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!

Category Archives: portraits

Home {Santa Cruz family portrait photographer}

As I was sorting through these photographs it occurred to me that this is the seventh year in a row that I’ve photographed these people. They are some of my very favorites for sure and man, do I feel lucky to call them dear friends. We’ve been all over… from home with a one year old to grandpa’s ranch, back home with a baby brother, to the redwoods, to the spot where mom and dad were married, to an apple orchard, and now back home with a beautiful new baby sister. Life really is incredible.

123458671011912Thank you for sharing your lives with me. I loved being there and I love you guys. xo, J


Tree Love

Two sweet parents, a loving big brother, the most beautiful baby sister, and a tree.




Thank you N, D, O, & O…I am so grateful to have been there. xo

Bliss {Santa Cruz Family Portrait Photographer}

A beautiful evening with a gorgeous family…











Thanks, guys for such a fun afternoon and for bringing me to this amazing spot. It was the perfect backdrop for your beautiful crew, full of sunshine, beauty, joy, and love! xo, J

The golden hour {Aptos, CA family portrait photographer}

I love this family. We met up at one of their favorite beaches on one of the most beautiful evenings of the year and I left feeling grateful to know them.

Thank you, beautiful people for sharing such a glorious evening with me. Love to you all! xxoo

Rollin’ {Santa Cruz family portrait photographer}

I got to tag along with this sweet family as they rolled around the West Side on a gorgeous November evening. It didn’t feel much like work.

Thank you E, G, G, & I for such a lovely time, it was an honor and a joy. West Cliff Drive was shining even more brightly than usual with your smiling faces rolling along. xo, J


It is so much fun watching a family grow. In age, in numbers, in love.

Thanks, guys. You made it an even more beautiful evening. All my love, always. xo

Life is beautiful {Santa Cruz family portrait photographer}

After a few foggy evenings, the sun came out in all its glory for this beautiful family…and I know that it was not by coincidence.

Dear, dear J, C, C, & C…what can I say? Your beauty radiates and shines every day, but on this day I got to see it up close. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all so very much.

All my Love, J

apples, apples {Santa Cruz family portrait photographer}

This sweet family was visiting from Prague and once again made time to have their family portraits taken. We had such a wonderful evening. I love these boys…they transported me back to a time when all that mattered was climbing the apple tree and scoring the biggest apple.

N,J,A,A, & Little E…thank you for meeting up with me. It was a pleasure and an honor to photograph your beautiful family once again. I’ll think of you and smile every time pass by the apple trees at the ranch from now on.

Much love and safe travels to you all, Jo Ann

Beach Love {Santa Cruz Family Portrait Photography}


On this particular evening my job was unbelievably easy. When there is this much love and joy the magic just happens on its own. I simply watch and  press the shutter. Thank you E,G,E,P,&C for a beautiful evening…I can still feel your love for each other. It was a tremendous honor. Love to you all. xo


“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
― Will Rogers