We had the good fortune of connecting with Othello Banaci and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Othello, what is the most important factor behind your success?
This is two-fold, God and failure. I spent most of my younger years pursuing basketball. I fell on my face so many times that I actually became something. In 2007, I was a preferred walk-on on the Ball State basketball team. When it came time for tryouts, I didn’t do too well, and was cut from the team. I worked out every day, multiple times a day, and the coach noticed. I knew the assignment was to constantly to be better than I was the day before. I got a second chance and was put back on the team. Two years passed and though I am working out around the clock, I never played. What I did gain was curiosity. What if I could do this…? What if I could do that…? So I left school to pursue a fashion internship in New York. From fashion, I explored photography, and from photography, I explored video. I learned that you have to constantly be working and improving yourself and that the failures you have are there to help you and refine your art.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What makes me proud is that I get to tell stories for a living. I get to craft, mold, build, and communicate an idea, package it and deliver it to the world. I have been blessed with the gift of storytelling, and I have God to thank for that. Currently, I am a photographer, director and cinematographer. What makes my work different is that I’m adaptable; I can tell a story in many ways while still preserving the narrative. I got here today through hardships and mistakes. I started as a college basketball player, shifted to fashion, and found myself shooting weddings. Weddings, to fashion and fashion to commercial. It was not easy (african voice and dramatic pause). From 2007 to 2010, I spent most of my time developing an idea. I didn’t know if it was photography,fashion, art, or even acting. What I did know was that basketball was over. From 2010 to 2013, my most frequent photography subject was my ceiling fan. At the time, I didn’t have a good portfolio, nor did I know what a portfolio entailed, but my trusty ceiling fan would always let me test. I spent countless hours looking up at the ceiling and thinking “What if?”. That “What if?” became a “Why not?” and ever since then, it’s been the same cycle. What I want the world to know about my story is that you (whoever is reading this) can do it too. For my production company (Subminimal.co), we build community and tell stories. I learned that practice is everything, and how you practice in anything you do matters. So if I wake up in the morning and make my bed, it will affect how tidy my timeline is or how much detail I put into crafting an image. It starts with the little things.

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 live in the DC area, so we would go to the Portrait Gallery in Chinatown. To me, the Portrait Gallery is top-five and for most interesting places to view art. I am biased because I am a  photographer but…yeah.After the Portrait Gallery, we would watch an indie movie at E Street Cinema. Then we would head out to Bonefish Grill for some food. And that’s all I got because I’m a homebody and I usually spend most of my time at work.

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?
To my 2011 wedding group; Justin French, Clay Blackmore, Bowen Films, Sam shots, Dustin, Freddy, Jamie, John, Jeff, Kat. I learned a lot and grew so much with his group. I’m grateful that I bought that gear on craigslist that led me to you all. To my creative community early 2014 there are too many to name but I have to give a special shout out to my boy Bryan Sona, I was always in the cut and you always put me in the position to win and I will always value that. To the homies past and present thank you. Shout out to: My wife, Kidada K., Trivell Miller, Tamon, Ryan, Gary, Mike Meadows, Samson, Tracie, Anifa, Yaz, Dizzy, Cristina, Aaron Tucker, Mallory, Rayondon, Obi, Walter Atta, Dara, Dan, Marzena, Ti, Bekah, Alexia, Natasha, Kristin, Jessica, Frank,…there are many more people so thank you all.

Website: www.othellobanaci.com

Instagram: @othellobanaci

Linkedin: Othello Banaci

Other: www.subminimal.co ( production company)

Image Credits
Portrait: Idara Ekpoh BTS: Ciara Dawn BTS: Samson Binutu BTS: Sam Tremont

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