Still doing it by hand?
I spent several days in Nashville last week at Imaging USA, and I wanted to call out one big takeaway for me: AI photo culling and editing is now mainstream. I don’t say this because there were multiple software vendors on the trade show floor hawking their artificial intelligence wares, but because it kept coming up in conversations organically.
It came up in a conversation over lunch with a photographer from Arizona. It came up in a conversation at a hotel bar with someone from Oregon. It came up during a break in a meeting while I was chatting with someone from Illinois. These are “regular” photographers. These aren’t folks who are experimenting for the sake of experimentation’s sake. They’re finding that AI culling and editing software is a valuable step in their workflows for their wedding and portrait sessions.
If we look at this through the Rogers technology adoption bell curve model, we’ve moved from “Early Adopters” into “Early Majority.”
I share this observation for two reasons:
- An up-front acknowledgement that we’re going to keep hearing about this stuff in articles, videos, conferences, meetups, and other photography communication in the coming year
- A moment of awareness for those who haven’t experimented at all with any AI services. It’s no longer just those newfangled punk kids using it. I don’t want to try to scare you by saying you’re falling behind, but… you’re at risk of falling behind.
I don’t want to become the artificial intelligence zealot who is going to say that it’s the right solution for every photographer. If culling and bulk editing aren’t a big part of what you do, the benefit from AI-powered culling and editing services is going to be minimal. Right now these technologies work best on photos of people: portraits, weddings, and other events. They won’t have the same impact if you’re going to use them to sift through 1,000 nature photos from Yellowstone.
If you’re looking where to start exploring, check out Imagen or Aftershoot. The former is Lightroom-centric, the latter is not. That Aftershoot link is a referral one that gets you a discount and me a small commission if you eventually sign up for a paid plan. That said, if you use Lightroom, you’ll probably prefer the Imagen workflow. I’m going to be exploring and sharing more about both of them in the coming months.
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Welcome to our robot-powered future.
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