20: Snapshots of Real Life | Ben Hager


Your Life Calling is an opportunity to bring joy to your life and the life of others. Fulfilling the interests that fuel you helps bring purpose to the interactions you have. In those moments, it’s easy to forget how quickly time passes. Today’s guest follows a Life Calling that captures those fleeting moments through photography.

Ben Hager is a professional photographer who works for the Review Journal in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over the years, his photography brought him into entertainment, politics, crimes, professional sports, and other breaking news as he supplied his skills to capture important moments. Ben also served as the photo director for the Harlem Globetrotters, and received multiple awards, like Nevada Press Foundation’s Outstanding Visual Journalist.

Before photography, Ben says he worked as a hospice volunteer and youth mentor. He even talks about majoring in economics at Penn State. We discuss how the new generations took on different understandings of pursuing Life Calling. To our understanding, many people don’t want to commit to something immediately and be locked in forever. Ben shares his own quest of seeking to do something meaningful for him, later leading him to photography.

Ben felt drawn to people’s stories, lives, and things he didn’t know about. Listen to Ben explain the trial and error of finding Life Calling, and balancing decisions to cultivate a cohesive life. You don’t always arrive at your Life Calling on your first try. Similar to Ben’s journey, most people experience a change in passions and perspective as they evolve through life. Ben’s advice is to know what moves you, and know what doesn’t move you.

Keep your eyes open, and never stop moving in a direction that pushes you closer to your Life Calling. Through self-assessment and self-awareness, you can build a life filled with projects and moments that reflect what grabs your attention. Not only can you build that life, you can share it with others. Like Ben, you can move towards a place that feels true for you.

Photo copyright Benjamin Hager

Photo copyright Benjamin Hager

Photo copyright Benjamin Hager

Time stamps:

  • [00:18] - Ben Hager uses his professional photographer skills across many different sectors.
  • [03:05] - How did Ben make life work between pursuing Life Calling and dealing with the pandemic?
  • [05:01] - Ben says he didn’t plan on being a photographer.
  • [06:45] - Another classmate influenced Ben to get into photography, and telling people’s stories.
  • [08:54] - As you learn your life’s work, you explore different paths along the way.
  • [11:38] - You may describe your calling separately from the platform you use to carry your calling out.
  • [14:10] - Ben talks about staying grounded when his photography skills bring him to tense environments, like crime or courts.
  • [17:00] - What is one of Ben’s favorite photo projects?
  • [19:37] - Ben talks about creating art that is meaningful in his subjects' lives.
  • [22:34] - Life Calling is connected to a shift in priority, and rethinking how to identify yourself towards life.
  • [24:05] - Ben talks about difficult decisions that need to take place to balance the shifts in life, like decisions as a parent.
  • [26:17] - As you move through life, build a cohesive life that keeps what’s important to you.
  • [28:27] - What advice does Ben have for people who want to land in their sweet spot?
  • [31:14] - Ben mentions a time he let go of embarrassment during a photography job.
  • [33:31] - Ben’s embarrassing moment gave everyone a good laugh, which he didn’t mind.
  • [35:10] - The best part is ending up in a place that feels true for you and what you feel you’re meant to do.


Chris Heinz

Chris Heinz Co.



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