We had the good fortune of connecting with Elissa Pace and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elissa, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
My work life balance is something that is ever evolving. I will be the first to admit that I have not truly mastered it. I often wonder if it is really something that one has the ability to master. As life changes, so does your work life balance. You have to adjust the balance through the many changes of life. In my own personal life, I am juggling a business, working a full time job, and being heavily involved in my church. All 3 take up an immense amount of my time, and juggling them has probably been my greatest struggle. Overtime, I have had to learn to only do what I have time for. I have learned that staying up late into the night is not the solution. It results in making bad decisions, doing work halfway and many frustrations because of the lack of rest. The most important factor is making sure I don’t stress over the many things I have to do, and also making time for myself to rest. Everything has a balance. That is my motto. You can’t take one thing all the way to the right or the left. There always has to be a balance. And it is the same in work vs life. Everything is not about your job(s), and everything is not about your life. Learning to balance the 2 is extremely important, yet one of the hardest things for us to do as individuals.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Elissa Pace Photography is a wedding photography business that I started as an outlet of my creative side. I have always loved being creative, and while I started out as a web and graphic designer, photography quickly took over. Choosing to go into wedding photography was an easy decision for me. From the time I shot my first wedding, I never looked back. I can’t say it’s been an easy road. As a type 9 enneagram, I have had to fight to get where I am today. Running a successful business does not come easy for 9’s. We’re not ambitious, and that can get in the way of success. But once I finally got the confidence to put myself out there while believing in myself that I really can do this, that’s when my business began to flourish. I will be the first to say that I do not have a huge personality, but I believe that’s what sets me apart from others. I am your calm-demeanor, self-effacing, supportive and love-able wedding photographer. I’m not over bearing, but one of the many reasons my couples love working with me is because of the support they know they have from me from the beginning. By the wedding day, my couples and I are literally friends. I strive for that personal experience with every single client and it is something I pride myself in in the success of my business. It is an absolute dream come true that I get to do what I do. Being able to preserve these special moments in the lives of the couples I serve is something I never thought I would be able to do! My mission has always been to provide a seamless personalized experience that leaves my clients with a gallery full of memorable images that they will cherish for generations, and I am so excited to continue on this journey!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am true Texan, and more specifically I love my city! So I would want anyone that came to visit to experience Dallas in all of it’s glory. The good and the bad. Because Dallas is not Dallas without experiencing all of it! I have traveled many, many places, and I just have to say that I have not found one place that has better food than what you will find in Dallas! I would begin our week right in the heart of Dallas. To get there, I would hop on the DART train and ride into Downtown. Have you really experienced Dallas if you don’t ride the train? In Downtown, I would take them to the Dealy Plaza to catch up on history of where John F Kennedy was assassinated. Dealy Plaza has been a huge part of my life. My dad is big into the assassination and all of the conspiracies that come with it and that’s where he takes everyone that visits Dallas. So I have been visiting Dealy Plaza since I was a child, and it has become so interesting to me. I love to hear my dad talk about it and give a tour. Then we would head to Klyde Warren Park to check out the park that sits above a highway. It’s such a neat park and the food trucks do not disappoint. If the food trucks don’t fill us up, down the street from the park is Cava. Cava is like a greek Chipotle. Let me tell you, I am a die hard Chipotle fan and nothing has ever come close to being better than it, but once I discovered Cava, I haven’t been able to stop going. Just try it, seriously! After that we would go to the Ball that overlooks downtown. Its such an iconic tower in the Dallas skyline, so it’s something you have to experience. While we’re at it, you definitely have to head to Deep Ellum and check out all the trendy places. My favorite in Deep Ellum is Oni Ramen. If you’ve never had ramen before, prepare your taste buds to be blessed. If you’ve had ramen before, you won’t find a place that beats this one. On another day, we would head over to Trinity Groves to cross the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and take pictures at the park. It’s a great place to get a view of the downtown skyline, and also a beautiful place for pictures. While we are headed in that direction, I’d take them to my favorite taco place in Dallas. You can’t come to Dallas without having true Mexican tacos. My favorite is Taqueria El Si Hay. I haven’t found better. If you have, let me know! My inner child may be coming out on this one, but we would definitely have to take a day to visit Six Flags Over Texas. Again, it’s such a special child hood memory for me, and if my guest is into thrill rides, it’s definitely a place we’d visit. You can’t come to Dallas without visiting a mall, and Northpark Mall is where we would go. The huge mall is a place you have to experience when coming to Dallas. It offers endless amounts of stores and eateries. I would also take them to one of my favorite places to eat, Seoul Garden. Now if you’re not into Korean food, it may be something your taste buds have to get used to. But if my guest is adventurous, it’s definitely where we would be headed. Most importantly, I would take them to my church. As a Pastor’s daughter, church and serving Jesus is my whole life, so they wouldn’t be able to come to town for a week without visiting Grace & Truth Apostolic Church.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow, it is so hard to know where to start with the amount of people that have supported me and encouragement me through my journey as a business owner. There are so many in the wedding industry that have been a huge help to my business. Rob Greene, Kimberly Harrell and Michelle Harris are 3 that immediately come to mind that have been such a great support and blessing to my business. From the day I met Rob he has steadily encouraged me and guided me in making important decisions. Kimberly took a chance on me when frankly no one else wanted to, and I would not be where I am today without her. Michelle has been an amazing encouragement to me, and from the moment I was under her mentorship I have found a confidence that I never knew I could possess. In my personal life, my friends and family continuously encourage me by letting me know how proud they are of the work I have done and continue to do. My best friend, Lupita, has been a steady help and support to me. She has been my sounding board, my assistant, my bookkeeper, my reminder, my encourager – the list could go on. I couldn’t do what I do every day without her! And of course, most importantly I have to thank God for where I am today. I wouldn’t have even taken the leap to start a business without knowing I have Him to lean on in every tough situation I face.
Elissa Pace Photography