A New Name!

Jun 8, 2016

January of 2012 – I lie awake in my childhood room, too excited to sleep. I had an idea, an idea to tell agriculture’s story in a way that hadn’t been done before. Back in a world where Facebook posts were primarily text and most had never heard of a “meme”, I wanted to make a splash. I wanted people to pay attention, not to me, but to something bigger than that. I wanted people to understand farms and farmers, to have confidence in us, to trust the people growing their food.


Profile picture, circa January 2012!

Keeping it Real: Through the Lens of a Farm Girl was born, a Facebook page dedicated to “providing a wide open door to the world of agriculture, one image at a time”. That was my slogan, and I meant every word of it. Though a long title, every word was carefully considered. I was a farm girl in central Illinois, dedicated to telling the real ag story through my images. It’s funny, 4 years, a college degree, multiple moves and a wedding later, much of that is as true today as it was then – except my business name! IMG_3040lowres.jpg


Becoming a Brown on the front steps of Grand Vale Farm

The name Erin Ehnle Photography (my last name is Brown now!) just doesn’t quite fit like it used to. And I’ve been waiting for direction, praying for it. Garret (my husband) and I wanted a name that said something about us, who we are, where we come from.

After laughing ’til our belly hurt on dud ideas like “ah-maize-ing photography”, Garret nailed it. He said, “What about Grand Vale?” Immediately, whydidntithinkofthat ran through my mind. My family’s home-place is “Grand Vale Farm”. That’s the farm that started it all, 4 generations ago. That’s the place that made me who I am. That’s the place Garret and I said “I do” and began our journey together as husband and wife.

My mind started churning.

Grand Vale Gallery. (Oh, I like it!)

Grand Vale Creative. (Hey, that works too!) 

Grand Vale Real Estate (a dream of ours!) 

Grand Vale … (because if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans, right?)

I get goosebumps thinking about all the possibilities – for both Garret and I and my younger brother and sister, both of whom are quickly making their own way in this world. We treasure all that was molded into us on our farm…Grand Vale Farm.  It makes my farm-girl heart so, so, SO happy to name my business after the place that has such a rich legacy of love and hard work and family and farm. And I’m thrilled to pieces at the thought of Paige and Christian (my siblings) creating their own businesses under the very same brand, with the very same values. 


Great-grandpa Jacob with Grandpa Jim – Grand Vale Farm generations 1 & 2

We’re so excited to start this phase in our lives, and we’d like nothing more than you to follow along with us, through all the “real” stuff life has to offer. You can sign up to receive free printable inspiration + our monthly newsletters below! 

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