Chelsea+Derek | Johnson Carriage House Wedding

BP_ChelseaDerek_WeddingDay_013A day that started out misty and gloomy turned out to be a beautiful, bright and shining wedding day as Chelsea and Derek said “I Do”.  When I first greeted Chelsea at the door of her bridal cottage where she was getting ready, she told me “Emily, I’ve been praying so much about the weather! Hopefully I made the right choice to keep the outdoor ceremony as planned!”  She did make the right choice!  Right after Chelsea and Derek were announced Husband and Wife, the sun came out and started shining with all of its might! It was amazing!

The sun wasn’t the only thing that was amazing about their wedding day! Chelsea and Derek’s bridal party was literally making me laugh out loud all wedding! They were beyond fun to be around and kept the portrait time very interesting (lots of selfies & tush grabbing, just to name a few!) At their reception, wedding guests drank sweet tea out of glass Mason jars (so Southern!), bridesmaids donned their cowgirl boots, and each groomsmen (including the groom himself!) wore crazy-awesome socks, and they wore them proudly!  While dancing, Chelsea showed everyone how she could “whip & nae nae” it on the floor and her brother (also a groomsman) made the whole dance floor “Ooh & Ahh” as he pulled off the classic “Worm” move. (Of course, I was on the floor doing my signature Robot & Sprinkler moves…yes-camera in hand!) 

Some of my most treasured moments from Chelsea and Derek’s wedding day was when we had tried to set up a “Separated First Look” for the two.  We had it planned out perfectly…we were going to photograph the “First Look” right by the stables and it was going to be gorgeous! Just like the weather, things don’t always go as planned.  Derek was at another location and the stable barn door couldn’t open all the way. Once we got Derek where he needed to be (thankfully without seeing Chelsea!) the two lovebirds were able to talk a little bit and exchange letters.  Despite it all, it was still lots of fun and so cute!

+Instead of a traditional Unity Candle or Sand Ceremony during the ceremony, Chelsea and Derek put together a wooden cross.  I had never seen this done before and thought it was such a sweet symbol of entering into a covenant with God.  I loved it! Oh! AND Chelsea and Derek’s high school Math and Bible teacher was the officiant. How cool is that?!

+Naturally as high school sweethearts, Chelsea+Derek’s family and friends sure had a ton of stories to share during the toasting time.  Let’s just say I may or may not have learned from Chelsea’s now father-in-law that she has a lead foot when it comes to driving! 😉

+The catering team had the BEST FRIED OKRA I’VE EVER TASTED. I even met the lady in charge of the frying and gave her a big hug. {Two thumbs way up, Chels! Good choice!) 

+Photobooths are a HUGE hit at every wedding I shoot.  I loved getting in the booth with Chelsea+Derek as well as my amazing second shooter, Shana! So word to the wise for all my future brides: Emma Loo Loves Photobooths! 😉

This was my very first time shooting at the Johnson Carriage House and it was a delight! That house is AMAZINGLY beautiful! {When can I move in?!} What I loved about it was that it was completely family owned and they live there too! I mean, when you have your two teen boys parking cars for the wedding guests, you know that this place is down to earth, very hospitable and love what they do! Hats off to y’all Johnson Carriage House! We felt very welcomed & that’s always a plus to any wedding day!

A very special thanks to all these fabulous vendors who helped make Chelsea+Derek’s day so awesome:

Venue- Johnson Carriage House + Meadows

Wedding Day Coordinator- Lillian Johnson

Hair+Makeup- Kristina Ruettgers

Bride’s Dress-Allure Bridal 

Dress Purchased from- Simpson’s Bridal 

Veil- Simpson’s Bridal

Groom’s Attire- Simpson’s Bridal

Florals- Willow Branch Flowers

Invitation+Programs- Elle Dee Designs, LTD

DJ- Michael Branson

Ceremony Musicians- Nate & Larry Perrell 

Caterer- Food Junkee

Cake+Desserts- Carolina Cake Artistry 

Videography/Photo Booth- Shutter Hutch

Click to view the following:

Chelsea+Derek | Engagements 

Chelsea | Bridal Portrait


Chelsea+Derek…it was absolute JOY. Thank you so much for giving me the honor to document your special day! I look so forward to seeing how much your love grows from high school sweethearts to husband and wife! Your wedding day was truly the best day ever! Best Wishes y’all! XO-Emma Loo 


Happy 25th, Morgan!

TODAY is one of my sweetest friends 25th BIRTHDAY! & while I can’t be with her to celebrate, I wanted to honor her and her fabulous quarter birthday today!

Morgan and I met in high school when we were trying out for the tennis team. Her and I have remained close even if college, boyfriends, jobs, getting married, and relentlessly staying busy meant for us not spending so much time together throughout the years.  We still manage to pick up right where we left off, and that’s what I cherish so much about our friendship!

She stood next to me on my wedding day, she tells me like it is even if I didn’t want to hear it (but she’s always right!), she inspires me with her fashion sense, her Godliness, and her classic Southern ways.  She’s such a sweet and dear friend of mine and I’m so thrilled to see where this life is taking her!

Morgan and I met for lunch a couple of weeks ago and I told her I wanted to grab a couple of shots of her and her new pup, Murphy! (She adopted him from a local animal shelter! Isn’t he adorable?!) She had no idea that these would even end up on the blog, but how could I not?! They’re just too precious!

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Happy Birthday Best Friend! Wishing you a day that is just as fabulous as YOU ARE. Love you much! XO-Em

Amanda+Steve | Downtown Raleigh Engagement

Phillip and I had a blast traveling to Raleigh to photograph Amanda and Steve’s downtown Raleigh engagements! It was so great to get these two in front of my camera again for their actual engagement session in the city that they both love! (They’re not strangers to the blog, you can see their mini-session here!)

We walked all around downtown, visited the Capital building, skipped across the street, and hung out right next door to where they’ll be having their wedding reception later this year.

These two will be going on a great adventure once they begin their newly married life together! Steve is in the US Army and got assigned to go to Korea in January! So after their wedding, they’ll be moving to Korea together! What an adventure!! Can’t wait to see how amazing their story unfolds for them! Wishing you two the very best!

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It was a dreary, misty kind of day, so I was worried we probably should’ve rescheduled, but the sunshine peeked out of the dark clouds for about 5 seconds.  It was magic! Love that light!
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Amanda and Steve actually met on (we did too! So it’s SO great to see more success stories!) So we just HAD to stop by the First Date meeting spot! They met for drinks at the Landmark and never looked back! SO cute!
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Thanks so very much Amanda & Steve! We had a blast and will gladly come up to Raleigh anytime to hang out with y’all! Can’t wait for 12/4! It’ll be here before you know it! Enjoy every second of this engagement! XO! -Emma Loo 


October | Goals


It’s October 1st. I can’t hardly believe it. Where on earth has this year even gone? It has literally flown by! The fall months are my absolute favorite.  There’s just something so cozy and warm about the fall months. Makes me want to snuggle up on the couch in an oversized sweater and light a pumpkin spice scented candle.

I’m so glad fall is here and I hope it stays a while.

Ever since Phillip and I got married in June, I’ve returned from our honeymoon and jumped into building up my photography business with full speed ahead.  It’s been an incredible journey these past few months, so rewarding, so much learning, and just pure happiness! I’ve always been too scared to go full time with my business-but now that I have I — 1.) don’t know why on Earth I waited this long to do so and 2.) I’m never looking back and 3.) Thanking Jesus that I finally listened to Him and followed my calling!

My husband has been such a HUGE support system too!  He’s been my #1 cheerleader, that’s for sure! I literally wouldn’t have made this leap if it wasn’t for him pushing me to go. With his prayers, his guidance, his love and support…I’m right where I’ve always wanted to be.

One thing that has helped me be (& stay!) more productive is making lists.  I’ve always been a list maker.  I literally make lists for everything! Packing lists. Grocery lists. To-Do lists. Goal lists. If it involves more than 2 tasks, you can guarantee that I’ve written the list for it.  Making lists have been a HUGE help to me while growing my business.  Each new day, I start bright and early in the morning making a list of everything that needs to be done throughout the day, for the rest of the week, into next week, and even for the rest of the month.  I keep it simple. I know I won’t be able to get everything done that I would like to, but at least seeing what I need to do, it makes me focus on one task at a time and when I slide my pen through the task when its complete, I feel like I have achieved so much!

Listing my goals has literally helped me SO much and I would be absolutely lost without it. Inspired by one amazing photog-friend (& our wedding photographer!) I’ve decided to share my monthly goals with y’all! In a way, it’s helping me show you how much I’m growing-not only as a photographer, but also in my life… AND I feel like y’all will be able to hold me accountable for anything NOT marked off my list! :)

There’s a lot that needs to be done around here, so I’m going to be busy! busy! busy!

Emma Loo Goals:

+Finish picking images for portfolio and publish to webpage. (Started in September, but has been put off! Needing to get this done and published so incoming clients can see my work all at once! Why haven’t I done this earlier!?)

+Have a clean editing slate going into November! Finish editing weddings shot in September (1/4 edited already! Go me!) 

+Work on collaborating with Simpson’s Bridal to finish gallery art wall. (Such a fun project! I can’t wait to update y’all on the progress!)

+Paint/Organize/Decorate Office (paint “Workflow Wall”, hang images, and inspiration board)

+Work on creating blog calendar/post calendar/daily to-do list workflow planner

Personal Goals: 

+Print & frame wedding prints around the house

+Set up hot tub and patio area (can’t wait to have time to do this one! We love using the hot tub on cold winter nights!) 

+Bake homemade fall-themed goods! Give to family & friends

+Run more!

+Finish gallery wall in hallway.


That’s it! Be prepared to see these goals met by November! :) #challengeaccepted






Chelsea | Bridals

Photographing Chelsea’s bridals only weeks before her wedding day was an absolute DREAM! Chelsea was beyond gorgeous and made everything about my job just so easy. 

Nothing, I mean, NOTHING could keep Chelsea from hopping over a fence (in her dress, mind you!) to shoot in this little slice of heaven on earth! {That scored her extra brownie points in my book! Coolest Bride EVER!}

Chelsea and Derek were married on Septemeber 12th, and while I’m busy trying to wrap up the wedding day edit, I thought y’all might enjoy seeing some of her lovely bridals!

Enjoy! XO!-Emma Loo 

Chelsea’s bridal gown was purchased from Simpson’s Bridal in Monroe, NC.  I’m in the midsts of working on something spectacular for their shop window & can’t wait for y’all to see it! XO! 

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