Will Artificial Intelligence Ruin Travel Photography?

Over the past few months, travel photographer and videographer Greg Snell has been putting the artificial intelligence tool Midjourney through its paces to create travel content for the tourism industry. Could Midjourney be the end of travel photography?

Travel companies across the world are always looking for fresh content to help sell their chosen destinations. It has been a major business for years, and they will often collaborate with photographers who go out on paid assignments to capture amazing images and footage of the best and iconic locations for them.

Greg Snell has been in the photography/videography business for several years now, after originally starting off as an adventure tour guide in Patagonia, so he is well-placed within the travel industry and capturing amazing content for his clients.

Snell acknowledges that tools such as Midjourney will be changing the photography scene in a large way, particularly when it comes down to products, fashion, etc. How does this translate to travel photography, though?

Using simple prompts via the Discord server for Midjourney, you can see that the results are scarily stunning. Snell shows off examples such as kayaking in the Dominican Republic or two elderly tourists cycling, and it looks real. The stronger your prompts are, the stronger images you may get back, and then you have the option of editing those images further in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Travel photography is about living the experience that the clients' potential customers can or will experience, and for that, Snell believes travel photography is safe, but where it may fall down is in the more visual representations for marketing purposes.

Take a look at Greg's video and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Greg Sheard's picture

Greg Sheard is a Scottish based photographer, focusing on wildlife, landscape and portrait work. Greg's mission in life is too help those who suffer with mental health issues and be a voice for the millions of people around the world who need that care, attention and awareness.

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AI will definitely have an impact, but more in some travel photography areas than others. Anything that involves "new" or "current" photography scenes will be less affected than generic photos that just serve for advertisement or general descriptions of a place/event. Those generic photos will definitely get hammered by AI, because photos to accompany an article titled "Visit Italy"could pretty much use any photo of Italy, AI generated or not. But something that involves a current, ongoing or just concluded even, like "The 2024 Palio Event in Sienna," or "Ferrari Unveils The 2025 Models," will give those photographers who are there, at the moment, a fighting chance against AI. But it doesn't take much imagination to see that everything from product promotion, cityscapes, landscape, and food photography, will take a major hit by AI and will no doubt impact the earning potential of anyone choosing to go against that tide. Not impossible, I would think, but a lot more challenging to make it when AI unleashes millions of possibilities in a matter of seconds for editors to consider.

Absolutely agree and Greg Snell seemed to be of the same beliefs too