Saturday, September 10, 2011

Just Another Day

Well I am sure that you have heard about the credible terror threats that have put residents of NYC and DC on high alert for the weekend.

The other students of my program and I were called together Friday by our advisers. Everyone was asked to save the program leaders' phone numbers into our cells in case of any emergency. We were also informed that it would probably be best not to ride the public transportation on 9/11. 

Many of you have sent me messages and texts conveying your concern for my safety. It means a lot to me to hear from you all. However, some friends and I decided to make one last trip out for the weekend to get Georgetown Cupcakes.

After all of the news alerts and warnings, I expected the city to seem a little more desolate than usual. Most families would decide to remain near their homes for the weekend, I thought.

However, once I hit the streets, I discovered that it was as lively as ever.

Couples were strolling hand in hand through Union station and stealing kisses. Groups of college students with bags hanging from their arms were popping in and out of shops. Tourists were weaving their way through the crowds, gawking at the large monuments that celebrate some of America's greatest leaders.

We even passed about 3 weddings — weddings taking place on 9/10/11, of course.  

When people think of American patriotism, most conjure up images of the 4th of July and fireworks. For me, though, I saw a lot of patriotism in DC today.

Yes, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is starring us in the face.
Yes, threats have been made against our country.
However, no one seemed to be letting it change his or her day-to-day activities.

Will we be holding our breath tomorrow? Probably. However, today was just another day in our nation's capitol — a day that I witnessed the unshakable strength of Americans even in the face of terrorist threats. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

6th Sense

I have a 6th sense.... It comes from photographing numerous weddings and couples. Want to know what my 6th sense is?

I can smell impending engagements.

Nope, I'm not kidding one bit. For instance, a couple days before I left for DC, I photographed the ever so lovely Nikki Webb. 

During the session, she wanted some shots taken with her boyfriend, Jacob:

By the end of the couple hours we spent photographing, I knew it was only a matter of time before I would log onto Facebook and see the little heart with their names beside it informing the virtual world of their impending nuptials. 

Am I good or am I good?  Some people are born with the ability to draw. Others can sing. Some can dance..... I, Grace Ferrell, can smell engagements.

Grace, The Couple Whisperer


Monday, August 29, 2011

How Not to Die During Your Internships

Today was my first day of class at the Washington Journalism Center. We did what any normal academic course does on the first day — went over the syllabus.

On September 9th we shall apparently be learning how not to die during our internships. I think it will be a very useful skill to learn while in DC.

However, until my internship at the Daily Caller starts in a couple weeks, I plan on just relishing in the fact that I am in our nation's capitol.

I shall not, however, be relishing in the fact that the ceiling fan in the bedroom I share with 3 other students sounds like a shotgun. But that's a story for another day. 

In other news, the students and I spent our afternoon learning about the District of Columbia. Most people know about the Washington that fills TV and computer screens all across the world. But what about the other residents of the city? What about the residents that are not dressed in powerful suits and running up the steps of the Capitol each day? Over the summer I tweeted the following message one day while riding the subway to work: 
"I always look around the subway and wonder what other people's stories are. I believe everyone has a neat story."

I truly wonder the same thing to this day. Whether I am running down 8th street or picking up some laundry detergent and the nearest CVS, I look around and wish I knew how the person beside me had gotten to this place in life. What have they gone through? What have they experienced? What has made them who they are?

Apparently I am not the only one have such questions. Check out the website below — the author interviews random people in the city of DC and lets them tell their beautiful stories. It's amazing what you'll find out about life when you simply take the time to listen to the people around you.

Grace, the girl who is constantly questioning everything

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Common Factors

 Hurricane Irene finally made her appearance today.  

It made for a very dark and dreary day on capitol hill. 

There are currently around 40 college students in my apartment building from all across the United States. So what exactly did we do to entertain ourselves during the bad weather?  

Some of us, like me, went running and got completely drenched in the rain.  I really enjoy running in DC. Today's trek led me past the Marine Corp Barracks:
Photo via Flickr @

Others actually did homework. Some were brave and ventured forth into the city.

However, we all came together tonight for a common purpose tonight — A Lord of the Rings marathon and tons of pizza. We all might be from different colleges and states, but some things never change.
Gotta love college and hurricanes.

Grace — or apparently "Eruant" in Elfish

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tornadoes vs. Hurricanes

Well guys I may have missed the epic DC earthquake of 2011 but it appears that I have arrived just in time for Hurricane Irene.

I must have bad karma from a previous life or something because I went from attending Union — the university that has been hit by more than one tornado — to the East coast and its hurricanes.

Sooooooooooo. Another Washington Journalism Center student and I met up and decided to venture to Target to get things that one might need during a hurricane .... like food and water. 
This is what we found when we finally reached our destination of Target: 

The line to check out wrapped around the entire store. The shelves were bare of any essentials you would want in the event of a water. So I bought apple juice instead.

Those around me were buying wine as a substitute for water....... one married couple in front of me was stocking up on condoms and greeting cards. I guess people have different priorities during a hurricane??? Anyway.....

A previous post detailed what I usually fill my emergency tornado bag with at Union. Here in DC my emergency hurricane grocery bag was filled with the following:

toaster strudels
apple juice
peanut butter
hamburger buns because they were out of loaves of bread
granola bars
turkey meat

On a lighter note, check out the view from my roof top patio!!!!

A roof top patio will be fun to watch the hurricane from, right? 
Shhhhhh.... no one tell Mother Dearest. 

Grace, the new occupant of Apt. 1

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My existence

It is already mid-August which means that grade schools are back in full gear and college students are clinging to their last few days of summer.

I have just over a week now before I fly back to DC on the 25th. However, my days until then are going to be full of packing up my life for 4 months and editing your beautiful images.

Lately I have been camped out in the den of my house. This is my umm..well my desk for the moment: 

On my desk at any given moment you will find honey roasted peanuts, coffee, two sharpies, ribbon, a credit card bill, a laptop and an external hard drive (and those are in order of importance).

While editing your images I am usually watching reruns of my soaps: Pretty Little Liars, Teen Wolf, The OC, One Tree Hill and various TLC shows about babies.

Speaking of babies:
Look at her eyes! And her cheeks! Gosh.............. I contemplated kidnapping her but there were too many witnesses.

So all in all my existence as of late has consisted of me sitting in front of the laptop from the first picture while editing images like this one of baby Mia. Doesn't seem like too bad of a life, does it?

More to come later!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Grace Photography is hunting new locations!

Well hello again!

For those of you who stalk my Facebook and Twitter accounts (cough* cough* MOTHER * cough*cough), you know that I have spent my summer interning in DC with The Washington Examiner.

It has been one of the best summers of my life and I would love to tell anyone who will listen about it. However, come July 30th, Georgetown University is officially kicking me off the campus and I'll be returning to Tennessee where the trees are green and the tomatoes are fried. Only 12 days!

This also means I get to restart Grace Photography for about 3 weeks until I return again to DC for the fall. I have missed working with you all very much and I look forward to photographing you in the coming weeks.

I have already scheduled some appointments and talked with many folks about setting up a session in August. For those of you whom I haven't talked with, it is not too late! Contact me today and we can surely set something up.

This post, though, isn't about me and my impending return. Rather, it is about all the wonderful locations I have used when photographing clients.

Part of what I love about photography is a camera's ability to transform a location into a magical scene.

1) The Lauderdale County Square has been a great location for me since its renovation. 
Especially this red wall. Many of you reading this post live in or near Lauderdale County. Have you noticed this wall before? I'm kind of obsessed with it. 

2) Katherine Garner's home is the first location I ever used. Every summer since I was a kid, she has had a simply magical yard complete will all types of birds and flowers. Mrs. Katherine has been nice enough to let me traipse up through her yard with everyone from chubby cheek babies to brides in massive dresses. 

3. Another home I have enjoyed invading during early morning and late afternoon sessions is that of Danna and Jodie Walker. They have not only a beautiful yard, but also a deck and swing I enjoy using. 

4) The most random of all of my locations is the small vineyard off Highway 51. Due to the heavier traffic near this location, cars have been known to pull over and watch me photograph. Who wouldn't stop when they see a beautiful bride in a vineyard?

5) In the fall, I love to make people treck out to Alfred and Debbie Blankenship's home and pond. The foliage is simply stunning in the fall. 

Well folks, those are just a few of the locations that I have used the most over the year that I have been running Grace Photography

However, I am always hunting for new places. Do you have any suggestions for new spots for me? Feel free to contact me and suggest your yard and/or that random beautiful spot you pass by everyday. It might just be the background for my next shoot!

Have a blessed week everyone.


Friday, June 10, 2011


I haven't blogged once since I have been in DC. What I am about to blog probably isn't an appropriate first blog for when a person moves to DC for 6 months, either. Oh well. This is officially my first blog from DC.

My roommate Marrissa went to take a shower this afternoon. This is what she found.

Now I am not an overly squeamish person. But COME ON people. This thing is the size of a small dog! Paris Hilton could slap a collar around its neck and carry it around as a fashion statement. This thing laughs at nuclear bombs. 

Enjoy the below video of my roommates and I attempting/failing to catch it. When I say roommates and I understand that I really mean my roommate Regina tried to catch it while I documented.

The cockroach escaped all of our approaches to apprehend it. It was a smart little booger. It ran into a closet that houses the electrical stuff of the apartment — the closet that is locked and we can't get into. At the end of the day we figured out a perfect way to cage it into the closet.

That's newspaper that we stuffed the crack of the door with. That will keep it in there, right? RIGHT? 


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Elvin Lynn Ferrell

Meet my Daddy:

His name is Elvin Lynn Ferrell or ELF.
Most people call him Coach Ferrell. Actually, it ends up coming out sounding like Coach Furrull. Don't ask me why. Don't ask my why they call him coach either. He hasn't been a coach since I was born, I think.

Oh well. He is my daddy and that is all that matters.
Tonight he went and supported one of his former students that is becoming a pastor in Washington. Or as my Dad kept repeating: WaRshington.

Daddy bought this tie. It has Ripley tomatoes on it, you see. I thought he looked spiffy in it. 

A list of random things about Daddy:
1. He took me to the first Harry Potter movie when I was in like 3rd grade — I sat in his lap and everything. 
2. I used to hope for rain during my summers so that he couldn't mow other people's yards and would come home.
3. The smell of cut grass always makes me think of him.
4. He still kisses my hand after I say the blessing for the food at dinner. 
5. He calls our dogs "it", but secretly likes them both. 
6. Fish sticks and tater tots are the only memory I have of him cooking when I was little ... I dislike both of those items but would always eat them anyway. 

This is a picture of my daddy and me taken last Easter. He does like me despite that look on his face (I think).


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The story you MUST know before continuing your life

Okay. Please prepare yourself people. The story I am about to tell you is TRUE and DISTURBING and the most AWESOME thing you will read today.

Megan Miller (my roommate) told me this story on the way to class this morning:

One night one of Megan's friends was babysitting. It was like any other normal night of babysitting; she had just put the kids to bed and returned downstairs to watch TV until the parents got home.

Well the lights were off but she kept catching glimpses of a clown statue out of the corner of her eye. The statue was the size of a miniature person and, as most clowns are, it was creepy. The babysitter grew increasingly creeped out by the statue and wondered why the family would even buy such a thing.

All of a sudden the statue MOVED. 

The girl instantly freaked out, jumped up and ran upstairs where she locked herself and the kids in a room together. She called the kids' parents and told them what was going on. They told her to call the police. It was not a statue at all. Turns out it was the next door neighbor who is a midget and has mental issues.

The midget had apparently broken into the home and stood in the living room as if he were a clown statue. The police even had to remove the man as if he were a statue because he remained stiff and rigid.

This isn't the real clown but I figured we all needed a visual to go along with the story. 

This kind of stuff DOES NOT happen in real life, does it??? I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the reality of this story. My roommates and I keep looking into the corners of our apartment expecting to see a midget clown starring back at us. I will more than likely have nightmares and certainly NEVER babysit again.



Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to survive a tornado all alone

Yesterday Union University once more had some severe weather. I was lucky enough to be outside studying when the sirens went off. 

Here is an awful video I took (I take photos not videos, okay?). Feel free to NOT watch it but at least play it so that you can hear the creepy sirens and rain while you read this post. 

As I have mentioned in a previous Post, Union is serious about tornado weather. So when things started heating up I packed up my books and headed to the bathroom of my apartment. 

My roommates were sprinkled all over campus at their various classes so I figured I would grab their laptops. If the apartment got demolished they might at least want their laptops so they don't have to redo their papers for classes. At least that was my thought process at the time. Who needs underwear, anyway?

I, of course, brought my laptop as well. See how the screen is tilted forward? It is because it is tired and hates its owner. It constantly tells me it is too full of photos and sick of all the nonsense I do on it. The screen is even going black occasionally now in rebellion against me.

I told it to be nice to me or it would end up like Henry VIII's wife.

I also brewed a pot of coffee before I dashed into the bathroom.

I can't be expected to survive a tornado without being well caffeinated. 

See that Iphone sitting on top of the history book? Yea it freaks out during natural disasters and decides that I don't deserve the right to talk to anyone. Its cruel and unusual punishment, people. Someone call ATT for me. 

The storm did finally pass though — they always do. Talk about a silver lining!

1 God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalms 46:1-3, 7


Monday, April 4, 2011

Prom and the Good Old Days

 Saturday was my hometown's high school prom. I have a friend who is still in high school and called me on their way. 

She informed me that I was allowed to come to the restaurant where they were eating and take a few photos of them like a proud momma. 

I was unnecessarily excited. 

Can I just say that these girls are too gorgeous? 

I was awkward in high school — my pants were probably too short and my 
backpack weighed more than I did.

These girls look like MODELS.

Look at her hair! Someone call Pantene because they are missing their model.

LOVED her dress.

This makes me smile. 

Her dress was so fun! I had the strongest urge to twirl her around in a circle. But we were in a public place..... and I can NOT dance. So I merely told her to smile for me. 

Would you look at those eyes? I may or may not have contemplated how to steal her earrings. 

And THIS is my beautiful dearest friend. 

I used to drive her to high school every morning when I was a senior and she was a freshman. 

I also used to make her late by FORCING us to go by McDonalds and 
get a sweet tea every morning, too. 

I taught her every thing she knows. Unless she does something bad — she picked up that junk from someone else. And her sarcasm — NO WAY did she get that from me. 

Oh the old days. 


Aw... aren't we purrty? That girl in the blue is married now. That girl in the black is going to be a famous graphic designer pretty soon (and hasn't grown an inch since this was taken). That girl in the purple and black dress spends her summers in Orlando sharing her faith. I am not sure who that girl in the purple dress is.... oh wait... it is me! Hmmmm. I look a little tired here. Yup — nothing has changed.




Saturday, March 26, 2011

Another Wedding and All New Lessons

     I shot another wedding on Saturday. I love weddings — part of being a girl I suppose. It is almost like I still get to play with my Barbie and Ken doll. Except now I get paid to do it. That's beside the point, though.

     Saturday's wedding involved a BABY. If you know anything about me then you know that babies are my absolute weakness. I may or may not have taken MANY photos of this baby — he had a tux on. Kill me now.

     I have to say, though, one of my favorite parts of this wedding was one that probably no one else saw. The father of the bride had just handed the bride's hand to the groom and the minister was saying a prayer. During the prayer, I peaked around (I know, I know, my momma taught me better). However, while I peaked, I saw the groom staring at his bride with the biggest smile on his face. She had her eyes shut as far as I could tell. However, the groom still kept a big grin on his face while he looked at his soon-to-be wife. 

I really, REALLY enjoy small moments like that. They are make this life so worth it. 

Grace's Advice of the Day: Peak when you are not supposed to and try to catch those wonderfully small moments. They are worth it.