By: Bianca De Paz

Motion Pictures rising senior Cameron Tavakoly enters his senior year feeling thrilled for what’s in store as he embarks on his journey as a startup freelance cinematographer.   

From the moment he began his freshman year, Tavakoly has been a part of an organization known as Delta Kappa Alpha, a co-educational, Professional Fraternity for Cinematic Arts students. He later became Production Chair his sophomore year.  

Originally, he chose to study engineering because it played a role throughout his high school years. However, he was also interested in film and wanted to find ways to make them both work. 

“There were always two things in the back of my head – film and engineering,” said Tavakoly.  

It wasn’t until he decided to go to an information session for Delta Kappa Alpha, where he realized he wanted to pivot and pursue a degree in Motion Pictures.  

“If I hadn’t gone to the one info session I went to for Delta Kappa Alpha, I potentially wouldn’t have necessarily realized that,” he added.  

In April 2021, he became the Cinematic Affairs Chair, developing a curriculum to help prepare members in multiple production aspects and bring on guests who are professionals within the film industry. 

While taking a Cinematography course (CCA 356) led by Edmund Talavera, a Professor in the Department of Cinematic Arts at the School of Communication and the coordinator of the M.F.A program in Motion Pictures, Tavakoly declared what specific area he wanted to focus on.  

“How he taught the class and just the overall energy was an amazing experience to have. It made me realize that I just love working with cameras and actually getting the image that you would see on a film,” said Tavakoly.  

By the end of his first year as a cinematography student, Cameron created his first major project, Run, Boya short film about one thief’s fight for his stolen cat.  

Recently, he’s worked on several films such as Money Kicks and To My Eternity with You that have given him the opportunity to continue enhancing his skills.  

Tavakoly spent part of his summer in New Jersey filming a spec commercial and testing out new equipment.  

Although his plans before graduating include freelancing in Miami and assisting with shoots, he hopes to one day be an inspiration to others as his professors were to him and educate students on all things film.  

“I would really love to teach what I’ve learned about film and pass it on to someone else because that’s the whole reason why I got into film to begin with,” said Tavakoly.  

To learn more about Cameron and what he’s been up to lately while practicing his skills as a cinematographer, check out his reel: