Photographer Spotlight – Maria Manco Photography

We are so happy to be shining the photography spotlight on Maria Manco of Maria Manco Photography. Maria is a natural light documentary/lifestyle photographer based out of Cleveland, Ohio.  She believes in capturing the everyday moments, the wonder of childhood and the love of family.  She is also a mom of two little ones and loves documenting their childhood in an honest and authentic way. Maria has been a wonderful supporter of The Gold Hope Project. In the fall of last year, she generously donated sales from a mini session event to the project. We are super excited to be sharing Maria’s photography and heart with you today!

What made you want to donate a portion of your mini session event to The Gold Hope Project?  Until recently, I naively thought childhood cancer was rare and for the most part treatable.  I didn’t know anyone who had gone through childhood cancer, either themselves or their child.  It is not something I heard about that often.  And then I met Cynthia (Ava’s mother and President for the project) and learned of her story and of Ava, inspiration behind the project.  I learned how very little funding childhood cancer receives and that some types have a 0% survival rate. Zero! I then had the pleasure of photographing Cynthia and her family and I saw the beautiful photos of Ava hanging up and how the photos helped to keep her a present part of their lives.  I love that The Gold Hope Project connects families with photographers to give them these beautiful photos of their families that show their love and their strength.


Has working with children with cancer changed anything in your life? It has really helped me to not sweat the small stuff so much with my own children.  To smother them in kisses and love.  To try and remember that when I am sending my kids to the first day of school, wrapping their birthday presents, packing their lunch, tackling the never ending pile of laundry, that there are so many parents who had those moments taken away and I send a little thought of love out to them.


 What is one thing you hope families you photograph for the project can take away from this experience?

I recently had the pleasure of photographing this awesome little man, Liam – he had my heart from the second I met him at a wedding I was photographing.  He’s spirited, smart as heck, and full of love.  It pours out of him.  He kicked cancer’s butt and we keep hoping to see clear scans.  I was so happy and honored to photograph him and his mom in the Prayers for Maria Field of Hope this past fall.  My hope is that they see the love and strength that they possess.

Be sure to check out Maria online!  website |  instagram |  facebook

Want to follow Maria’s lead and get involved with the project?  Apply to become a photographer volunteer or make a donation.

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