How AI Will Change the Professional Photography Industry

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming many aspects of our lives, from how we communicate to how we work. One of the fields that is experiencing a significant impact from AI is photography. AI can enhance images, create realistic simulations, and even generate new photos from scratch. In this blog post, we will explore how AI will change the professional photography industry, what genres might disappear, and which genres might be more important for a new photographer to focus on. We will also discuss how AI will affect commercial and retail photography differently.

AI photograph of window light shining on indoor plants.

AI Image Generation

One of the most significant changes that AI is bringing to the photography industry is image generation. AI-powered algorithms can create realistic images of objects, scenes, and even people that never existed in real life. These images are created using Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), which are a type of neural network that generates new data based on the patterns it has learned from the input data.

AI photograph of a  man taking a photograph with a camera.

AI-generated images can be used for a variety of purposes, including marketing, advertising, and design. In marketing and advertising, AI-generated images can be used to create product images without the need for expensive photo shoots or models. For example, AI-generated images can be used to create photorealistic images of clothing on models without the need for a photo shoot.

The use of AI-generated images in the design industry is also on the rise. Designers can use AI-generated images to create 3D models of products that don’t exist in real life. This is especially useful in the product design process, where designers can create and test designs before manufacturing.

The Impact on Commercial Photography – Food, Product, Etc

AI-generated images are poised to have a significant impact on commercial photography. Companies will no longer need to spend large amounts of money on photo shoots, models, and studio rentals. Instead, they can use AI-generated images to showcase their products, reducing their costs significantly.

AI photograph of a cup of coffee on a plate with a spoon.

This shift is already underway, and companies like Ikea are using AI-generated images to create product images for their online catalog. This shift is likely to increase in the coming years as more companies realize the cost savings that AI-generated images can provide.

AI image generation can also be beneficial or detrimental depending on the message and audience of the images. For example, if the images are meant to showcase the features or benefits of a product or service, AI image generation can help create more realistic and appealing images that attract customers. However, if the images are meant to convey a brand identity or a social cause, AI image generation can harm the credibility and trustworthiness of the images by making them look fake or manipulated.

The Impact on Retail Photography – Weddings, Portraits, Etc. 

The impact of AI-generated images on retail photography is likely to be less dramatic than on commercial photography. Because retail photography focuses so much on capturing people getting engaged, married, or graduating high school, AI will have a hard time replacing photographers capturing those moments.  While AI-generated images can provide some advantages in this area, there are still many situations where traditional photography is necessary.

AI photograph of a couple getting married with mountains in the background.

These genres rely on the photographer’s ability to capture the personality, mood, and story of the subjects, which are hard to replicate or simulate by an AI system. These genres also require the photographer’s ability to adapt to unpredictable and dynamic situations, which are difficult to model or anticipate by an AI system.

The Role of AI in Image Editing

Another area where AI is changing the photography industry is image editing. AI-powered editing tools are becoming increasingly sophisticated, allowing photographers to edit images with greater accuracy and speed. For example, AI-powered tools can remove unwanted objects from an image or change the lighting and color of a scene with just a few clicks.

These tools are especially useful in areas such as portrait and wedding photography, where image editing is an essential part of the process. With AI-powered editing tools, photographers can edit images quickly and efficiently, saving them time and allowing them to take on more clients.

However, there are also concerns about the impact of AI-powered editing tools on the industry. Some photographers worry that these tools will make it too easy for anyone to edit images, reducing the value of professional photography services. Additionally, there are concerns about the ethical implications of AI-powered editing, such as the potential to manipulate images in a way that distorts reality.

The Future of Photography as a Profession

The rise of AI in the photography industry is leading to significant changes in the profession. While some aspects of photography may become automated, such as commercial product photography, there will always be a demand for photographers who can capture unique and creative images.

Professional photographers who adapt to the changing landscape of the industry by embracing AI-powered tools and focusing on genres that are less likely to be impacted by AI-generated images will have a competitive advantage. Additionally, photographers who can leverage AI to improve their workflows and deliver better results to their clients will be in high demand.

There are also concerns that the rise of AI in the industry could lead to a reduction in the value of professional photography services. As more companies turn to AI-generated images and AI-powered editing tools, the perceived value of professional photography may decrease. Additionally, the availability of AI-powered tools may make it easier for non-professionals to enter the industry, leading to increased competition.


AI image generation has the potential to revolutionize the professional photography industry, enabling machines to create images that are indistinguishable from those taken by human photographers. While some genres of photography may disappear, new genres may emerge as more important for photographers to focus on. Commercial photography is likely to be significantly impacted by AI, as it can create images that are more visually appealing and cost-effective than those created by human photographers. Overall, AI image generation has the potential to improve the efficiency and quality of photography, allowing photographers to focus on more creative aspects of their work.

While AI image generation may bring about significant changes to the photography industry, it is important to note that it is not a replacement for human creativity and expertise. AI may be able to generate images that are visually appealing, but it cannot replace the unique perspectives and creativity that human photographers bring to their work.

Furthermore, AI image generation technology is still in its early stages, and there are limitations to what it can currently achieve. For example, AI may struggle with capturing the nuances of human emotions and interactions, which are essential in many genres of photography.

As AI image generation technology continues to evolve and improve, it will be important for photographers to adapt and integrate it into their work in order to stay competitive. Photographers who are able to leverage AI image generation to create high-quality, cost-effective images will be better positioned to succeed in a rapidly changing industry.

[Note: 95% of this article was written by Chat.GPT. What a crazy time we live in!]