The Powerful AI Tools Photographers Must Not Ignore in 2023

Artificial intelligence is everywhere, from editing photos to writing text, to generating "photos" out of thin air. This technology is going to revolutionize every facet of the world, and photographers need to be ahead of the curve or risk being left behind permanently.

Thankfully, seasoned photographer Kevin Patrick Robbins has been experimenting with all things AI for a while and has made an insightful video explaining his predictions on how AI will affect the professional photography industry in the coming years. The video starts with Robbins talking about some of the AI plugins and software in his workflow, along with some examples of their use. While many of you may know about some of the automatic retouching tools available, you may not even be aware of AI programs that can cull bad pictures automatically or even ones that can edit your work in a particular style for you. These lesser-known programs will really change how photographers work in the future, and I must say the idea of editing less excites me.

Next, we learn about some of these AI image-creation programs that are available and how Robbins is using them to make reference images for mood boards. This is a much better way to visually research for a shoot, as the images generated can literally be anything you can dream up. Currently, the alternative is trawling the likes of Google Images or Pinterest to find pictures that kind of fit the bill but may not exactly be what you are after. I had never thought of using AI in this way, but it is a much better way of articulating what you have in your head and getting visuals back that match.

Another powerful AI program that Robbins talks about is the text-based program called ChatGPT. While this program can seemingly write about any random topic within seconds of you asking it, those results have both directly and indirectly been pulled from the internet, which means you could get into some SEO/copyright-related hot water if you were to try to use said content on your blog. One workaround for this is to use ChatGPT to provide detailed outlines for blog topics that you can then build upon yourself. Another useful way that photographers can use ChatGPT is to ask the program to create lists of ideas that can be used for personal projects. In the video, we see the program being asked to make a list of extraordinary jobs that people do and how that could be used as the outline for a project. The video finishes with a few bonus predictions that are not related to AI but are going to be impactful to photographers soon enough. All in all, there is a lot to consider and prepare for in this video, and Robbins shows and explains these concepts to us well.

AI is not all bad news, but the landscape is shifting at a speed that we've never seen before. These technological advancements are here to stay, and many will help us be better photographers. It is hard to not see the flip side of all this and how inevitably, it will put some of us out of business, too. It's for this reason that we need to understand this new entity the best we can before it's too late.

What do you make of the growing use of AI in the photography industry? Will it end up being a good or a bad thing for us in the long run? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Paul Parker's picture

Paul Parker is a commercial and fine art photographer. On the rare occasion he's not doing photography he loves being outdoors, people watching, and writing awkward "About Me" statements on websites...

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Retouch 4 Me has been such a amazing plugin, and I'm glad I found those too (we did a video on them on our youtube channel). I do find some errors popping up more today than I did last year but maybe I need to update something?

These others are great options too. I need to download some of these and try them out as well

+1 to that. Their “Portrait Volumes” plug in has been a game changer for me. Feel like it’s a secret weapon, and dropping it into a layer allows me to dial the opacity just so. Love it.

That's really horrible, and not even creative. Gag.