Pittsburgh native gains fame from the 50

Photos Courtesy of Ben Tenuta | Senior at Point Park University Ben Tenuta has experience shooting videos and photographs for collegiate and professional sports.

Brentaro Yamane | Multimedia Editor

It’s early February, and Ben Tenuta, a senior at Point Park University, is sitting in his classes counting down the days until he graduates later in the spring.

While he thinks of himself as an everyday student, the content that Tenuta provides on social media is getting much more attention than he could ever imagine, turning him into a public figure.

Many people in the Western Pennsylvania area know Tenuta as a sports videographer, photographer, graphic designer and content creator. While he has made a name for himself covering sports in the high school area, he has had experience shooting collegiate and professional sports as well.

“It was my freshman year of college. And I would create video content, I had this Instagram page that I didn’t really use at all and I started to see some other accounts like SWNGMN, Prospect Media, Dream Shots and 2020 Productions, creating content in sports,” Tenuta said.

“And 2020 was one of the first guys I ever saw and thought his videos were pretty sick and then I saw SWNGMN and Prospect. So, I was like, ‘You know, I think I could really do something like this.’

The amount of hard work that he put in on his social media pages did not go unnoticed, giving him an experience that would change his life.

Dan Zangrilli, a radio broadcaster for KDKA Radio, messaged Tenuta on Instagram in 2021 after seeing his work and gave him an opportunity to show off his skills in photography and videography and cover high school football and basketball for them.

“And when I first saw that [DM from Dan Zangrilli], I honestly thought it was fake,” Tenuta said. “Because it was so random, and I was only shooting sports for a while, probably since the spring of that year before but coming into that football season, I only shot two football games ever.”

The two football games that Tenuta shot previously were Damar Hamlin’s all-star game during the summer and Sto-Rox’s first football game of that season when they played against Bishop Sycamore, which was known as a non-existent Ohio school.

It was that game against Bishop Sycamore, where Tenuta made a video edit for the game, that got Zangrilli to reach out and offer Tenuta an opportunity.

“They wanted to see if I was interested in it and potentially after I graduate, I can maybe have a job. And I shot both seasons (football and basketball) for free and everything on my own. And it was a great experience,” Tenuta said.

Tenuta’s opportunity, an internship, turned into a job as multimedia production coordinator in his own office at the Audacy Pittsburgh station in Greentree. Here he was able to learn new things and improve his skills.

To say that Tenuta has shot for the stars isn’t an understatement. His Instagram page has over 117,00 followers and his TikTok has over 212,000 followers. Other social media outlets such as MaxPreps, SportsCenterNext and Overtime have posted his videos on their pages as well.

The number of messages he gets from athletes asking him to shoot their games and people coming up to him asking him for pictures and autographs might be overwhelming for some, but he is grateful for it all. He has made a name for himself in the Western Pennsylvania area and has earned that recognition.

“I’ve never met someone as creative as Ben,” said Cale Berger, one of Ben’s co-workers. “He’s always looking for ideas. He’s always saving reels on Instagram or finding stuff on TikTok. So, it’s the creativity, he never ceases to amaze me of the stuff that he comes up with and the different things that he tries.”

Tenuta said inspiration for his work comes from all around him, including other high school and college aged videographers taking up sports media. On Instagram alone Tenuta has connected with more than 90 Pittsburgh sports photographers. He is inspiring younger people whether he realizes it or not.

“He’s a very personable guy,” said Chris Barrish, Waynesburg University men’s basketball player and KDKA Radio intern. “First he’s kind of shy, I’d say, but you get to know him he’s real funny, and he’s a real stand-up guy, but he is probably one of the hardest workers I have ever met.”

Tenuta works to bring more exposure to student athletes, giving them a platform to give them the recognition and credit that they deserve. As a former football player at Belle Vernon Area High School, he knows what it is like to be in their shoes and provide an outlet that they can look back on one day to cherish the memories that they had in sports.

From a young age, he was always getting involved in the media, whether it would be working for his high school’s television station or making morning announcements. But still, he puts more time working on his photography and videography skills.

“There’s so much I can improve. I wouldn’t even say I’m even the best. Like, I just try to get better,” Tenuta said. “I just always try to expand my creativity really, and I try to acknowledge everything I see, no matter what it is in all aspects.”