The robots have taken over and Skynet is online. Meanwhile, I’m photographing all the destruction and Arnold Schwarzenegger is yelling at me to put my camera down and focus on the mission.
Okay…maybe we aren’t in that AI Robot world yet, but something massive has happened in the world of technology and the way content and ideas are produced.
That my friends, is ChatGPT.
I have had the pleasure of using this tool and so far I have sunk numerous hours into this tool seeing the limits and effective use cases for the tool.
Coming from a marketing background, I have brainstormed and tested numerous ways we as photographers can benefit from using this tool from content ideation, to photoshoot ideas, to business concepts.
So with that being said, let’s dive into 7 ways photographers can use and benefit from ChatGPT.
More of a visual learner? Check out the video I made on this topic:
Table of Contents
What is ChatGPT?
In short, ChatGPT is a chatbot that was launched in November 2022 by OpenAI.
The same company that brought us DALLE•2 the popular AI art generator and Whisper, the automatic speech recognition system.
Just like with any other chatbot, you can ask it any question or give it certain prompts and it will respond to your prompt.
The difference with ChatGPT compared to other ordinary chatbots is that it is the most sophisticated of its kind to this date because it’s built upon a large set of language models and has been fine-tuned through certain reinforcement learning techniques.
In other words, it’s the closest thing we have to an AI assistant that can answer any question with have with extreme accuracy.
How to Use ChatGPT?
In order to use and access ChatGPT all you have to do is head to OpenAI and click the “try” button at the top to then get access to ChatGPT.
They will ask you to make an account and once you do that you have access.
When using ChatGPT, the only limit to its capabilities lies in the creativity of your questions.
Throughout the web, we have already been seeing its capabilities being used and many are saying that it will be the “death of Google.” While I don’t think this is the case, I do see it completely revolutionizing certain fields.
For example, there have been many use cases where programmers ask it to produce code based on certain criteria and it will spit it out with ease – something you can’t necessarily do in Google or StackOverflow.
Other examples can be seen with people asking the chatbot to produce a poem based on certain events and it produces a beautifully written poem worthy of publication.
In fact, here’s a poem ChatGPT wrote about photography:
Through lens and light, a story unfolds, A captured moment, forever told. A frozen slice of time and space, A memory held in a single place. The beauty of the world is caught, In every photograph we've bought. A sunset's orange and pink array, A child's first steps on an autumn day. A camera is an artist's tool, A way to make the ordinary cool. It lets us see the world anew, And find the beauty in the ordinary too. So raise your lens and click away, And capture all the beauty of today. For in each photo, we can see, The wonder and the majesty.
But enough about these applications of ChatGPT unrelated to photography, let’s talk about how us photographers can use it to make our lives easier, improve our photos, and help us make more money from photography!
7 Ways Photographers Can Use ChatGPT?
It’s just you, a blank text box, and your imagination. Where do you begin as a photographer to unleash the power of this technical beast?
Here are 7 ways you can use ChatGPT as a photographer.
1. Photoshoot Ideas
The first way you can leverage ChatGPT as a photographer is by getting some inspiration with photoshoot ideas, more specifically, in terms of location and style/theme.
Let’s say you have a client session coming up or you’re looking to brush up on your photography skills by photographing some friends.
The setting and location we choose to use as photographers play a major role in the final outcome of our photos. A good location that is interesting and adds further depth and story to the image could turn a good photo into a great photo.
But sometimes, it’s hard to think of a location – that’s where ChatGPT could step in and help you out with some inspiration.
For example, one prompt I gave it was “I’m a portrait photographer and I live in Huntington Beach, California. I’m photographing someone for a portrait session, where should I do the photoshoot?” It responded with a detailed listing of some of the great locations near me for photoshoots.
In fact, many of these locations I have actually photographed at and some of them I haven’t. I looked up some of the spots the chatbot mentioned and they actually look like great spots for photoshoots and I will actually be checking them out now.
If you notice at the end of the response, ChatGPT also has the insight to mention that the location should also depend on the style and theme of my photos.
Fair enough, so I let it know that I want my photos to be more on the “moody side.” It didn’t respond with specific coordinates, but it was pretty good at listing out all the elements that would make for a great moody photo!
Some other prompts I’ve input into ChatGPT around photoshoot ideas that you can use include:
- What are some different themes or styles I could use in my [insert niche] photoshoot?
- When is the best time to photograph a client in [location] for this week? And why is that?
- I want to use [insert composition technique] this photoshoot, what elements could I use to accomplish that?
- I’m photographing [insert subject], what would be some good poses I could use?
2. Niche-Related Insights
The second way you can leverage ChatGPT as a photographer is through niche-related insights.
Sometimes, you hop on a search engine and input a question and you just can’t find the answer you’re looking for.
If this is the case, then input your question into ChatGPT. This works especially great for niche-related insights and questions and when you want to ask some follow-up questions.
For example, here are some questions I asked ChatGPT along with some follow-up questions to get further insight into the question.
The first question I asked it was “What is backlighting and how can I use it in my next portrait photo?” I followed it up with “Should the light source be directly behind them or to the side of them?”:
Another question I asked was “I’m photographing a wedding. How do I capture great photos without getting in people’s way?”:
Another question I asked it was “I’m going to photograph a DJ at a nightclub, what are some key moments where I should take photos?”:
There are a bunch of more questions that you can ask based on your niche-related questions or problems.
Think of this tool like a personal assistant in your pocket. It’s great for asking quick questions and getting a proper, solid response in return.
Of course, the ChatGPT chatbot itself has never photographed anything, so if you’re instead looking for the credible people in the niche of photography, then I still recommend Imaginated, which is a search engine of educational creators being made in development.
3. Gear Ideas
The third way you can leverage ChatGPT as a photographer is through gear ideas. Sometimes you have a question that’s really specific only to yourself related to gear.
For example, sometimes my neck hurts after a long day of having a camera strap wrapped around my neck, so I asked ChatGPT for some recommendations!
I asked it, “I usually use a camera strap when photographing, but it hurts my neck after a while. What are some alternatives?”:
It responded with the best alternatives such as wrist straps, hand straps, neck straps, holsters, etc. Pretty good!
I then asked it another question related to a personal use case. In this question, I was lying a bit and already knew the answer but wanted to test ChatGPT to see how in-depth it was. It even provided specific lens choices for portrait photography which was cool!
The specific question I asked it was “I’m a portrait photographer and I only use my camera and a tripod. What are some other essential tools and accessories you think I should consider using?”:
As you can see, just like the previous other way, if you have a specific gear question that you don’t want to hassle going on forums to ask, then ChatGPT might be the way to go.
4. Color Theory Planning
The fourth way you can leverage ChatGPT as a photographer is with color theory planning.
As we all know, the effective implementation of color harmonies into a photo, whether they are analogous, complementary, or monochromatic, can influence the message and tone of our image in terms of storytelling.
If you don’t want to head to a color wheel and try to figure out the colors yourself, you could just ask ChatGPT.
For example, I asked ChatGPT “I will be photographing a client with a red dress. What are some colors that will go well with her dress?”:
Pretty detailed response!
On the post-production side of things, you can even provide it with general themes you want your photo to be and it will spit out some recommendations in terms of tweaks and adjustments you should make in the photo:
For example, I asked “I want to edit my photo to be more “moody,” what colors should I use?”:
These are just a couple of questions I asked it, but there are many more that could apply!
5. Photography Research
The fifth way photographers can leverage ChatGPT is with photography research. What I mean by this is by skipping the search engine altogether and just asking the chatbot a question you have related to photography.
Want to know what the golden ratio is? Want to know what consists of the exposure triangle? Want to know what double exposure photography is? Simply ask the chatbot.
For example, I asked “How to create a double exposure photograph?” and it spit out a pretty detailed response:
The only caveat with asking it some questions is that being a visual medium, it’s often best sometimes to actually see what the image would look like with visual examples.
So I’d recommend only using the chatbot for quick questions you need to be answered related to photography.
For example, here’s a better example where I asked it, “Why was photography invented?” A pretty general question to just see how detailed it would get:
6. Content Planning and Ideation
The sixth way photographers can leverage ChatGPT is with content planning and ideation. Do you use social media, have a photography blog, or post video content on one of the social media platforms?
Leverage ChatGPT for content ideation, content production, and content optimization.
Depending on your platform of choice, here are some boiler template questions that could work well:
- Give me good video ideas as a portrait photographer
- I’m writing a blog around the topic of [insert topic], what are some good headlines?
- I’m creating a [insert platform] video around the topic of [insert topic], what are some good headlines?
- I want to post consistently on social media but I don’t know what to post. What should I post?
In fact, when I asked ChatGPT to give me some title ideas for this article, here’s what it responded with:
I didn’t decide to use any of them because I still like coming up with my own titles but it definitely gave some inspiration for the title.
7. Business Ideas
The seventh and final way photographers can leverage ChatGPT is through business ideas.
These questions could range from marketing materials, to pricing ideas, to even new business ideas.
As with all the previous examples, I think this tool is excellent for giving ideas and using them as starting points.
For example, I asked ChatGPT “How do I choose a good name for my photography business?”:
Pretty solid response!
While every photographer is in a different scenario based on their own journey, here are some additional questions that you could ask it:
- I’m currently marketing my photography business through [insert channels], what else can I do to market my business?
- I’m thinking about revamping my pricing packages for my photography session, I currently have a [name pricing and package model]. What are some ways I could test and improve my pricing model?
- I’m a [insert niche] what are some good ways to get more clients?
Bonus Tip: Photography Inspiration
A bonus tip for using ChatGPT for photographers. This one revolves around inspiration!
Sometimes when we aren’t feeling creative or need a boost of inspiration, try out the chatbot!
Ask it for an inspirational quote:
In conclusion, with all the hype around ChatGPT (and for good reason) I thought I’d throw this article into the mix for photographers so they can leverage the power of AI.
There are literally endless use cases for ways photographers can leverage ChatGPT. The only limit is your creativity.
I recommend checking out this tool but also remember that it shouldn’t be an end-all-be-all. I’ve found that it’s great for getting a foundational start for something or allowing you to see the different paths you could take if you are currently at a crossroads.
This tool is not going away anytime soon, so it’s best you start learning how to use it to your advantage.
Nate Torres is a portrait photographer based in Southern California. Outside of photography, Nate specializes in SEO, content marketing, and entrepreneurship. He is also the founder of Imaginated.com, a platform for creator education.