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If you follow our Instagram page, you may remember a couple months ago when we dropped this video ad promoting the site. I had a few promoters and supporters of the site reach out, asking “Yo, who did that?” or “That looks like @shotbyamil work”. If you aren’t familiar with who they are speaking of when they said @ShotByAmil, it would be DMV Native Aaron “Amil” Barnes. His website, ShotByAmil.com, features the portfolio of the talented Johnson & Wales graduate and entrepreneur.

As part of our special 2013 Year in Review series, we have featured Amil as the Charlotte Trendsetter of the Year, for his courage to step outside the box, and create appealing visual media for his clients, small or large. When Instagram began supporting video content, Amil quickly adapted his talents to the platform, and his GramVidz Instagram account showcases some of his best work to date. While some of you may just be seeing Amil’s work for the first time, it’s been a long time coming, and 2014 promises to be his biggest year yet. Amil recently connected to share insight on how he got his start, his biggest challenges, and more.

CLTParty: How did you get your start out here?

Amil: I got my start in the industry by simply networking on social media, going out to meet people, etc. I’ve worked with a ton of clients and record labels “silently”, to as where I wasn’t credited with a lot of dope work I produced. Just earlier this year(2013) I kind of got tired of not being recognized, switched my attitude up, and things just started to change in my favor.




Shot By Amil – DJ QuickSilva 2013 Birthday Bash at The Park (WDC)


CLTParty: What were some challenges you faced early on starting out that you didn’t anticipate?

Amil: The biggest challenge was how much work I had to do for “free” to be recognized LOL. I still do projects off the strength but it gets tough because rental offices and billing companies don’t care about what I do for a living or if I plan on being this huge film director in a few years. But everything I’ve done so far, has mattered and got me to where I am now. I’m still a rookie in my eyes but others see different. I just have to keep getting better.

CLTParty: What accomplishments in 2013 are you most proud of?

Amil: I’ve accomplished a lot this year. I’ve worked on a lot of projects. I guess one of my biggest accomplishments this year would be simply “working for myself” and surviving. I moved back home to the DC area from Charlotte, NC in June and it gets pretty expensive living here. It’s been plenty of nights where I sat on my computer and applied for endless jobs. Things got rough, business would slow down, and sometimes I wasn’t sure how bills would get paid. But I made it. Another year as a successful entrepreneur and self-employed. That’s probably my biggest accomplishment.

CLTParty: What are some of your plans for the year ahead (2014)?

Amil: My plans for the new year would be making major moves with my new label group, “The Board Administration“. We have a few major music videos lined up, short films to direct, and so much more to accomplish. 2014 is gonna be my break out year as a up and coming director. I guarantee it.


Raheem DeVaughn 2013 For Sisters Only (CLT)

CLTParty: What advice would you give someone who wants to follow in your footsteps and get into the industry?

Amil: My advice would be is to expect the worst. When you expect the worst, it won’t bother you if it actually happens. That only makes you stronger. The struggles bring progress. And another piece of advice; FILM WHAT YOU WANT TO FILM. Don’t have anybody else dictate what should be filmed. Your vision is your vision. Quality is always more important than quantity. Trust me. It will matter more in the end.

Visit Amil’s Official Website
Follow @ShotByAmil On Twitter and Instagram

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