It feels like stories about AI have dominated photography news over the last year. Part of me keeps ignoring the headlines as an irrelevance, but chirping away in the background, the other part of me keeps asking: what does it all mean? What's AI capable of? Will it really be a revolution? And perhaps the biggest question of them all: are photographers at risk of becoming obsolete because of AI?
Only in certain circumstances and only if we let it, according to this video by Lucy Lumen. In a thoughtful and interesting discussion, Lumen outlines her thoughts on this contentious topic and ways that we can counter the rise of AI. She even goes as far as saying that it could save photography.
Her first piece of advice for photographers is to lean into the human element of photography. AI represents the antithesis of mistakes and happy accidents, and often, this human element in the image-making process creates beautiful, memorable, or even career-changing images.
Secondly, she suggests that now is the perfect time for photographers to reflect and think about what makes them unique and how they can add value for clients.
This is a fantastic way of looking at the issue. AI might gain a significant share in the stock photography market, but it's doubtful that clients will be looking to buy AI-generated wedding photos or magazine editors will be buying AI-generated documentary or travel images. In these fields, authenticity is key. Photographers should look at what makes them special and articulate that to their market.
As for her thoughts on how AI can save photography, you'll have to watch the video and find out for yourself.