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: May 2011


Mama, how many days have I been alive?

Although I’m not really a quantity or numbers person this question intrigued me. We got the calculator out and, with the exceptions of a few odd-numbered months and a leap year or two, came to an approximate number that sounded good to him. I think it’s pretty close.

I looked at that number and gasped. 2441 days.

I’ve been thinking abut each of these days, about which ones were relished and which ones wasted. I wondered how many of these days I could’ve been more present and which ones could’ve been done over better. I remembered a few that I wish I could forget altogether and many that I hated to see end.  I thought about all of the bedtime stories, the snacks packed for the beach, the frantic cleaning that would ensue during naps, the frustration, how much I would miss him when we were apart, and how he would just say “Want Mama” over and over again when he started at childcare. And then I looked up and saw his face, teeth missing with a giant smile…”Wow, that’s a lot of days!” he exclaimed.

So much has been going on lately…preparations for first grade, finally learning to pump and keep himself swinging on the swings without needing to be pushed, writing, riding his new bike with joy, eating the veggies that he once refused to eat. Yesterday I heard silence from his room and realized that it had been way too quiet for way too long. So, I peeked in and there he was, sitting quietly playing Legos. He looked up at me and smiled, looking so grown up. I remember when he wouldn’t let me out of his sight, toddling after me as I went to the bathroom and sitting at my feet while I washed the dishes. Time is going by. It brings beautiful things I know, but it is breaking my heart.

I love this snapshot. I took it with my point-and-shoot the other day. The painting is by my friend Tina. Check out her work, it is amazing.

moms day

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there. There is definitely no greater joy, challenge, love, or heartbreak…and there is nothing that I’m more grateful for. I love being a mom.