On Blogging

What exactly is your blog about?
Twentieth Street is a lifestyle blog focusing on maintaining balance and savoring the little things in life. My work makes up a big part of my life so it makes up a part of the blog, too, but it's not the only thing the blog is about.  Besides weddings and other session recaps, I also share photography tutorialsrecipes and thoughts on gluten free living, travel photos because my heart is in a constant state of wanderlust, life around San Francisco, our crazy guinea pigs, and as of June 2015, adding another title to my repertoire -Mom- and adjusting to the crazy whirlwind that is parenthood. Twentieth Street is also the home of the weekly Twosday photography link-up.

I'm a new reader, so where should I start?
Welcome!  Considering you're at the FAQs, I'd say you're off to a good start already. I've been blogging for *gasp* over six years now so there are lots of little gems to be found in addition to the links on this page.  I don't really sugar coat much so there's plenty to keep you entertained.  Have you seen this post yet?  If you're in the mood for romance, you can read about our love story - my side and his.  Ever wonder what it's like living in San Francisco?  Or learn a few life lessons the hard way?  Turning 30 is always fun.  And just to keep things classy, my rant about public restrooms and the jerk in the Trader Joe's parking lot.

Where did the name come from?
It's a nod to our life here in San Francisco. You can read more about it here.

When did you start blogging?
February of 2010, as I was finishing up my last semester of law school. I was fully immersed in academia and my case books had become horcruxes for my splintered soul. I needed a place where I could celebrate the things that kept me feeling balanced, so this little blog was born. It's changed and grown over the years -it even had a different name!- and I'm excited to see how it continues to evolve in the future.

Who's that furry rodent I see in all your blog posts?
If it's a post from before March 2015, probably Molly. That guinea pig loved the camera more than the Kardashian sisters. But it could also be Gia or Juno, who let me sneak in a shot or two even though they have far more interesting guinea pig business to attend to. Either way, they're the best little pets a gal could ever ask for and I hope by sharing a little bit of our life with the piggies, we inspire others to welcome these little fur-balls into their lives, too.

black white brown guinea pigs cuddling on pillow

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On Photography
How long have you been doing photography? 
Ready for this one? ... over 20 years!  I always liked taking pictures and was the girl at my middle school that always had a camera on hand for every event.  I didn't really get into it, though, until high school when I was forced to take photography because it was the only elective still open to freshman (ah, the joys of late registration...).  We learned about the basic workings of a 35mm camera and how to develop our work in the darkroom.  I kept up with the hobby during high school and took another photography class in college so I could have access to the darkroom on campus.  Photography is something I've been doing for so long, it feels like a natural extension of who I am.

When did you make it your full-time career?
Things kicked off in October 2011, but I officially left law firm life behind and went full-time with photography in January 2012. 

What kind of camera/equipment do you use?
I'm a Canon girl (nothing against Nikon, I just prefer Canon) and use all Canon digital gear - 5D Mark III bodies, mostly prime lenses, etc. For film shooting, I use a 35mm Canon Elan 7E and a Minolta Maxxum 4 (the first camera I ever bought for myself), a Yashica Mat 124g, a 1960's Polaroid Land Camera, and a Fuji Instax Mini just for fun.

How many weddings/sessions do you shoot?
Pre-baby I shot 20 to 25 weddings a year. For 2017, I'm accepting a much more limited number of wedding commissions and placing more focus on portraits and elopements. I truly love shooting and working with my clients, but I sometimes need a weekend off, too.

How would you describe your photographic style? 
It's a combination of editorial, fine art, and photojournalistic photography but I don't really think the specific label matters. What matters is whether a photo makes you feel something, not what genre or category it falls into.

Film or digital?
Both. I shoot primarily digital for client work and  film for personal work. I love film and will never stop shooting it. Digital is generally more cost effective and efficient but I'm slowly becoming more of a hybrid shooter and happily add film to client shoots upon request.

Do you edit your own photos? How?
Absolutely! The post-production work is part of the overall artistic process for me. Rather than sending my files off to someone else to edit after a shoot, I prefer to evaluate my work and "grade" myself (I know, I'm such a nerd...). There's always something to learn or improve upon but if I don't study my out-of-the-camera shots, how can I gauge that improvement? Also, I began as a film photographer, processing all my own work in the darkroom, and I absolutely loved the hours I spent alone with my work watching it come to life. For me, editing my digital photos is the closest I can get to working in a darkroom again.

I shoot RAW and do most of my post-production editing in Lightroom using a combination of VSCO presets and presets I've made myself. For more refined retouching work (removing blemishes and whatnot), I use Photoshop.

Okay, I want to hire you. What's next?
Well, thank you! I'm honored.  :) Just send me a message using either the Contact form on my website or by emailing me at stephanie@stephaniecourt.com and we'll take things from there!

Do you sell prints of your travel photos?
Yes! You can purchase prints from my Etsy shop here. I'm always working on adding new content so if there's something you've seen on the blog but it's not yet listed in the shop, contact me about a potential custom listing! Three cheers for printed photos!

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On ... Me
How old are you?
Don't you know you're not supposed to ask a lady her age? What? Oh, right. I'm not really a lady. Well, if you must know, 34.

How long have you and The Husband been together?
We've been together for almost 8 years, but only married for nearly 3. We were married on our 5-year anniversary. Awwwww . . .  how romantic!

(In case you're curious, here's our Awkward & Awesome Wedding Moments and our Engagement Photos!)

Biggest pet peeve?
Do I really only have to pick one? Okay, fine. It's a tie between drivers who "forget" to use turn signals and using "your" when you mean "you're" (and vice versa).

Favorite place to travel?
My favorite place to travel is the place I haven't been to yet. I have a serious, never-ending case of wanderlust and love traveling, reading about traveling, daydreaming about traveling ... you get the picture. I love every place I've visited so far, but that's not very many, so my list of must-see places is quite long and continuously growing. You can see more from our (limited) travels here.

What are your thoughts on the Oxford Comma?
Viva la Oxford Comma! Seriously, one missing comma can change the whole meaning of a sentence. Example: "I like cooking, my pets and my family." vs "I like cooking, my pets, and my family." Are you a psycho cannibal who eats your pets and family for dinner or just a wholesome guy with the traditional interests? Only the Oxford comma knows for sure!

Favorite food/drink/dessert?
Pizza, lattes, chocolate. Except the amount/quality of pizza in my life took a nose dive three years ago when I discovered my body hates gluten.

What is the meaning of life?
Love. I really believe love is the meaning of life. To love and be loved, what more do you need?

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