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  • Writer's pictureJane

The demise of photography. My thoughts.


A long, long time ago, at the very beginning, photography was super expensive and complicated. The equipment cost a fortune, and the process itself was pretty technical. For the first time, things changed with the emergence of film cameras. Photography turned out to be a part of a mass market, but still, the process was too complicated to make it everyone's hobby.


And then there were DLSR cameras, mobile phones, mirrorless cameras, editing software, mobile apps, and…artificial intelligence. Each time the market changed, many photographers didn't believe anything was going to change for them. But I think everything will change in the next 5-10 years.


Giant tech companies like Apple, Sony, Adobe, and many tech startups invest billions of dollars into software based on AI. Everyone has seen how Photoshop has developed in the last 3 years. And it's only the beginning. If you think AI won't be able to dodge and burn automatically or paint tonal perspective, you are definitely underestimating it. Considering the amount of money in the AI industry, it will happen very soon.


The problem is that not only Photoshop will be able to do automatic retouching but also a simple 20-dollar cell phone app. So, anyone can get beautifully retouched pictures in one click. Sure, the manual work will be of higher quality, but let's be realistic, the difference will be noticeable mainly for the photographers, not for their clients. And very soon, it will become unnoticeable even for skeptics.


Another trend of concern is the imitation of telephoto lenses by mobile phones based on AI technology. Portrait modes in different words. At the very beginning, all the photographers I knew were laughing at these "fake blurry backgrounds." But take a look at the latest iPhone. Is it still so funny, or it's something to think about?


You will probably say that the equipment and software are not the only things you need for great shots and that the man behind the camera is also essential. But do you understand what kind of generation is growing now (and they are your future customers, you know)?


I read the last FB report about 2023 IG trends. Do you know that around 2/3 of Gen Z users plan to monetize their IG accounts in 2023? Just think about it 2/3…Children start filming TikToks at the age of 5. Do you think they are not smart enough to google everything they need about composition? Don't forget that their level of "watchfulness" is probably higher than yours as they have been consuming photos and videos from the cradle.


So, I think the photography market will change significantly in the next 10 years. Professional high-end retouches and commercial photographers who work in advertising will still be here. On the other hand, the segment of working with individuals will significantly decrease.


If earlier, the primary motivation to book a photoshoot was to capture the moment and save memory, so in 10 years, everyone will be able to do it their selves. The primary motivation to book probably will be to get the best service possible, give the solution to a professional and just relax. I think that all-inclusive premium package offers will still attract wealthy customers. But photography will stop being a part of the mass market.


What do you think?

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