We had the good fortune of connecting with Ben Ivers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ben, how do you define success?
For me, I define success as happiness. I think our societal culture often mistakes our numbers as success, whether that be the numbers in our bank account or the number of followers on our social media pages. We typically view the billionaires like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, or Bill Gates as “successful” and when we see YouTubers or Instagrammers with millions of followers we assume that’s also success. But no matter what numbers you find valuable, they cannot guarantee happiness. That’s exactly why I think anyone that is currently happy is currently successful.
That being said, success is a subjective term. My success can’t be measured the same as what someone else deems successful. And that’s the beauty of it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a freelance video editor and photographer currently working full-time at Lockt Editorial, which is a sister company of Stept Studios. The journey to my current position was not linear at all, but it was a fun one nonetheless.
When I first started as a freelancer it was a struggle and I had to work several odd-jobs to find any supplemental income, this even included building Ikea furniture on TaskRabbit. Additionally, in order to find video or photography jobs, I was posting on Thumbtack, Upwork, Facebook groups, DMing people on Instagram, and anything else to find some new work or even just to network. My persistence paid off during this tiresome journey and I eventually found a foundation of clients which I could count on.
Just when I was finding my groove, my main clients put a hold on my contract indefinitely. They were going through a company merger and all freelance work was put on hold until further notice. I have to say I felt like I was back at square one. So, I started networking again and reaching out to companies that I found inspiration from. Luckily, one of the companies that responded was Stept Studios, and I’ve been on their team since.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ahh great question. So this is what I typically pitch to my friends:
We start on the East side in Los Feliz for breakfast – HomeState or Tacos Tu Madre. I highly suggest anything with brisket at HomeState or the Breakfast Burrito from Tacos Tu Madre.
Next up we head downtown and we explore the Disney Concert Hall, a quick stop at The Broad, and we’ll get a pic under 1st street (where they filmed The Dark Knight).
Next up we hit the Wisdom Tree, one of my favorite hikes in LA and if they’re up for it we hike to behind the Hollywood sign.
Once the hike is done we drive off to Venice Beach and rent bikes or Birds and cruise up to Santa Monica along the bike path until we stop at the pier and grab some grub.
Once it gets close to sunset, El Matador Beach is the place to be and we’ll be there. No matter what day it is, there is always an extraordinary sunset at El Matador.
Lastly for dinner I’ll suggest two options – back to Venice for Casablanca or back to Los Feliz for Home Restaurant. Both are top choices for me.
Overall, this is a quick way to cover most of the tourist attractions in one day. I typically follow this plan for new visitors because it helps show off all aspects of the city and it also helps the visitor get a gauge of where they want to visit for the next few days.
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?
I would love to shout out to my parents. My parents have always believed in me and allowed me to follow my passions.
Growing up my parents had one rule – join at least one after-school club and at least one summer program. Honestly, looking back it was probably because they wanted a break from my brother and I, but what it actually did was allow me to explore new hobbies and passions. Thanks to these clubs I learned that I enjoyed art and cooking. And art eventually led to an interest in photography and video editing.
Fast forward several years to 2017 when a few friends and I wanted to move out to Los Angeles. None of us had jobs lined up, but we had an apartment in mind and we knew what we wanted to do. So I broke the news to my parents and they said without hesitation, “Yeah, you should go for it” and so I did. Without their support on this decision alone I would not be where I am today. So shout out to them for always believing in me and allowing me to follow my passion.
Main photo is taken by Holden Ogg