Model: Brandon

Agency: Page Parkes

MUA: Ariel Haymond

Stylist: Kurt Haymond

Photographer:  Cameron Frost


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Cameron Frost Photography

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Cameron Frost Reveals 7 Lighting Tips for Dynamic DSLR Videos


Fri, Oct 4th, 2013 | Posted In: Sponsored Stories | Written by: JD Liddil

As the video capabilities on digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras become more sophisticated, more still photographers like Cameron Frost are incorporating videography and video editing skills into their repertoire. “Lighting motion picture is just as important as lighting still photography,” says Cameron Frost. The following are some lighting tips to keep in mind to make videos more dynamic.

cameron frost lighting

Thinking small in videography is a good idea, just as long as it is not too small. One of the many advantages to DSLR video is that digital cameras are more portable than traditional video equipment. They allow the videographer to shoot in smaller spaces with better agility. Photographers are accustomed to operating with less equipment than traditional videographers, especially with lighting. “This gives photographers a more creative edge,” explains Cameron Frost. Additionally, DSLR cameras are better equipped to shoot in low light at a higher ISO with minimal camera noise.

A camera’s ISO is how sensitive to light film, or in the case of digital cameras, the digital sensor is. Traditionally, in order to shoot in low light situations, a camera’s ISO had to be very high, which often caused static-looking noise on the image. The more modern DSLRs become, the better they are equipped to photograph with less light and produce a clearer image and video. When cameras require less light to produce a good image, videographers are saved the hassle—and the energy—of carrying cumbersome equipment.

Something else that is just as important to a successful video as it is to a strong still photograph is the color temperature. As with many other factors in photography, the temperature value is opposite of its visual equivalent. For example a cool-looking blue sky would have a very high number, while a warm-colored candle flame would have a very low number.

Understanding color temperature is important when shooting in various light set ups. This is particularly challenging for videographers shooting with ambient light at night, where they have to contend with a mixed palette of colored street signs, yellow tungsten headlights, and green fluorescent store fronts. To combat this issue, photographers can apply plastic gels to the front of their lights to counteract and balance the ambient light.

The advent of small, battery-powered devices that produce continuous LED light flicker-free is one of the most practical innovations for DSLR video. Prior to these devices, videographers depended on lights with bulky battery packs and a much shorter lifespan. More modern lighting equipment provides videographers with a stronger light source and less battery usage. Some LED lighting equipment also has the capability of adjusting color temperature, which eliminates the need for carrying around additional equipment. The only caveat to LED lighting is the cost. “LED lighting equipment is not the most affordable, but what it will save a videographer in time and aggravation makes it worth the investment,” explains Cameron Frost.

Like other factors that bridge between photography and videography, light modifiers can be used to shoot video just as they can be used for still photographs. Something like a parabolic umbrella, a modifier designed for the still photography market, can add a sense of glamour and interest to a scene. These are also typically lightweight and inexpensive.

Although the issue with videography is often not having enough ambient light and having to light the scene with additional lights, sometimes there is too much light. “If you are not sure, block out the excess light,” suggests Cameron Frost. Ambient light has as much color temperature as the fluorescent storefronts and multicolored window signs. Too much ambient light can have a major impact on how consistent the color is throughout the video.  Cameron Frost’s advice when it comes to controlling the amount of ambient light in a scene is to block it out and add in lights. This will ensure there is consistent color temperature in the each scene.

Videographers need to go into a scene prepared with different lighting options. Shooting with DSLRs gives videographers greater portability and flexibility. While these cameras are more compact, and videographers can in a sense do more with less, it does not mean they should abandon the more traditional approaches to lighting. In the past, both the cost of the camera equipment, as well as the lighting was very cost-prohibitive. “These cost barriers have effectively been removed,” says Cameron Frost. “However, just because videographers can light most scenarios without a ton of gear, it does not mean the old methods should be forgotten.”

Location scouting prior to a shoot is always a good idea. It is especially helpful in terms of determining lighting set ups. First, scouting a scene saves the videographer and their crew money. The videographer will know exactly what time to be on location, and how much ambient light they will have to work with. “The sun will do much more for lighting a scene than any artificial light will,” says Cameron Frost. Indoor shoots also have this obstacle, especially in larger spaces where lights might have to be hung. If the venue is much older and does not allow lights to be rigged up in the ceiling, use a simple bounce card to easily and effectively light individual subjects or the whole room.

Cameron Frost Lists Ways to Achieve Emotional Appeal in Videos

Video advertisements these days are adapting a much more editorial quality. More factors like characters and plot are being utilized to make the advertisement seem less like a sales pitch, and more emotionally appealing. The following are a few ways that videographers can achieve this appeal in their future video assignments.

  • Use a dynamic opening scene to grab the viewer’s attention.
  • Consider DSLR video cameras to traditional video equipment. Aside from their other benefits, they have considerable consumer demand.
  • Use speech within the advertisement quickly and concisely. “Make sure that beyond all of the creativity, you are still featuring the product. Furthermore, do not over embellish the video with unnecessary elements,” says Cameron Frost.


In a pursuit to expand his photography knowledge even further, Cameron Frost has become more and more involved with shooting and editing video. He is currently the art director and lead photographer for Excelsior Media, and resides in Las Vegas with his canine companion, Milo.


Creating An Indoor Blizzard


I’ve been a fan of Joey L’s work for quite some time and really enjoy seeing what he comes up with.  Take a look at this example:

Portrait of Terra Clark ©  Joey L

Portrait of Summer Rayne Oakes ©   Joey L

Joey L : I call these kind of shoots “test shoots” because they aren’t commissioned by any clients. They have one main goal – to push my portfolio further towards the style of photography I want to be hired for. It’s important for me to keep creating new work that isn’t the same as the work I’ve been hired to create in the past, because if I’m only shooting the same kind of stuff over and over, it’s very unlikely that I will be hired to shoot anything else. Over time, if you aren’t proving that you are capable of shooting other things, you might find yourself stuck in a bit of a rut, never really photographing anything new. I like to keep things fresh and progressing forward. It keeps me sane.

Now, because I decided to create this series in an educational workshop setting, it wouldn’t make sense for me to shoot on location, or even outdoors at all. (I can just imagine bringing 20 enthusiastic students out into a blizzard for a day or two!) Since we weren’t shooting on location and we were fabricating a scene from scratch, we needed to have complete control over the environment. We also needed to be in a comfortable environment in which I could explain every step to the students and pause for questions.

Although it appears to be an elaborate setup, when you break it down step by step, you can see that it’s actually quite simple. The camera is great at lying, especially in close-ups where you only see a small part of the scene. Let’s deconstruct this image first by noting the props that are used, and then later I will explain the lighting.

Each element was carefully fabricated to achieve a sort of visual cohesion throughout each layer of the photo. The subject stands in front of a hand-painted background from Broderson Backdrops resembling a stormy sky. I’m a big fan of getting things right in camera- this is not something I want to add in post later. With this background thrown out of focus, it doesn’t look that different from actually shooting outdoors.

The snow is also a real effect shot in camera. It is created from a American Dj Snow Flurry Snow Machine
, which blasts out soap suds that resemble snow, especially when thrown out of focus. I made sure the “snow” was not only falling directly on the subject, but also covering a wide area from behind the model all the way up to my camera lens for a realistic depth of field. After all- in real life the snow would be falling both in front of the camera, and behind. I was surprised to find out after my shoots that these snow machines are actually quite cheap… In fact, at $108.98 on Amazon, it would have actually been cheaper to buy the machine than to rent it for just two days.

Another special effect used in these photos is the haze from a haze machine. This atmospheric layer of fog added a little bit more depth to the background, and allowed us to see some flare from the backlights, as if the sun were caught in the blizzard’s drift. Because the haze likes to come out of the machine a bit directional, I had what I like to call “waft man” fanning the haze so it would spread evenly throughout the set. I made a poor student do this at each workshop, and I’m sure their arms ached the next day.

As I shot, I had to keep an eye on the technical aspects, but more importantly, I had to make sure my subjects had engaging expressions. By posing them dramatically to look as if they were moving or looking for something, I was able to achieve a more dynamic image.

The make-up was slightly different with each subject and got a little more complicated as each workshop progressed. Our first subject, Henry, didn’t have any makeup. The only “snow” on his coat came from turning him towards the snow machine before shooting, and then having him stand back in place. Summer Rayne Oakes, our second subject, had her makeup done to look like she was a little more weathered, but still, no “snow” other than what came from the snow machine. For our third setup with Brett and Terra at creativeLIVE, we got a little more advanced with the makeup and visual effects by adding some “ice” to the face, and some finer snow particles to the jacket.

Portrait of Henry Oelkers ©   Joey L

I wanted to create a dramatic portrait series of “arctic explorers” which appeared to be taken outside in a blizzard. The concept for this shoot was something I’ve been mulling over for quite awhile, but never had the proper platform to pull it off. 

 Finally, when I went on a little workshop tour to raise funds for a personal film project of mine, ending with a internet creativeLIVE broadcast, I knew this would give me the resources to pull off something with a little bit of production value. 

Creating these portraits in front of a live audience would give my students a taste of how one of my shoots work step by step, but also give me the opportunity to create images I can use in my actual portfolio. I had everything I needed at my disposal- a large space to work in (verrrry tricky to find in NYC), and studio lights, and interesting subjects volunteering their time. Photographing something I was excited about allowed me to be a better instructor because I was shooting something I truly cared about executing to the best of my ability.

Image ©  Melissa Fuller

Portrait of Brett Cherry, who is actually creativeLIVE’s set designer! ©   Joey L

Camera: Mamiya 645DF with P65+ Digital back
Lens: 80mm f/2.8 lens
Light Heads: Five Profoto ProB Heads
Power source: Three Profoto 8a 1200 Air Power Packs
Main Light: One 74″ Elinchrom Octa Light Bank
Backlight: Two White Beauty Dishes with 25 Degree Honeycomb Grids
Background lights (lights hitting backdrop): Two 41″ White Profoto Umbrellas
Backdrop: Broderson Hand Painted Backdrop
Haze Machine: American DJ Haze Generator
Snow Machine: American Dj Snow Flurry Snow Machine

I like to light in layers and be able to control each source individually. Let’s start with the main light – a large 74” Elinchrom Octabank modifier being fitted to a Profoto head and pack. In some of these photos, a Profoto-equivalent octabank was used, but I much prefer the quality of light from the Elinchrom.

Next, there are two white beauty dishes as backlights which light the subject and falling snow from behind with a soft, wrapping light. Rather than have the two beauty dishes set at an equal strength, I preferred to have one slightly brighter than the other. This added to the realism and motivated more as one sun coming from one side. I imagined the sun trying to peak through the layers of falling snow, and being diffused.

Finally, there are two white umbrellas turned on to the painted backdrop, set at the same strength. These are there to light the background evenly, and were plugged into their own individual power supply. This way, I could increase or decrease the exposure of the storm clouds in the background based on preference.

The subtle balance between these different lights and special effects is what truly counts. If the background gets too dark, it will not match the foreground, and vice-versa. When we brought together all these different elements in camera, it left me with very little photoshopping to do.

Image © Eric Krebs

Article via Joey L

Cameron Frost Explains Networking For Photographers


In the competitive photography industry, Cameron Frost knows that it often is not what you know, but who you know. “Technical skills and knowledge are crucial for photographers to execute a shoot, but knowing how and where to network is what will get the jobs,” he says. Developing a strong personal brand for a photography business is what will set one photographer apart from another. With so many people calling themselves professional photographers these days, having a unique and identifiable trademark will make one photographer more recognizable and memorable, thereby leading to consistent work.

However, networking is next on the list of factors critical to a successful photography business. “The goal for freelance commercial photographers is to get in with renowned publications that will be able to provide them with repeat business,” says Cameron Frost. “Networking is something that can be done at very little cost to the photographer, but will ideally lead to a profitable future.” In the photography industry, the majority of a photographer’s time is spent actually taking pictures. The remainder is spent what photographers call “moving furniture,” such as editing photographs and videos, self-promotion and marketing, and of course, professional networking.

Networking is essential, especially if a photographer wants to break into the high-end market and shoot for big-name advertising agencies and national publications. “While it is not a process than can be done overnight, it is something that with a little thought and creativity will have a lasting, positive impact on a photographer’s business,” says Cameron Frost.

Professional networking begins with a sincere desire to meet and interact with others. “Of course,” says Cameron Frost, “if you are not a people person, photography is probably not the suitable field for you. Photography depends on a positive, enthusiastic attitude. It is what will make the model and the client feel at ease.” Simply showing up to a photo shoot is not enough.Cameron Frost photography

To be successful at professional networking, photographers have to have a plan. This includes consideration for cultural taboos like pushing a portfolio on someone during cocktails. Photographers must have a course of action with realistic goals. This will most likely include approaching strangers, but “putting yourself out there and using colleagues as resources as much as possible is the only way professionals throughout the community will come to know who you are,” explains Cameron Frost. Additionally, if the intention of the photography business is to work closely with vendors, such as with wedding photography, networking is vital. Photographers should consider attending networking events.

Photographers who do not have much business could wait several months before they have another opportunity to work with other professionals. The sooner photographers begin networking, the faster they can establish a foundation upon which they can build professional relationships and partnerships.

The Best Places to Network

Photographers new to the industry may be ignorant of where to find networking events. Fortunately, they are frequent and easier to find, particularly in large, metropolitan areas. The following are resources photographers can use to find other professional photographers and industry-related events.

• Photographers can use forums on MeetUp to organize industry get-togethers.
• The local Chamber of Commerce
• Local artists groups
• Local, industry-related magazines
• Local chapters of national, professional organizations like the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), and American Photographic Artists (APA).

• Annual conferences such as Photo District News’ Photography Expo, held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

For wedding photographers, bridal shows are a fantastic place to network with brides and other vendors, especially for photographers new to the industry. All a photographer needs is their business card with their contact information and a link to their online portfolio.

Cameron Frost Suggests Getting Creative with Promotional Materials

Good networking begins with a small piece of paper: a business card. The business card should have the photographer’s logo or brand and their contact information and website address. Additionally, having a few samples of their work is also effective. “Business cards and other promotional material should be kept current; as a photographer gets new work, they should have business cards printed with more recent photographs,” suggests Cameron Frost.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that when a photographer hands out their business card, they should receive information in return. This will allow them to keep in touch with the potential client. Commercial and editorial photographers that are contacting art directors and photo editors can get even more creative with their promotional material. These “leave behinds” can be as simple as a postcard-sized sample of the photographers work or as elaborate as a handmade book. “I once sent an art director a magnet as opposed to a generic postcard,” said Cameron Frost. “The magnet is effective because not only does it have my contact information and a sample of my work, it is a functional item, and something more unusual and memorable.

Photographers can get very creative with packaging. “Keep in mind who you are sending these items to,” says Cameron Frost. “The more elaborate the promotional material, the higher the cost. Make sure that you are selective, and only sending these items to individuals and publications are you are truly interested in working with.

Leave behinds and promotional material are a great way for photographers to show how creative they can be. It is also a time to advertise personal projects that photographers have been working on. “If you are interested in shooting for a publication, art directors are often more interested in the work you are doing just to enrich your portfolio, and not necessarily for profit,” explains Cameron Frost.


Cameron Frost is a freelance fashion, fitness and celebrity photographer based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has had work printed in a number of reputable publications, including Elle, People, and DNA. He is also the art director and lead photographer for the media production company Excelsior Media. Outside of photography, he is involved with charitable organizations and advocacy groups, such as the Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign and PetSmart Charities.