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Is AI Coming For Your Photography or Video Production Job?

Updated: 6 hours ago



Does AI Do It Better?


Three years ago, a friend who was getting a masters in machine learning told me that I was lucky to be in the creative field because AI would never replace my job. Fast forward to today, and many creatives, including team members at Bennett Creative video production and marketing  are worried that AI is coming for their livelihood.


The truth is that AI will certainly replace some jobs. In the following blog post, we will talk about some of the jobs that will be the low hanging fruit for replacement. Don’t worry, there will be a part two that includes ways creatives can hedge against AI replacement.


Funny meme on Reddit about how creatives wish AI wouldn't take their jobs but rather their chores.

Art vs. Tech


At the 2024 South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, Austin Monthly reported about this sizzle reel that was created about the technology gurus giving long speeches about how people need to quit fighting AI and how it actually makes us more human. However, when the reel was shown to a couple thousand people at the premier of Fall Guy, it was not well received. In fact, the artist community greeted it with a rowdy chorus of boos. It’s not surprising the art crowd isn’t in favor of the tech advancement since AI seems to largely be threatening their jobs - hence the writers strike.


At the Writers Guild Awards this month, while doing a bit of comedy, Josh Gondelman pretended to speak to artificial intelligence and the fake AI voice described itself as a good friend of Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos. Concerns about writers being replaced with artificial intelligence was a major issue during the strike. However, the writers have won a battle against AI, ending the strike, and potentially setting a labor strike precedent for creatives in the film industry in general. Meanwhile, the actors are still on strike due to AI generated digital likenesses being used instead of the actual actor.


In general, creatives, especially in the film industry, are worried about their jobs. About a computer replacing the skills they’ve spent their entire lives honing in an instant. The truth is, AI will replace some creative jobs. Potentially in the very near future.


AI Still Needs a Human and Ultimately We Still Do it Better. For Now.


Bennett Creative wants to preface all this with the fact that humans are definitely better at creating than AI now, but AI has advanced enough to be a passable substitute in some circumstances, and it's advancement doesn't show any sign of slowing down.


Before we get into the nitty gritty of potential lost jobs, let’s talk about how AI will always need a human. A human is still in control of AI, their job is to essentially drive the train. There will always be a need for a pilot on the AI airplane. There will always be a need for a human to hold the AI paintbrush.  


At the moment, humans can still waste time on AI. AI typically doesn’t generate what you want on the first try. Or even third or fourth. I’ve found myself picking and pulling from ChatGPT for blog posts. I like parts of what was generated. I will try again, like some different parts of the second attempt. Tweaking the prompts is time consuming. The same is true on Midjourney. It takes a while just to generate the image, and even more time to try again and again until you get the magic prompt that finally generates what you want. So for now, there are still tradeoffs in using AI at all.


Bad News for Entry-Level Creatives.


In general, AI is going to take out a lot of entry-level creatives such as entry level concept artists and entry level writers. Now, if you need a rough draft of something, AI can provide rough drafts. AI is essentially, to quote Dorothy Bennett, an undergrad research student. You wouldn’t want an undergrad research student writing a final paper for you, taking your brand photos or directing your commercials. AI is great at rough drafts, fundamentally, entry level work.


One thing an undergrad research student does a great job of is building mood boards, or even doing storyboards. Sadly, AI is coming for storyboard artists. Now directors can prompt Midjourney, on what they want to see in a frame and get pretty close.


At Bennett Creative, we have submitted storyboards to a client from AI, they didn't know the difference until we told them. We know the difference because there’s a huge value that a storyboard artist brings to the table. With a human storyboard artist you can talk and brainstorm with them, then they will present ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of. AI will kind of do that too, but a real human will do that better and more accurately. And sometimes faster.


There’s a huge threat in stock photography. If we needed a stock photo, we used to go to istock.com and say, for example, “man drinking a coffee, typing on a laptop” and they would give us a whole bunch of options of actual photos of that. Now you can just generate that, and often photo generation is included on platforms we all use, including on Wix, which is what we use for websites and this blog.  We think the writing is on the wall for stock photography. It’s going to be the first thing to be taken out, at least stock photography of unreal stuff, fake stuff.



There’s also been a huge uptick, because the technology is there now, of using video walls or volume walls and studios. That’s a big threat to location scouts and rented locations in general. We think a time will come when it’s cheaper to generate these backgrounds and locations on the video wall as opposed to going out and shooting on location. In some cases it already is cheaper. Before, if you needed to capture four seasons for a car commercial you either had to travel to four different places or wait a whole year to capture four seasons. Or you can just do it on a video wall. It saves so much time and money. The need for locations, we think, will diminish. There’s a huge studio in Austin, Texas, Stray Vista, that boasts a state of the art volume wall and many producers are flocking to it.


Even the need for physical set designers will be replaced by digital set designers. 


Are Personal Brands Safe?


Bennett Creative was discussing building a personal brand and started on the side of safety from AI. The people that help create content behind personal brands, their jobs are safe. But after a pause and some thought, it hit us that actually, we don’t know if they are! 



Now you can turn a personal brand into an avatar, essentially putting careers in this line of work into a gray area. There is technology now where you can take a picture of yourself, animate yourself and then just feed your animated self lines to then put out content onto Instagram. At the moment, it looks really cheesy and bad but we should be careful. In a year it might not. For example, A year ago we were laughing about how ridiculous the video of Will Smith eating spaghitti was. 



Open AI released a new AI video program, Sora, in February of 2024. The launch of this new text to video program revealed hyper-realistic videos. You simply tell Sora what you want in a video and it can generate a video up to one minute long. We actually found it really hard to tell it was an AI video and not a video shot and edited by a human. It’s impressive and frightening at the same time. This just goes to show how quickly AI is advancing, that a year ago we were laughing at AI videos and now we’re taking it seriously.



Event Photographers and Videographers, Rejoice!


One thing that sticks out to Bennett Creative as being safe is anything that involves documentary or documenting photos. Documenting events is going to be pretty safe, Andrew Bennett predicts. You will always need a photographer or videographer to show up to a press release to capture the press release. You will always need people to show up to events to capture what is happening at the events. Be it a conference or a music festival or a political rally. So those kinds of event documenting are safe, for the time being, and team members at Bennett Creative breathe a sigh of relief.


The other other aspect is that anytime you just need to document real people and real places. So architectural photographers and videographers, real estate photographers and videographers. It’s going be hard for AI to replace people who are showing up and capturing things that exist in the real world.


The creative director job is probably going to be safe, in that you’ll always need someone piloting the AI. Someone prompting at the very least, but someone who has a vision of where the project is going.




Will Creating Become a Lost Art Form?


What saddens Andrew Bennett, and many creators alike, about AI is that he thinks the next generation of creators will not be creators, rather they will be curators.  


Instead of going through all the necessary steps that it takes to learn how to illustrate or to paint, they will be able to give prompts to different programs to get essentially the same product. In the future will they now just have AI spit out a bunch of stuff for them and then they just pick the one that they want? 


Now they’re curating art, curating creativity, as opposed to actually creating it. 


We think that there is a loss in the beauty of the process. The beauty of learning how to go from a very simple artist, a child drawing up to professional level. There’s something really sad about that. It’s character building. Future creatives will lose out in the character building it takes to become a truly great artist.  In the future will they think they can just generate truly great art? We think at some point they probably will be able to generate truly great art, which is awesome and deeply depressing at the same time.


Not to End on A Depressing Note…


In case this post just triggered your anxiety and depression, stay tuned for part two where Bennett Creative video production and marketing discusses the ways in which AI has made our jobs easier and some ways that creatives can hedge against the threat of AI . The benefits of AI and how to leverage AI in video production and marketing. We’ll also discuss some ways creatives can hedge against the threat of AI.


The contradictions around AI are great. Parts of it are terrifying, leading people to existential crisis and other parts are amazing and actually elevate how we work. The Bennett Creative team is constantly sitting with these contradictions, benefiting from the good parts, worrying about the darker side. As in all things, we’re on this journey together.


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