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What Should You Charge for Your Pro Photography?

What Should You Charge for Your Pro Photography?

Figuring out how much to charge clients is a struggle shared by many photographers, particularly if you’re trying live off the fruits of your craft. In this 30-minute episode of their Picture This Podcast, photographers Tony and Chelsea Northrup spend half an hour discussing this topic and sharing advice.

“It’s REALLY hard to decide what to charge for your professional photography business,” the Northrups write. “We dig deep into different portrait photography pricing models, discuss the benefits of both low and high price points, and show you how to calculate what you need to make a real living wage from your art.”

There are all kinds of fears and anxieties that rise up when pondering the problem of pricing, the Northrups say. You could worry about overpricing your potential clients away, or underpricing and missing out on potential profits.

There are many different things you can consider when trying to settle on a fair price. Here’s a quick rundown of the subjects and tips covered in the episode (watch the video above to hear the duo elaborate on each one in more detail):

  • Confidence: Be confident and know your prices.
  • Location: Research and understand your location and customer demographics.
  • Time: Know how much time things take. It’s east to underestimate.
  • Perceived Value: Underpricing can give your photos a perception of lesser value.
  • Expenses: Know exactly how much your expenses are.
  • Competition: Be aware of how much direct competitors are charging.
  • Experience: Make sure you have the experience to back up your pricing.
  • Final Product: Control your final artwork because your name will be on it.
  • Fees and Markups: Make sure you get fair compensation for extra work and services done.

Tony and Chelsea also discuss various pricing models that photographers use.

If you’d like an idea of how much actual photographers are charging these days in the US, Tony also looked up listed prices of photography businesses in his area of Connecticut.

“Please, please take the time to figure out what you’re worth,” Chelsea says in conclusion. “Look at what other photographers in your area are charging, think about your business model and how you can deliver a final product to your clients, and then charge enough to live.”

If you found this information helpful, you can follow along with the Picture This Podcast by subscribing to the Northrups’ channel on YouTube.

Source: PetaPixel

What Should You Charge for Your Pro Photography?

Mariah Mania at The Blond

Mariah Mania at The Blond
In ultimate icon fashion, our V112 cover star Mariah Carey is in full bloom, on newsstands everywhere just in time for spring. The singer-songwriter has always played by her own rules, and there’s no doubt that Mariah’s unmatched legacy and major influence continues to bridge infectiously into each generation.

To celebrate our effervescent cover of the timeless idol, V hosted seven fresh faces at Soho staple The Blond to revel in the glory of all things Mariah. Click through the slideshow bel…

Keep on reading: Mariah Mania at The Blond
Source: V Magazine

Mariah Mania at The Blond

Here’s an 8K, 360° Video of a Lunar Eclipse with the Northern Lights

Here’s an 8K, 360° Video of a Lunar Eclipse with the Northern Lights

Back on January 31st, photographer William Briscoe set up his cameras near Fairbanks, Alaska, and shot this awe-inspiring 360-degree interactive video of a lunar eclipse in the sky above the dancing green glow of the Northern Lights.

“It was a challenging night due to the temperatures,” Briscoe writes. His primary focus during the eclipse was getting his time-lapse 360° camera rig (custom-built out of multiple DSLRs) operating correctly, as it was a frigid -31°F (~-35°C) that night during the 3-hour shoot.

The extreme dynamic range of this project also required Briscoe to pull out some digital trickery: the video is actually a composite created with images captured by two different camera rigs at the scene.

“The difference between the settings required to properly expose the moon and the Aurora is too great to do it in a single shot,” Briscoe says. “The 360 camera was set to expose the aurora and landscape, while a second camera attached to a telephoto lens was used to time lapse the lunar eclipse itself. I combined them in post.”

If Briscoe hadn’t composited the two drastically different exposures, the moon would have appeared as a white dot in the sky even during the eclipse’s totality.

(via William Briscoe via DPReview)

Source: PetaPixel

Here’s an 8K, 360° Video of a Lunar Eclipse with the Northern Lights

Insect Photographer Sues Pest Control Company for $2.7 Million

Insect Photographer Sues Pest Control Company for .7 Million

A well-known insect photographer has filed a $2.7 million copyright infringement lawsuit against a pest-control company. He accuses the businesses of using his photos without permission on its website.

Alex Wild is the curator of entomology at the University of Texas-Austin, and his photos have been featured everywhere from the Smithsonian to National Geographic. He allows schools and non-profits to use his photos for free or at discounted rates, but he strictly enforces his copyright when it comes to for-profit uses.

Wild’s website states that his photos can generally be licensed for between $40 and $400 per image, and there are warnings about infringing upon his copyright. Wild shared his copyright enforcement strategy here at PetaPixel back in 2015.

Courthouse News Service reports that Wild filed a copyright infringement lawsuit last month in federal court against Innova Supply, which does business as Solutions Pest and Lawn.

Wild says that after he came across the company using 10 of his insect photos without permission on its website, he had a lawyer send a cease-and-desist letter in February 2017. After that letter was ignored, Wild’s attorney sent a second letter the following month.

A screenshot of one of the infringements at the center of Alex Wild’s lawsuit.

According to Wild’s lawsuit, the pest company’s CEO, Zach Colander, responded to the second letter by email.

“I received your letter and did my research into it,” Colander wrote. “It does look like one of our outsourced content writers was taking images off Google. Internally we have a company Shutterstock account and policy of using only that. I am working on getting them all removed.”

But when Wild checked the website months later in January 2018, he found that the 10 photos had not been removed. What’s more, he discovered another 8 of his images being used without permission.

Here are some of the photos that were used without authorization:

Wild then decided to sue the company, seeking statutory damages of $150,000 — the maximum allowed for photos registered with the US Copyright Office — for each of the 18 infringements for a total of $2,700,000.

“I cannot comment publicly about this particular infringement case, but I will say this is the largest of several lawsuits I’ve filed recently,” Wild tells Fstoppers. “These typically do not proceed to filing unless the infringing company repeatedly fails to respond after being made aware of the problem.

“In some of the more incredible cases, including this one, the infringer not only does not respond but continues to upload new infringing copies. It’s maddening how often this happens.”

Image credits: All images courtesy Alex Wild

Source: PetaPixel

Insect Photographer Sues Pest Control Company for .7 Million

NVIDIA’s AI Can Magically Transfer One Photo’s Style to Another

NVIDIA’s AI Can Magically Transfer One Photo’s Style to Another

NVIDIA has unveiled a new AI algorithm called FastPhotoStyle that can transfer the style from any photo to another photo, producing impressive, photo-realistic results seemingly by magic.

The algorithm was developed by a team of scientists at NVIDIA and the University of California, Merced. It was published last month in a paper titled “A Closed-form Solution to Photorealistic Image Stylization.”

While there are several methods that already exist for this type of style transfer between photos, they require several minutes to run on a low-resolution image, and the results are inconsistent and contain noticeable artifacts.

A comparison of the results created by various leading algorithms.

FastPhotoStyle’s results are both faster to generate and more realistic: results can be generated 60 times faster than traditional methods, and they were found to be twice as preferred by human subjects compared to what existing algorithms could produce.

The big breakthrough in NVIDIA’s algorithm is splitting the task in two separate steps. During the stylization step, the style of a reference photo is transferred to the content photo. Next, a smoothing step helps make things photorealistic by encouraging “spacially consistent stylizations.”

Here are some examples of what FastPhotoStyle can do:

“For a faithful stylization, the content in the output photo should remain the same, while the style of the output photo should resemble the one of the reference photo,” the paper states. “Furthermore, the output photo should look like a real photo captured by a camera.”

If you’re savvy with software, you can grab the source code of the algorithm and run it yourself on photos through the Github repository.

(via NVIDIA via Retouchist)

Source: PetaPixel

NVIDIA’s AI Can Magically Transfer One Photo’s Style to Another

The $399 Laowa 25mm Macro Lens vs the $1,050 Canon MP-E 65mm

The 9 Laowa 25mm Macro Lens vs the ,050 Canon MP-E 65mm

In January 2018, I had the opportunity to test a pre-production version of Laowa’s first lens in 2018, the Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5x. It is a niche high magnification macro lens touted to be the answer or alternative to the Canon MP-E 65mm for non-Canon users (especially Nikon macro photographers).

After a few rounds of testing both handheld in the field as well as on a tripod, I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons of the Laowa 25mm vs the Canon MP-E 65mm.

At the end of the review, I will also show sample shots of how I stacked 104mm of extension tubes behind this lens to push it to 9.1X magnification.

All test shots in this review were made with the Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5x on Nikon D800, lighted with Meike MK-MT24 twin flash mounted on FotoPro DMM-903s Flash Arms. Automated deep stacking shots were done using Cognisys StackShot.

The Laowa’s Competitors

The Laowa 25mm’s obvious competitor would be the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x. Of course, there are many ways to get this magnification range through the use of reversed lenses and bellows but in this post, I will just focus on these lenses and highlight the factors important to a macro photographer in the field.

There is a lesser-known Mitakon Zhongyi 20mm f/2 4-4.5x but it is not included in this review as I have not used it before. Based on the specifications, it has a much narrower magnification range of 4-4.5x, only 3 aperture blades and a short working distance of only 20mm, half that of the other 2 lenses in this review.


The Laowa 25mm is priced at less than 40% of the Canon MPE65’s current retail price, making it a really affordable and portable option for high magnification photography.

Laowa 25mm: $399 (plus $30 for a tripod collar)
Canon MPE-65: $1,049 (tripod collar included)


The Laowa 25mm is available in most major camera mounts, while the Canon MPE65 is designed exclusively for the Canon EF mount. It is worth noting that with Nikon and Canon mounts, adapters are easily available to use the lenses on mirrorless systems which would have a shorter distance from the sensor. Hence to answer many who asked, all of the lenses can technically be mounted onto M4/3, Sony FE and Fuji X mounts with the correct adapters.

Laowa 25mm: Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K, Sony FE
Canon MPE-65: Canon MPE-65

Magnification Range

The magnification range determines the usability of each lens in the field. In this case, the Canon MPE65 is the clear winner as it covers a wider 1x-5x range. The Laowa 25mm has a more restrictive magnification range from 2.5x to 5x. It appears to compliment the Raynox DCR-250 on a 1:1 macro lens (approx 2.5x magnification) and the Laowa 60mm f/2.8 Macro (2x magnification) lens.

Laowa 25mm: 2.5-5x
Canon MPE-65: 1-5x

Working Distance

The working distance of both lenses at 5x are comparable, differing by only 1mm. But at 2.5x, the Canon MPE65 has a working distance of 58mm, while the Laowa 25mm is shorter at 45mm. While some photographers prefer longer working distances, I prefer the working distance to have a narrower range so that the lighting set-up and results would be consistent. Having a consistent working distance also helps for those who use their left hand to control the distance between camera and subject. So no clear winner in this, as it depends on individual preferences.

Laowa 25mm: 40mm (5x) – 45mm (2.5x)
Canon MPE-65: 41mm (5x) – 101mm (1x)


The Laowa 25mm looks like a baby when placed beside the Canon MPE65. A smaller lens is definitely much easier to handle. It also allows for more consistent results for flash systems that are not mounted at the tip of the lens.

Laowa 25mm: 82mm (2.5x) – 137mm (5x)
Canon MPE-65: 98mm (1x) – 228mm (5x)


The Canon MPE65 had been known to be like a brick, weighing a hefty 730g. Despite the small appearance of the Laowa 25mm, it actually weighs more than it looks at 400g due to its full metal construction. Nevertheless, it is still 45% lighter than the Canon MPE65 and imposes less strain on the arm.

Laowa 25mm: 400g
Canon MPE-65: 730g

Diameter (Front)

A small diameter of the frontal tip of a macro lens has a huge advantage of allowing lower angles on a flat surface, such as on the ground or on a tree trunk. It also blocks out less light, allowing for better lighting coverage. For this, the Laowa 25mm is the clear winner with a frontal diameter of just 43mm, even smaller than that of a Raynox DCR-250 (49mm).

Laowa 25mm: 43mm
Canon MPE-65: 58mm

Aperture Blades

The number of aperture blades determines the shape of out of focus highlights. In general, more blades will result in rounder apertures and more pleasing results.

Laowa 25mm: 8 Blades
Canon MPE-65: 6 Blades

The Canon MPE65 tends to produce hexagonal bokeh highlights, while those produced by the Laowa 25mm are rounder.

Tripod Collar

Some may ask why a tripod collar is important for such a small lens. On tripod setups, having a tripod collar allows the frame to be rotated without adjusting the tripod. It is a great advantage for high magnification set-ups. For handheld situations, the tripod collar can also be rotated upwards to mount a flash or focusing light.

Laowa 25mm: Optional Arca Swiss Mount
Canon MPE-65: Included Screw Mount

Interestingly, the Laowa 25mm’s tripod mount comes ready with an Arca-Swiss mount. That reduces the need to screw a base plate to the tripod collar, but that also rules out usage on other mount types. Plus point if you use Arca-Swiss mounts.

Auto Aperture Control

The Laowa 25mm is a completely manual lens and lacks auto aperture control, or aperture coupling. This means that when composing, the image that you are seeing is already stepped down (i.e. dark) and viewed at the actual aperture setting of your shot. This is probably its biggest disadvantage over the Canon MPE65.

Focusing will be more challenging due to the deeper depth-of-field in handheld situations. The only advantage of manual aperture control is that it would be much easier to locate your subject in the viewfinder. Even when the subject was 1cm out of focus, it was possible to see where the subject was when the aperture was stepped down.

Lack of aperture control does not affect tripod set-ups as the aperture ring can be adjusted after focus and composition are set.

Laowa 25mm: Manual
Canon MPE-65: Auto

Depth of Field (DoF)

Although the depth of field (DOF) of each lens is the same at the same magnification and aperture setting, the DOF characters of each lens are different. Due to the wider angle of view of the Laowa 25mm as compared to the MPE65, it has a deeper “perceived DOF”. Areas in the frame that are out of focus would appear clearer on the Laowa 25mm when compared with the Canon MPE65. Because the DOF fall-off of the Laowa 25mm is not as steep as in the MPE65, it is easier to locate the subject in the viewfinder when the subject is slightly out of focus.

The examples above were tested on the Sony A7 with respective adapters to Canon and Nikon mounts. They are not conclusive as I did not use precision equipment to position the lens for the test. However, the Laowa 25mm does show slightly more detail for out of focus objects.

Image Quality

The optical qualities of both lenses are on par, with the Laowa 25mm slightly sharper at f/2.8 and 5x magnification. Many others had already done detailed side-by-side reviews on image quality and I do not own a Canon body for a more accurate test, so I would not go into too much detail here. Instead, I will focus on recommendations to optimize the image quality of your shots with this lens.

Diffraction & Light Loss

Those who are new to high magnification photography must know about the effects of diffraction and light loss. The effective f-stop is (Magnification+1) x f-Stop. So if one were to try 5x magnification at f/16, the effective aperture would be (5+1)x16, or a mind-boggling f/96. To minimize diffraction and light loss, I would recommend using f/4 or f/5.6 at 5x magnification when shooting handheld, or f/2.8 when on a tripod. At lower magnifications like 2.5x, it is fine to use f/11 or f/16. To minimise diffraction, the settings listed in red below should be avoided while those in blue are borderline acceptable.

Lens Flare

Another important factor for better image quality when using these 2 lenses is the presence of a lens hood. I find that images from the Canon MPE65 tend to be washed out, especially with protruding diffusers. The same can happen on the Laowa 25mm as well. This can easily be addressed with a little lens hood. There is a lens hood available for the Canon MPE65, but some DIY is required for the Laowa 25mm. Alternatively, shift the diffuser a little further behind the front of the lens to avoid stray light from entering the lens.

Ease of Locating Subjects in Viewfinder

Locating the subject in the viewfinder is made easier when the lens diameter is smaller, when the DOF fall-off is less, and when the working distance range is consistent. In these aspects, it was definitely easier to get the subject into the frame when using the Laowa 25mm. It was challenging on the MPE65 but it can be overcome with sufficient practice.

Focusing Light

Due to the unique lens design with the aperture ring at its frontal tip, auto aperture control is not possible with this lens, leading to darker images on the viewfinder. This problem can be addressed by attaching a focusing light to the setup.

I like to use T6 bike lights as they can be easily mounted onto the lens without any DIY work, with an external battery pack (not in pic) latched onto my belt to offload the weight off my hands. With this, I could see easily at 5x magnification stepped down to f/5.6 and even f/8. The bike light usually functions as a headlamp, so I just had to tie the elastic bands 2 or 3 times around the lens.

Lighting and Diffusion with a Single Flash

The small diameter of the Laowa 25mm allows for better light diffusion as the surface area of the diffuser increases. Here’s a simple light diffusion system that can be used with a single flash. In fact, the same can also be used for dual flash systems.

I used 2 layers of diffusion material made from translucent plastic (get from flexible chopping boards or plastic folios) layered with packing foam. It is lightweight, portable and easy to set up. To improve on this further, reflective materials can be wrapped around the diffusers to create a softbox.

Handheld Field Test Shots

I’ve tried the Laowa 25mm handheld in the field, as well as for deep stacks on some cooperative live subjects. Here are some of the results.

Wandering spider (Ctenus sp.). 3-shot handheld stack at 2.5x f/11. I was surprised to find the subject easily with a focusing light despite having a stepped down aperture of f/11.
Wandering spider (Ctenus sp.). 100% crop from the earlier shot to show the details up close.
Longhorn beetle (Epepeotes luscus). Single handheld shot at 5x f/5.6. The DOF was expectedly thin at 5x — I took several shots before getting a decent focus.
Nursery web spider (Pisauridae). Single shot at 2.5x f/11. Found a beautiful pisaurid clasping onto her egg sac. 2.5x was barely enough to keep her completely in the frame.
Nursery web spider (Pisauridae). 2-shot handheld stack at 5x f/5.6. Closer view of her eyes and egg sac.

Deep Stacking Test Shots on Tripod

I decided to test the lens at higher magnifications by adding 104mm of extension tubes to reach a magnification of 9.1x and photograph some of the spiders that we found. The following shots were taken using StackShot on a tripod and cropped as there was vignetting. A 12V battery was brought along to power the StackShot.

As all the spiders were very much alive when I did the stacks, some micro-movements were recorded which resulted in less-than-ideal stacks.

Tree-stump orb weaver (Poltys elevatus). 37-shot tripod stack using StackShot at 9.1x, f/2.8. I actually took 211 shots, but the spider moved midway through the stack and I didn’t notice it.
Tree-stump orb weaver (Poltys elevatus). 86-shot tripod stack using StackShot at 9.1x, f/2.8. View from the side shows the ocular region on an elevated tubercle.
Wrap-around orb weaver (Talthybia sp.). 318-shot tripod stack using StackShot at 9.1x, f/2.8. 300+ shots sounds crazy and an overkill, but I probably overdid it.



The Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5x shines in most categories with the exception of its lack of aperture coupling. Without aperture coupling, handheld shooting would lose its focusing precision and the viewfinder’s image would be much darker when stepped down. However, these shortfalls can be minimized with sufficient practice or use of a tripod.

So the big question is: should you get it? This lens is definitely a worthy purchase for fans of high-magnification macro photography, but one should be aware that nailing good shots at 5x magnification is no easy task for any beginner.

Shipping is expected to start from the end of March 2018. You can pre-order now at or (it helps me if you order from here).

A special thanks to Victor for loaning me the MPE65 for tests, and Andrew for loaning me the Metabones Sony-Canon adapter so that I could test both lenses on the same camera body.

About the author: Nicky Bay is a macro photographer based in Singapore. You can find more of his work and follow along with his adventures through his website and Flickr photostream. This article was also published here.

Source: PetaPixel

The 9 Laowa 25mm Macro Lens vs the ,050 Canon MP-E 65mm

Vaquera Is Challenging the Rules of Fashion

Vaquera Is Challenging the Rules of Fashion
This article appears in the pages of V112, on newsstands now. Order your copy now at

Vaquera’s narrative feels like a coming-of-age story. Patric DiCaprio, Bryn Taubensee, Claire Sully, and David Moses launched what’s now gone from a small, Brooklyn-based label to a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist in under four years. Like a creative teenager, they’re working their way through an often humorous and nonsensical identity crisis, a dilemma they experienced as a rapidly …

Keep on reading: Vaquera Is Challenging the Rules of Fashion
Source: V Magazine

Vaquera Is Challenging the Rules of Fashion

This New Instagram Shadowban Tester Examines Your Last 10 Posts

This New Instagram Shadowban Tester Examines Your Last 10 Posts

Instagram has been accused of “shadowbanning” users and posts starting about a year ago, preventing tagged content from properly appearing in searches for those tags. After photographers and others complained last year, someone made a tool for checking to see if you’ve been shadowbanned. Now there’s a new and improved one: Triberr’s Instagram Shadowban Test.

Triberr, a company that develops a content marketing automation suite, created the tool to provide Instagram users with a more comprehensive look at whether their photos and posts are showing up correctly for other Instagram users.

While the original tester has seemingly been neglected — the username search no longer functions — Triberr’s version will be maintained by the company’s team of developers.

Instead of just looking up the visibility of an account’s most recent post, Triberr’s checker checks the last 10 posts, verifying that the post does indeed appear in the search results for each hashtag.

“The shadowban applies to individual posts and may occur for various reasons,” Triberr writes. “For example, overuse of a hashtag or a banned hashtag can trigger this occurrence. Therefore, we provide an analysis of your latest 10 posts so that you can easily identify culprits in your posts.”

If a hashtag is found to contain the photo, it shows up as green in the results. If a hashtag was not found associated with the photo, it shows up as red and the post failed the test (i.e. it was shadowbanned).

To avoid getting shadowbanned, make sure you’re posting high-quality content, not buying followers, avoiding bot programs, and not spamming your posts with hashtags. If you find that you’ve already been shadowbanned, here are some things Triberr suggests you try:

  1. Delete hashtags from the shadowbanned post(s). Avoid the use of too many hashtags, repetitive hashtag sets, or banned hashtags.
  2. Disconnect third-party apps that may have resulted in the shadowban, especially bots or automation software that violate Instagram’s terms of service.
  3. Correct any post images or captions, or remove anything that can be perceived as spam or flagged by others.
  4. Refrain from any Instagram activity for the next 2 – 3 days. This includes posting, commenting, and liking. Just take a break and go outside!

Triberr’s tool also shows you at a glance how much reach each of the posts had in terms of likes and comments. And to see how much reach your account typically has, Triberr has also created an Instagram Engagement Calculator, which calculates the percentage of an account’s followers that engage with content based on the last 10 posts.

Source: PetaPixel

This New Instagram Shadowban Tester Examines Your Last 10 Posts

Tommy Genesis Goes Full On Wild West in “Lucky” Video

Tommy Genesis Goes Full On Wild West in “Lucky” Video
Today, Tommy Genesis gifted the world with a visual for her recently released jammer “Lucky”. In the video, the rising songstress transports us out to the Wild West in full glam, accompanied with a no-fucks-given swagger. “Lucky” is the first single from her highly anticipated album Genesis, and if this is any clue of what’s to come, it’s very clear that Tommy Genesis is ready to rage in a major way. Giddy on up and watch the video below now.…

Keep on reading: Tommy Genesis Goes Full On Wild West in “Lucky” Video
Source: V Magazine

Tommy Genesis Goes Full On Wild West in “Lucky” Video