As we speak, AI is becoming a bigger part of our world, and yes even the photography world. We’re not quite to the point where robots take good pictures, but that is coming. We do have automated features in most modern cameras that replace the skill that used to be required to achieve certain photographic results.
But one thing they cannot replace – that robots will ever accomplish – that will never, ever be automated – is creative vision – specifically, YOUR creative vision.
Why is this important? If during the 20+ years I’ve been teaching photography on the Internet you’ve followed along, you know I am big on talking about more than f/stops and sensors. I believe the heart and soul of photography is and always will be up to us as photographers. One of my sayings comes to mind. “Don’t try to focus on doing something new – focus on just doing YOU!” YOU are the one thing that should never become a commodity.
There is some small risk here – if photographers get complacent and stop pursuing true visual artistry and permit the world to think of photography as a commodity – well then, to some degree, our creative vision’s value will be diminished. But there’s time to preclude that.
If you are a pro, stop selling square inches of paper (i.e., $20 for an 8×10″ print and $40 for a 11×14″ print) and start selling your creativity, your time, your wisdom, your knowledge and your ability to tell a story as only you can.
The people who succeed in photography are the people who have a point of view and who can translate that point of view photographically.
If you focus (pun intended) on being yourself, and putting your whole heart into each image you make, your personal, artistic, vision becomes the one thing that robots cannot replicate. They can (or will be able to) imitate it, but they cannot replace it. As long as you don’t let them.
Don’t sit idly by and allow our industry to be commoditized – don’t fall into the trap of setting a course that’s based on how someone else has done it or is doing it. Do what YOU want to do – the way YOU want to do it – for the reasons that are important to YOU and the rest will fall in place.
I’m rooting for you.
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