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

Hi Damola, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
One thing I told myself when I got into the film industry was that I wasn’t going to give up despite how hard it got. I love what I do too much and that love for cinematography is what Keeps me going. I think giving up is just an indication that you were never interested in what you were doing in the first place. I think when things aren’t working out we should pivot our focus from what’s not working and figure out why things are not working and approach it from a solution driven mindset.

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.
I am a cinematographer and gaffer. My art is taking someone’s Idea or story and making the images and the way the story flows for the edit look seamless and beautiful. I really enjoy the music video and commercial space because there are no lines. I enjoy painting outside of the lines and telling stories from a unique perspective. I mean film is just that, telling stories from your perspective, what you know, what you’ve experienced, and just painting a cinematic picture outside the lines. I am honestly just getting started in my journey and I am extremely excited about that. Before this year I was very confused as to weather I wanted to direct films or be a cinematographer in the film space. I honestly didn’t know there was a difference. But meeting people who knew more than me and were willing to educate me taught me a lot and I have been able to elevate my productions x10 within the last 6months. The process isn’t easy but I will say it’s 100% worth it once you figure it out. Not saying I’ve figured it out but I’m definitely on my way to doing so. I’ve had to take a step back to study my craft and understand the world of film a bit more. I tend to find my self on YouTube watching Other films/music videos, watching breakdowns of lighting and experimenting consistently, I also listen to different cinematographers like Natasha braier, John de Borman, and many more just talk about the art and their history and experience with the art form. I try to apply knowledge gained from my virtual mentors to my productions and also using my mistakes on previous projects to do better on the next project and of course asking a lot of question to my gaffer and good friend Duncan Johnson. I honestly think the fastest way to learn anything is to learn from someone who has gone through it already and applying that to your own productions. I am in a space where I am willing to do anything and everything that is going to push me to learn something new or do something extraordinary. Some lessons I have learned are to embrace your mistakes, embrace where you are in your journey it’s temporary, and be open minded to collaborating with others. I think that’s really the cheat code to life in general. Collaboration is key!

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 am honestly fairly new to Houston and still trying to figure out what the hot spots are in terms of food and things to do but my favorite places to eat so far are lost and found, taste bar, Island1515, Monarch for brunch, And Jinya Ramen.

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?
Duncan Johnson, Gaffer/Dp

Website: Victoriousfilm.com

Instagram: Damola._Ajanaku._dop

Image Credits
Mac Anthony

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.