Everywhere you look a new form of AI is popping up. As a Seattle family and newborn photographer, it can be easy to fear AI taking over the need for our profession. However, the more I explore and lean into this new technology, the more my opinions have changed.
AI has personally saved me countless hours in my business. Before we get there, let’s back up a minute.
What is AI?
AI stands for artificial intelligence. The idea is that it mimics human actions, and even learns are more data is input. Think of it like a supercomputer that will get better at performing specific tasks the more the user uses it.
Again, AI sounds a bit scary. It is like a human and it gets smarter?! But rest easy. It is a super helpful tool in business and in photography. Even as I am typing this blog an AI tool is helping me ensure my spelling and grammar are correct. This saves me from the embarrassment of looking like an idiot because I cannot spell. It also saves me time from having to remember all of those pesky elementary school lessons. (Where does that comma go anyways?)
Before we jump into the ways that AI is transforming the photography industry, let’s talk about what it cannot do.
AI will not replace you as a photographer.
Now in 20 years maybe I’m eating my words as we live in a world where machines have taken over everything. (Anyone getting Wall-E visions?)
While AI can do many things, it cannot replace the way you view the world. It cannot make people feel the way you make people feel in front of the camera.
Your vision, your life experiences, and your humanness will remain vital in the photography industry. Just like another person cannot see the world like you do, neither can a computer.
Now that you’re breathing easier knowing you are important, let’s talk about ways AI is changing the industry.
Artificial intelligence will save you time in content creation.
ChatGPT is an amazing AI tool for anyone. I hate meal planning and ChatGPT was even able to create a vegan meal plan for a week for my family. (Of course, my kids wouldn’t eat most of those things suggested, but that is for another day.)
AI can help you come up with topics to write for blogs, keyword ideas for your website, and social media post ideas. The list is really endless.
I would, however, be careful with your AI usage. I suggest using it as an idea-generating tool to get you started. Not to write your content. The point of your business is not to sound like a supercomputer or like everyone else using AI. What causes someone to book with one photographer over another is their brand, voice, and personality. That is lost when you use AI exclusively.
Thus, using AI as a jumping-off point is a great way to save you time and help you when you’re feeling stuck.
Next, AI is leveling up the editing market in the photography industry.
As a photographer who hates spending hours behind the computer screen editing, this is a major game changer for me. Of course, I currently outsource all of my basic edits. Yet think about the different levels of AI you likely already use.
In Adobe Lightroom, you can select a person, background, sky, or section of a person with a click of a button. AI technology has made this selection very good too. Plus, you can select a person, do an area-specific edit, and then sync that across multiple photos. All in minutes and all because of AI.
Gone are the days of spending hours individually selecting a person to brighten them up a bit.
Even more companies such as Imagen AI offer editing services. They are not only a fraction of the cost of other editing services, they take a fraction of the time.
At the time of writing this post, I was testing AI editing services. I had placed an order and it was back within 15 minutes of sending. Normally it takes 1-2 weeks to get back from another editing company. The results were also really good. I had very minimal changes to make to the edited gallery. I will continue to test and report back once I have a larger “test sample.”
Can’t you see the time and money saved with these AI changes in the editing side of photography?
What does this all mean for you as a photographer?
Just like many other new technologies, embracing AI will benefit you greatly as a photographer. It can help save you time in many aspects of your business. Think of AI as helping you keep the same level of personal touch with your clients even as you grow. Because you are not spending as much time coming up with content ideas, sitting behind your computer, or working on photos, you have more energy, time, and capacity to truly connect with your clients.
As a soloprenuer, the fact that AI can inexpensively offer me time-saving solutions is huge. I can continue to grow without adding the revenue of another person to the mix. As a mother, I can feel good that my business can be streamlined without sacrificing quality for clients or time with my own family.
All in all, I encourage you to look into how AI can help your photography business. Do not fear change or new technology, but see how you can adapt it to your business. I think you’ll be as surprised and delighted as I was.
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