We had the good fortune of connecting with Steph Grant and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steph, how does your business help the community or world?
As a human, I am doing my best to constantly evolve. I mess up on a regular basis and that’s part of the process. I hope to stay opening minded, while continuing to learn and be real about the process to encourage others to do the same. I am vocal about human rights and equality for all. I feel that what I do is important because it helps others feel a little less alone in their world.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think what most people would know me for is my LGBTQ+ wedding photography. Although I only photograph a handful of intimate elopements now, a lot of the stories have gone viral over the years. Specifically, one in 2013 before Marriage Equality, and back when it was difficult to find LGBTQ+ couples on the internet. This wedding turned out to be the first lesbian Indian wedding in the USA. 81,000 people on my website in just one day. As you can probably imagine, going viral happens QUICKLY and is overwhelming in the best of ways and the worst of ways. After that I started marketing myself as an LGBTQ+ wedding photographer and got to travel and meet incredible couples all around the world. Sadly, finding supportive vendors can still be a challenge even today. The accomplishment I am most proud of to date has to be when I was recognized on the Senate floor in California for my work with the LGBTQ+ community. 2 years later and I still don’t think it has set it. What an honor. What I am most proud of right now is bringing people together. Building a community thought my podcast, Overthinking with Steph, and through a group I recently created on my Patreon made up of folx dealing with Religious Trauma. We read books, listen to podcasts and have discussions and zoom meetups on the topic as a way to support each other.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m from California originally but I’ve been in the Dallas area for about 10 years now so I know my way around. I enjoy places with good atmosphere, friendly people who make you feel like family and doing my best to make everything an adventure where memories will linger a little bit for life. And now…. A LIST (in no particular order): – We would start out getting a cortado at one of my favorite coffeeshops, Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters. Chatting with Tiffany (barista guru extraordinare) about plants, podcasts, Black Lives Matter protests and new art show in the area is the perfect way to kick off the day. – I spend a good amount of time on my old rooftop. Morning coffee or taking in the sunset up there watching the sun fade behind the Dallas skyline. It’s my quiet and happy place when I can’t get to nature. – We’d head over to Oak Cliff Nature Preserve for a hike through some trees. – Bishop Arts District is next for a stroll through my favorite bookstore/coffeeshop Wild Detectives. We’d grab a new book and sit outside before walking over to Society and Dirt (my favorite candle shop and plant shop). Playing the “smell game” at the candle shop is mandatory. – Lunch on the cozy patio at Taco y Vino where we’ll have a long conversation with Jimmy, the owner, or one of the many friendly faces in this joint. Best tacos in Dallas (up there with Fuel City… but that gas station and elotes experience is saved for 1am. – Dinner at UCHI, ALWAYS. Always. I cannot say it enough. Best sushi, atmosphere and all around genuine people. They quickly become friends. – Drive in movie time! For more of an old school vintage feel, l head to Galaxy in Ennis, TX. Theres’s a newer spot in Fort Worth called Coyote.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There’s absolutely no way I’d be out or in the place that I am today without the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. Not just the people I’ve met along the way but the ones who came before me and existed fully in their gayness when it wasn’t safe. They truly paved the way and fought for us. Also, to my LGBTQ+ clients/friends who trust me with sharing their stories with all of you. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the L Word and my 2 very first OUT friends. You helped me more than you probably realize.
Instagram: @ImSteph https://www.instagram.com/imsteph/ @StephGrantStudios https://www.instagram.com/stephgrantstudios/
Other: Podcast: Overthinking with Steph: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/overthinking-with-steph/id1500892725
All images belong to Steph Grant Studios. IG: @imsteph
Main image of me with the lighting equipment: AJK Images