Hi! I'm Jonlaya.

The name of my studio 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 and filled with emotion.

A few fun facts about me:

  • Born in California, but call Virginia home.
  • 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.
  • I've been photographing love stories since 2017

A few more things I enjoy...

Color photo of 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 a good houseplant. They help purify 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. It makes my wanderlust strong.

Photo of Bro Bears coffee with chocolate covered coffee beans

A cup of jo

Am I a purist if I can only drink my coffee hot?

Black and white photo of couple sharing a moment in front of the reflecting pool
Black and white portrait of couples engagement in DC

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! 

Bride and groom walking together hand in hand
Kind Words

Emma + Matthew

Jonlaya was, frankly, incredible to work with. She was personable, punctual, talented and had an artistic sensibility that matched our own. We can't recommend her enough for the stellar work she did, both pre and post production. We are so, SO happy with her work.

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