Vacation Trip: Japan by Erik Jaworski

じゃあまたシカゴ (See Ya Chicago)

Off to Japan

Taking a much needed vacation in Japan for a while. Visiting Tokyo, Kanazawa, Osaka, & Kyoto.

Expect lots of great photos of my adventures.                          See you in two weeks.

I’ll try my best to post updates of my trip.

こんにちは日本 (Hello Japan)

The Shark’s Den Photo Studio Setup by Erik Jaworski

Around this time last year, my roommate moved out of the Shark’s Den. To make use of the space, I decided to make my own home studio after my roommate moved out. Though the space is small in 10’x10’ room, it has been a great investment. It has provided a great space to do so many different kinds of photo shoots. Even during these cold winter days, it’s been great to be able shoot in the comfortable and controlled environment of my studio. Not to mention, it keeps my photo prices reasonable for clients since I don’t have to deal with renting out a studio space. Overall, it’s been a wonderful addition to my photography business

Now recently, a lot of people have been asking about my studio and lighting setup. Like where I got my gear or how do I set up my lights. So I thought this would be a good subject to talk about on this blog. The reason why is because my studio setup is very unconventional compared to other photographers. It has a lot of lighting equipment that’s used for television and film. However, I’ve been able to make this equipment work. So it’ll be good to show and explain all the equipment I use to take amazing shoots. 


Colt LED Tubes

These 8’ LED tubes are my key lighting for my studio shoot. Since my studio is tight in space, they are perfect powerful lights that I have lined up along my walls. These tubes also easily switch between daylight and tungsten color temperatures. With a dimmer attached, I can easily adjust the tubes brightness. Without them, I wouldn’t be to take simple portrait.

Cineo 410

This is my key fill light for my background color. This is an exclusive light from my workplace, and I’m fortunate to be able to rent it for shoots. It has full RGB color ranges to work with. As you can see, the light is very powerful even from shooting from that one side. The light can be harsh on the subject, but I can still adjust the settings. So no matter the subject or cosplay, I can make a great color palette,

Astera Pixel LED Tubes  

The most recent additions to the studio are my Aster Pixel LED Tubes. These lights are used to help add color or light up the subject. Unlike the Quasar tubes, these tubes have a full range of colors. Since they are more commonly used for TV shows and events, they have different lighting presets for scenes, like fire, winter, rainbow, and more. Another good note is that these lights are portable battery powered. I can easily move the tubes around the studio and even take them to locations without worrying about power outlets. Astera just released a new powerful version of these tubes, and I’m definitely planning on getting them for my studio in the future.

Though this equipment may be crude and abstract, it’s produced my most stunning studio work. Not to mention helped me save some expenses with some of the equipment coming from my workplace. However, I don’t expect to have this setup forever. With each new project, I’m finding out new techniques and adding new equipment to my inventory. At the moment, this equipment helps get the job done and even more!

Unexpected Inactivity on the JAWS Blog by Erik Jaworski

Sorry for the long silence on the blog. Not only was I busy these past couple months with cons and work, but the Squarespace Blog app has been giving me trouble. It was never reliable and could never upload photos to the posts. As I kept having trouble make a blog post, I just got frustrated i couldn’t make posts on my tablet. With my laptop being my only way to post blogs, I just decided to keep my focus on my photo projects more than blogging on my computer.

Thankfully, Square recently updated their apps and it’s now more easy and user friendly to post on your site. With a lot of big things happening in my photo business, it’s great that I can get back into blogging

Sorry again for the long inactivity. Thank You for your patience. I’m glad to finally post to this blog with ease.

Photo Update: Batman Who Laughs by Erik Jaworski

This shoot initially started out with my building’s storage facility in the basement. It was dark and creepy area, with a long corridor of lockers. I wanted to do a horror style shoot in this part of the building. Jordan recommend his Batman Who Laughs, and I agreed to do the shoot. Ever since the Batman Metal comic series came out, the Batman Who Laughs has always been a cosplay I’ve wanted to shoot. Thankfully I meet Jordan at C2E2 2018 dressed as the character. This was our first photoshoot together.

We first started with a quick shoot in my studio. Getting a few shoots with a few different lighting backgrounds, from the simple grey to the harsh red. Once we were done, we made our way down to the basement storage facility. Now this basement storage was a great perfect location, with the old bricks and the surrounding cages. The only issue was the storage facility light switch is on a timer, and it gets pitch black when lights are off. Thankfully I brought my battery powered Astera tubes, which not only provide general light to see but I could also light the subject without having to worry about gels or a power outlet. With those factors removed, it helped make the shooting location very easy and get great photos.

Overall, it was a great shoot. It was great finally shooting this character along with testing out my Astera tubes on location.

Photographer: Erik Jaworski

Cosplayer: Jordan D.

Location: Shark’s Den & University Commons

Inspirational Quote - 1/22/18 by Erik Jaworski

To help mix up and add more content to the blog, I thought it would be great to add some inspirational quotes about photography. These will be quotes that I personally connect to and are true about photography. These quotes will also be accompanied by a photo either by the person or relates to the quote’s content. Hope you enjoy. 


“Wherever there is light, one can photograph.” - Andri Cauldwell

Con Alt Delete Summary by Erik Jaworski

My last con for 2018, Con Alt Delete. This was my first time attending Con Alt Delete, so I didn’t know what to expect. I tried to attend this con last year, but I was so busy with the holiday season. Not to mention there was only had 1 unpaid shoot planned, so it didn’t seem worth the trouble to attend that one day. However this year, I attended all 3 days, and was pretty booked the entire weekend. My total number was 15 shoots, and 8 of them were Christmas themed.

At first, I was worried about the weather. I never shoot at a con during winter since C2E2. I was my sure if we were going to get cold temperatures and snowstorms. However there were clear skies and the temperature was at a comfortable 40 degree weather. Most of my shoots were comfortable shooting outside, but there were some cosplays not suitable for the cool outdoor weather. 

Another challenge I found was not only finding different inside locations, but also trying to find different Christmas locations. The Hyatt didn’t provide any Christmas decorations, and I didn’t want to use a normal location for these holiday shoots. There was a good Christmas setup at Rosemont Convention Center entrance. It had Christmas trees, lighted water fountains, and nice red/green lighting. So I used this location for my Christmas shoots  

Overall, it was a successful weekend. Considering it was a ‘small’ con, there was a lot of activity and great cosplays. Photos from the lobby are listed below. Can’t wait to see what new and old clients I’ll have at Con Alt Delete next year.

Since this is my first con summary post, I thought it would be good to include some interesting stats that I’ve pulled up during the con.  

Con Alt Delete Stats

- Days: 3

- Photoshoots: 15 (8 Xmas Themed) 

  • Photoshoot Time: 405 Minutes

- Photos Taken: 2,192 Photos

  • Photos Narrowed: 670 Photos

  • Photo Requested: 146 Photo

- Steps Walked: 36,443 Steps

Photo Update: Newt Scamander Cosplay Studio Shoot by Erik Jaworski

Sorry for the long wait. I’ve been busy with work, photo shoots, and a lot more exciting things planned for the future. 

With the recent release of Fantastic Beast: Crimes of Grindelwald, Nick reached out to me to do a cosplay studio shoot of his updated Newt Scamander cosplay. This is actually my second shoot with Nick in his Newt cosplay, which was at C2E2 this past year. It’s interesting how much his cosplay has improved since C2E2; with a new coat, new beasts, and even makeup to give more character.  As great as the shoot was, a studio shoot can only give you so much diversity in photos. In the future, it would be nice to shoot a Newt cosplay around the historic parts of downtown Chicago.

Also to add, this was also my first photo shoot using my new Pixel Tubes from Astera. These items are 3 foot LED tubes that This light was demoed at my workplace, and thought of getting a few for my studio. They were not as powerful as I hoped to change the color on the backdrop. However, they were nice to have for additional colors and more lighting on the subject.

Photo: Erik Jaworski  

Cosplayer: Nick C. 

Location:  The Shark’s Den

What Do You Want To See? by Erik Jaworski

Hey Everyone,

Sorry it’s been a while since I last posted on my blog. Been busy the past couple months with work, conventions, football games, photoshoots, and just life. Hopefully when things calm down, I’ll be more attentive to this new blog.

So while I’ve been busy with my freelance work, I’ve been trying to think on what I should post/write about. There’s a been few ideas that have been running through my head. I can write about myself, my photo studio, advice/recommendations, and maybe give my personal thoughts on certain subjects/topics. These topics can range from photo subjects like headshot, cosplay, and boudoir to questions like watermarks, photo ownership, release forms, etc. These posts will most likely be short essays and not frequently posted  

Along with those deep thinking and/or opinion posts, I can post updates on photo projects that I’ve been working on. Not only will I post a few photos, but I can give a quick description on the photoshoot and provide a Facebook link to view more photos. These posts will definitely be more frequent than the long written posts and easier to write about  I just need to remember to post about it once I’ve finished editing the photos  

Now I think it’s important to reach out to my audience to see what you guys like to see. Do you want to see more written topics on photography or get updates on my photo work? If there’s anything you’d want me to post or write about, please leave a comment below or message me your ideas. Thanks very much and have a great day!

Erik J