The Shark’s Den Photo Studio Setup

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!

Photo Update: Batman Who Laughs

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