, this is what things look like around here when we’re heading off to the beach. Cruiser’s basket is filled up with beach toys and off we go. Spring is almost here!

Have a great rest of the weekend!



layin’ low…

Today marks one month that we’ve been back from Ohio but it feels more like one week. We’re enjoying being back and getting back into our routines again. I’ve been finding great pleasure in slowly crossing things off of my list but not killing myself to do so. Everyone has been so patient, I’m incredibly grateful. One foot in front of the other is my motto these days…which turns out to be a good motto as we’ve really been enjoying so much lately. Although I’m definitely a warm weather & sunshine girl, I have to admit that I’ve been loving these rainy days. Today we snuggled up in bed in the middle of the afternoon and read a few chapters from Little House in the Big Woods. I could have easily finished the book, but he wanted to go outside and play in the rain. I made it out to the stoop but stopped when the hail started…and grabbed the camera which I hadn’t used in over a month.

The hail was pretty cool but it hurt his hands, he said.

Amanda West

Amanda West, the amazing musician based in Santa Cruz, has a few new projects coming up and needed new portraits. I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of this amazingly creative shoot. We started out just before sunrise and got some moody, dark images and them we were able to catch some really beautiful light as the sun peeked through the leaves. Take a look:

If you’re wondering about the location, it is Everett Family Farm. We’re regulars at their stand at the Sunday morning farmer’s market as well as their farm stand. Delicious organic produce and a really sweet family. Thanks, Everett family for having us in your beautiful persimmon orchard.

Thanks, Amanda for allowing me to be a part of your blossoming career…you amaze me with your talent and passion. And thanks also to the fabulous Shivani for working so hard to make the shoot perfect. You made my job so much easier!

To learn more about Amanda, listen to her amazing music, or see when she may be playing in your town, click HERE. Her website features some images from our last shoot.