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

Hi AJ, what do you attribute your success to?
I’d say consistency, a solid work ethic and confidence were the main factors behind my success. I believe that trusting in who you are and what you have to offer can get you to the places you want to go. A big part of success is being able to face and adapt to failures and rejections. I’m sure you’ve probably heard the same before from other people, but there’s one thing that I haven’t mentioned yet about success, and that is luck. I don’t want you to think about luck from the perspective of gambling or winning the lottery, but rather define it for your situation. You can ask yourself a simple question like how can I make my day better? The question is simple, and you could probably come up with the answer by thinking of something as simple as cooking something you love. Now imagine if you start doing that consistently in every aspect of your life, You will start by making your own luck, and multiplying the opportunities of something good happening to you.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is photography and filmmaking, they are both mediums that can transcend stories and make our minds dream and escape. If there’s one thing that definitely sets me apart, that would be how I work, I’m someone who believes in game theory, and that is just simply visualizing the final cut or retouch before even beginning to press the shutter or record button. That helps me put it all together nicely and see its potential ahead of time. I am mostly proud of how far I’ve come considering I never went to a film school. I had to learn everything myself and get practical experience by trying different disciplines within film and photography. I have to say that it wasn’t an easy path, especially since I had to fail miserably many times over. I think that my curiosity and determination to be a storyteller is what got me to where I am today professionally. I had a lot of challenges, but I always tried to look at them as opportunities to learn. Sometimes there are challenges that you can’t overcome, because of a certain situation in your life that prevents you from getting ahead. So, I always put those aside for later or just forgot about them all together, and just lived my life as if they didn’t really matter in deciding my fate, and honestly that was enough for me to move on. Sometimes you will face problems and situations in life that you have no control over, because of all sorts of messed up stuff. Sometimes by not facing the problem head on, and thinking about it, you’re doing yourself a favor, because we are creatures that act on impulses 99% of the time. Always prioritize your well being and success above everything else. I think one of the lessons that I have learned along the way was to never undersell yourself. It’s bad for you, for your work, and for your reputation.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Universal Studios – Hollywood Nobu – Malibu
The Grove
Gjelina on Abbot Kinney
Santa Monica Pier
Marina Del Rey
Kazu Nori
Jon & Vinny’s
2 days in Las Vegas
1 day in San Diego

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This shoutout is for my late mother and my friends, who helped shape who I am today, I am thankful for them because they have helped me when I was in desperate need, and I wouldn’t have been writing this today if it wasn’t for their help and support. I am eternally grateful.

Website: Ajelgammal.com

Instagram: Instagram.com/aj.elgammal

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aj-elgammal/

Facebook: Facebook.com/thefilmmaker

Image Credits
A.J Elgammal

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