OP/TECH USA Ambassador Profile: Steven Banom III

Shopify API

Author: Rachel Reuter

Date: October 8, 2021


Landscape + Automotive Photographer rooted in NJ

Above is what Steven's bio states on his Instagram profile.

Steven has been a proud OP/TECH USA supporter for several years now and we are so happy to partner with him as a brand ambassador! When we look for brand ambassadors, we look for people like Steven. Hardworking, talented, and great representatives of our company and our products. Steven is always willing to spread the word and share his incredible photography work with the social media world and beyond.

I'm super thrilled to share the transcript from my interview with Steven. It is evident that he is truly passionate about his photography work and passionate about life in general. Below is a picture of Steven himself!

Steven Banom III

Thanks so much for taking the time to meet with me, Steven! Can you tell us a little about yourself and where you are located?

I've lived in New Jersey my whole life. I moved down to Monroe Township where I live now. It's been about 10 years now. I like the more rural setting so I moved out of northern Jersey and came down here. Now the city is following me which kind of stinks haha.

I've been doing photography from teenage years up - working my way up from you know point and shoot stuff to more advance point and shoot, to a basic DSLR and then you know, . Most of photography back then was automotive related... taking pictures of cars- mine, my friends, that type of stuff. It wasn't until I got married, and my wife and I started traveling, that I got even more into photography. My wife loves traveling. I'm usually more of a homebody. It was my wife's idea to get an actual DSLR, so that gave me something to do on our trips. It really snowballed from there. We've been traveling all over the place, taking pictures. I just enjoy taking pictures of the scenery, the landscapes, buildings (if applicable), and wildlife. I love taking pictures of puffins when I find them. Puffins are awesome!!

Photo Steven took of puffins.

I'm pretty much self taught with photography and photo editing. I taught myself Lightroom. I don't really do anything heavy in Photoshop because I like doing things true to form. I'm not one of those photographers that likes to heavily edit. I try to keep all my stuff the way I actually saw it- like you took the picture coming out of your eyes.

I like what you said about keeping your photos more true-to-life! You don't want to lose details by over-editing, so I agree with you!

You kind of touched on this, but what is your absolute favorite subject to photograph?

Probably landscapes. I do automotive when I get a chance. I have to say landscape though because you're going to a place that no one is really around usually. Automotive is number two and then macro stuff. I didn't start into macro stuff until COVID came. I can't take a picture of my neighbor's farm 20,000 times, you know... so I got into macro photography and that was an interesting learning experience.

Very nice! We always enjoy seeing your photography and what you tag us in on Instagram!

An example of Steven's macro photography

I've seen you've been to several different really beautiful places and photographed there. What has been your top favorite place?

This is call shot. I'm not 100% positive. It's either the Faroe Islands or it's Iceland. Both of them have amazing views. I can't even pick one for my favorite.

What are some future photography goals that you have?

I'd like to get into making more money in regards to it. Right now it's more of a hobby than a profession for me. I have a full time job. Any money I make is on the side. I'd like to get more into it on a regular basis whether it be event photography or studio photography. I'm also interested in sports photography. With automotive photography, I'd like to get into it where people may pay me to take some pictures. It would be a dream to do photography more often like that!

What are some other interesting things about you?

I'm a network engineer. On the side, I travel everywhere with my wife and do some automotive work. I am a hobby mechanic for my own pleasure. My dad was a mechanic his whole life and I learned from there.

How did you discover OP/TECH USA?

For my first DSLR, I originally just had the Canon strap that came with it. I also had a heavy Tamron lens on it. With just a regular strap, it was very uncomfortable. I look at some of these other and think there is no comfort whatsoever in this and it just looks like someone is just trying to be on board with a new fad or something. Sometimes they can make some good products but they are not comfortable at all. I don't remember what exactly I was looking at when I found OP/TECH, but I found your straps, picked one up, and I have never looked at any other straps. Nobody makes anything as comfortable as this. It's nice for all the trips. You have the utility sling that I can just take off my belt loop and strap it next to me instead of putting it around my shoulder when I am hiking or something. I switch back and forth . Then there's the battery holster. I was looking for something where I wouldn't have to dig into my bag. With the battery holsters, I can have a battery on both sides of the strap.

Steven's MVP wife captured Steven in action with his OP/TECH USA strap. See above for the incredible photo Steven captured here!

That's great to hear! Our products are all designed and innovated with comfort being a top priority in mind!

Besides the comfort, why else do you think someone should use OP/TECH USA products?

The quality and the strength. There was a zoom lens that I had, the 200-500 Nikon, (I don't have it anymore, and I had the regular utility strap on the camera and there was no problem. Nothing was pulling on there or tugging. Zero issues and my original is probably 5 years old, maybe more, and it looks like it's brand new. Just the quality and strength of the products is phenomenal.

Another capture by Steven's MVP wife! Steven is using the utility strap!

Last question and it's a big one! What advice would you give someone just starting out in photography?

Oooh give me second. It would have to be something along the lines of do what you love and not what society says you should do. Photograph what you love. There are a lot of people that want to jump on bandwagons of what they take pictures of, or even with editing. Photograph and edit photos the way you want to, not the way society tells you to based on popularity. Something along the lines of that!

The World Trade Center- Architecture photo by Steven Banom III

We couldn't agree more with you, Steven! It's not about following the trends! You have to be true to yourself in photography and in all aspects of life!

We greatly appreciate Steven taking the time to talk with us, sharing some of his story, and for giving us some photography inspiration!!

You can find Steven's work following the links below! :)