Hi! I'm Jonlaya.

The name LUEM is a mash-up of my little girls' names: Lucy and Emry. Pretty cool, right?

My style of photography is unrehearsed and candid- which lends to a wonderful collection of natural portraits from your engagement session, and/or wedding day. It is my goal with each and every couple I work with, to capture moments that are raw, unfiltered, emotion-filled, and timeless.

A few fun facts about me:

  • Born in California, but Virginia is home the most. I love getting to experience all four seasons.
  • I'm Thai + Chinese (talk about great food choices!)
  • I am constantly searching for plants to save from the clearance section at Lowes.
  • Flowers and gardening are my jam.
  • Constantly looking for ways to stay active outside.
  • I've been photographing love stories since 2017

a few things i love

Color photo of chickens

my chickens

These guys are fun to watch, and I can't help but lavish them with wonderful treats from time to time.

Photo of a house plant in a mustard colored pot


Besides being in the garden, I do love my house plants. They clean the air in my home and make me smile.

Photo of a beautiful lake


I love visiting places for the first time, because a child-like curiosity always settles in, making the wanderlust even stronger.

Photo of Bro Bears coffee with chocolate covered coffee beans

a good cup of jo

Am I a purist if I can only drink my coffee hot? Am I the only one that thinks cold coffee (it has some good traits) is not natural?

My Wedding Story

Back in 2011, my husband and I eloped on a very cold December morning. While our plan was to elope and let the family know afterward, it's not necessarily how it all went down.


My sister caught wind of what we were doing after I asked her to do my makeup- she insisted on being there, and I thank God to this day she did, because she brought a camera with her. 

The handful of photographs we have from that day is only because my sister forced her way into our elopement! A handful of photos that I treasure and look at every single wedding anniversary.


My personal wedding story is why I am so passionate about capturing wedding memories for couples-Couples that value the importance of having photos to feel, reminisce over, and pass on to generations to come. 

Our girls weren't around to see my husband and I get married, but they DO get to see our special day in the photos we treasure, and display in our home.


And should the day come when our girls have children of their own, they will be able to share our wedding day with our grandchildren. How cool is that?! It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it! 

Kind Words

Amy + Alex

“Absolutely LOVED our wedding photos!! We wanted very candid photos nothing too posed and thats exactly what we received. Working with LUEM photography was so smooth and stress free- especially for such a hot and hectic day. Jonlaya was very flexible and very fun to work with! She is such a sweetheart and her work definitely shows her enjoyment of what she does. I 1000% recommended LUEM Photography.”

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Venues I've had the privilege of photographing at-

The Lake House, Reston, VA. | Wolf Trap Farm, Gordonsville, VA. | Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA. | Great Marsh Estate, Bealeton, VA. Bluemont Vineyard, Bluemont, VA. | Bristow Manor Golf Club, Bristow, VA. | The Winery at Bull Run, Centreville, VA. | Dry Mill Vineyard, Leesburg, VA. | New Germany State Park, MD. | Skyline Drive National Park, VA. | Clydes, Willow Creek Farm, Ashburn, VA. | Blue Ridge Country Club, Front Royal, VA. | Eagle Heights Presbyterian Church, Winchester, VA. | Piccadilly Public House, Winchester, VA. | St. Mary's Catholic Church, Rockville, MD. | Mortgage Hall Estate, Middleburg, VA. | Orkney Springs, VA. | Canaan Valley Resort, WV. | Cacapon Resort State Park, WV. | Trinity United Church, PA. | Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane, VA. | Cloverdale Barn, Winchester, VA. | Brandermill Country Club, Midlothian, VA. | OBX, Brentsville Historic Church, VA. | Cabell's Mill, Chantilly, VA. | Blue Mountain Lodge, Linden, VA. | Gunston Hall, Lorton, VA. | Hyatt Regency, Tysons Corner, VA. | Meems Bottom Covered Bridge, VA. | Friend's Meeting House, DC | Inn at The Old Silk Mill, Fredericksburg, VA. | Joshua Wilton House, Harrisonburg, VA. | Heurich House, DC | Tool Box Studio, DC | St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Strasburg, VA. | The Kenmore Inn, Fredericksburg, VA. | Chantilly National Golf + Country Club, Chantilly, VA. | Middleburg Community Center, Middleburg, VA. | Desert Botanical Gardens, Arizona | The Farmhouse at Veritas, Afton, VA. | Faithbrooke Vineyards, Luray, VA. | Persimmon Creek Barn, Beaverdam, VA. | Rocks State Park, MD. | Gari Melcher Home and Studio, Falmouth, VA.