01. What is your name and what do you do?

My name is Ben Lariviere and I’m a freelance photographer. I specialize mostly in weddings and families, though I do a wide range of work, including actor’s headshots and commercial photography. My focus is on capturing the genuine moments that both really tell a story and look beautiful.

"Once I started photographing people, I felt connected to people in a way I was never able to before."

- Ben Lariviere

02. What made you decide to do this?

Since I was a kid, I was always drawn to art. I took art classes and spent a lot of my free time drawing. I was always so frustrated that I couldn’t translate what I saw in my head to the page and figured I just wasn’t an artist.

That was until I picked up a camera in high school and found that I was finally able to make images that I was proud of. While studying photography at Ryerson, I kind of fell into weddings, which gave me an opportunity to make photos in a way that worked for me.

03. At what point did you realize you chose the right path?

I’ve always felt socially awkward. I’ve always had a hard time connecting with people. Once I started photographing people, I felt connected to people in a way I was never able to before. I was able to connect emotionally to their stories and personalities through images.

Whenever a client would tell me how much they are in love with their photos, that gave me a sense of satisfaction and fuelled my passion to create better images.

04. What does Toronto mean to you?

Toronto is where I fell in love and became an artist. Through my childhood, I lived in a small town outside of Waterloo, but I moved to Toronto right after graduating high school. I was dating a city girl, an art student, who 10 years later is my wife. I was going to school, learning how to make art out of photography and where I grew my business. I’ve met people here of all different cultures and backgrounds. There’s an energy I always feel when I travel through Toronto that I don’t feel anywhere else. It inspires me and energizes me. Toronto became home.

05. What advice can you give to young Torontonians?

Pursue what inspires you, even if it’s scary. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from trying new things. Embrace failure; mistakes help you to learn and grow. If you wait until you feel ready to try something new, you probably won’t ever do it, so accept that you’re likely to fail and do it anyway.

Visit www.benlariviere.com or follow him on Facebook and Instagram.