Should photographers be afraid of AI?

AI got us surrounded. Us photographers are getting attacked from all sides. We are going to lose our jobs. Just kidding. I don’t think AI will replace us. Here’s why.

There are a lot of AIs. Some are helpful; others are gimmicky. I already started using some AIs in my workflow. Like Evoto and Imagen. And I adore the masking AIs in Lightroom.

These are not the AIs people talk about when they say photographers will lose their jobs.

Usually, they talk about image-creating ones. Throw a rock, and you’ll hit a website that offers some form of it. And some are definitely impressive.

The first issue is that it replaces the image rather than the photography process. If you like to do photography as a hobby, you won’t suddenly stop going outside and start writing prompts.

Though it can help you get inspired, it won’t replace the action of going outside and clicking away.

Do you do photography for the digital file or the journey of creating it?

Next, for professional photographers, there’s still something you bring to the table that AI doesn’t. It’s vision and an opinion.

Even when a client comes to you with an idea, it’s never fully completed. You’re more than a button presser. You are there to bring a vision alive. Perhaps try something out and get a completely unexpected result.

There’s also the question of personality. I don’t mean yours as a photographer, but the one of your clients. Couples still want a photo report of their big wedding day. Not some AI interpretation of it.

The same goes for marketing material and company websites. We already hate the stock photos on there. We’ll hate them even more if they’re not actual people anymore.

Companies hire photographers like me for headshots and office photos to showcase their authenticity. Something that would be lost with AI. 

So I don’t see any AI stealing my job, or any photographer’s, soon. I do think we’re only at the start, and we will see some crazy shit still. Both positive and negative. To me, it’s an addition, not a threat.

What’s your vision of AI in photography? Are you concerned? Let me know in the comments below!

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