We had the good fortune of connecting with Paula Watts and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paula, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Balance has become important to me. And I’d say that fact right there is the change. When I was younger, I had no balance. I was comprised of a lot of extremes. Extreme amount of work, then a hiatus, then all work, then all hiatus. I didn’t know I needed more daily or weekly balance. Becoming a parent has certainly shifted that, but also, I believe a little more wisdom into sustainable work and sustainable living.
Please tell us more about your work. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges?
Nothing is easy that is worth fighting for. I truly believe that. Being an entrepreneur, being a creative and wearing all the hats has not been easy. When I breakdown what my weeks look like, I could be knee deep photographing a super creative project, or knee deep in business paperwork and marketing strategies. I am the person responsible for all of it. And that pressure can be overwhelming at times. Would I trade it for anything in the world? No. I love my work and I love being a creative. I am made to create and love that I get to help build brands and photograph assets for companies in creative yet strategic ways. I love being part of a collaboration of other creatives that join together to creative something bigger than all of us as individuals. I am better because of my creative directors, my stylists, my assistants, my clients and their innovations.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well considering this literally happens all the time (because, hello, we live in beautiful San Diego!), I have some favorite go-tos. I love hiking Torrey Pines for some beautiful natural scenery, beach and rugged cliffs, then up to North County for Fish Tacos at Encinitas Fish Shop and coffee at Lofty Coffee. I love a good run, walk or SUP around Mission Bay, cider at Bivouac Ciderworks in North Park, wine tasting at Carruth Wine Cellars in Little Italy and fun outdoor dining anywhere I can walk from there. Cafe Gratitude is a healthy favorite or Born and Raised Steakhouse for a more upscale dining experience. In San Diego, I joke that everything is 15 minutes away. We could be on the water at Coronado to Downtown dining in 15 minutes.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I love recognizing that I am, because we are! (Ubuntu). I am nowhere without my support group, my friends and family and mentors over the years, but I would say if I have to single out one person, it’d be my husband. He helps ground me, supports me, encourages me and believes in me, even when I don’t. We are a great balance, so I like to think I do the same for him, but he has just always been in my corner.
©Paula Watts Photography