All of us have spent hours editing a shoot or if you’re like me, procrastinating editing that shoot. Spending less time editing and more time shooting is what most of us ultimately want. If only there was a way to automate editing at a low price and high standard. If this sounds like you, this may be the solution.
Presets Are the Past, AI Is the Future
The only preset you need to have to be a great photographer is your style. Indeed, personal style is incredibly important to forming a consistent portfolio and body of work. Generally, presets promise to make editing faster. But a preset is “dumb.” It will simply apply a look to your image, and it won’t consider the contents of that image. This is great if your images don’t change, but if you’re editing a wedding or an event where the setting changes all the time, a preset won’t be too helpful. Furthermore, a preset won’t fix a badly exposed image, let alone an image that needs cropping. That has to be done manually.
I was often left frustrated with how presets did on my images, and using them made my process slower at times. The other option, auto-editing, simply made a basic set of adjustments, again with no regard to what was in the scene.
The time you spend editing does not really make you any cash. It is been confirmed to me over and over again that clients often don’t realize how long it takes to edit images, since it is not as simple as slapping a filter on an iPhone picture.
Editors Are Expensive
The only solution, until now, was to hire an editor. As someone who works with a retoucher on a daily basis, I can testify that I tend to consider the number of final images I deliver carefully. Being a fashion photographer, the number is in the dozens at maximum. That may be still possible to do with a retoucher and editor. Where it gets tricky, though, is when you work with hundreds, even thousands of images.
I find it hard to imagine that someone would hire an editor and give them thousands of images to edit from a wedding or event. The cost of such endeavors would simply be hard to justify. Perhaps the top 1% of wedding photographers may have the budget to hire an editor, but the other 99% don’t.
Enter Imagen: Software That Learns Your Style and Helps You Build Your Own
To save cost and time when editing images, you should consider using Imagen. Imagen is AI-enabled software that allows you to edit images with never-seen-before speed and reliability. Essentially, what it does is edit them for you. There are two options you can have when using Imagen: creating a custom profile based on your own work and using already existing Talent profiles.
Creating My Own Custom Style
I’ve developed a liking for a particular style in some of my work. This comes through in how I compose images, how I light, and ultimately, how I edit my work. Being an event photographer, I was often asked to deliver a quick gallery. This required spending hours on editing images and ultimately being rather tired after a long day of photographing. With Imagen, however, this is no longer an issue, as it can replicate whatever your style is and fix the image for you. Sure, it won't be 100% perfect, but it will be 99.9% perfect. All I do at the end is play with the clarity or grain to get it to my liking. Nonetheless, I can go to sleep after an event and be sure that the images will be ready before 9 AM the next morning for the clients to see.
I created a custom profile using Imagen, and now I can use that to deliver previews or quick galleries with my own style on it.
To do this, I first took 5,000 images that I already edited and put them into one Lightroom catalog. The images were shot under a variety of different scenarios but had a consistent editing style. Importantly, I made sure that there were plenty of images with high and low contrast as far as lighting went. Having done that, I let Imagen run its algorithms and come up with a style it thought was suitable.
Now that my custom profile was done, I could see how it would edit a photoshoot I did some time ago. Knowing that I already edited it myself, I was very interested in seeing how different it would be from what I did. You can see the results below:
I was quite surprised. Imagen was not only able to replicate my editing style based on what I showed it, but also make a better edit. Imagen has received a lot of positive reviews from photographers who were also impressed and excited by how well the software performed. Not only was it able to accurately edit images, but also replicate the individual style of each photographer. This is definitely seeming like the future of editing large sets of images, and not only. There is definitely a place for Imagen in a portrait photographer's workflow.
My Own Style That Is Based on Talent Styles
If you don’t have 5,000 edited images with your authentic style, you can always use the talent styles that come with the software. These can be helpful to someone who just started out and wants to find their authentic style. They were created from tens, if not hundreds of thousands of images edited by some of the most known photographers in the industry. The Talent AI profiles allow you to explore different styles, without giving up on quality.
If you saw my previous articles, an easy way to make money in photography is by shooting events. Let’s take a few events that I shot back in the day and throw the raw files at Imagen’s Talent profiles. Each time, I will use a different profile. This is done to simulate a photographer who is using different looks for different settings. Outdoor events in nature tend to use a more saturated color grade, while a formal reception is usually less contrasty and calmer in terms of the color grade.
If you have large volumes of images to edit, Imagen is for you. Not only does it do the work that would take hours in minutes, but it also costs next to nothing. I can only wish I had this software when I was spending hours editing event work. While it is definitely not for everyone and it won’t fit in a workflow of a photographer that delivers a few retouched images after a shoot, it will certainly be irreplaceable for someone who works with a lot of images. Priced at $0.05 per image, it beats any editor on the market. Just for $5, you can get a hundred images edited in no time. The cherry on top is that Imagen gets the image perfect 99% of the time, so you really don’t spend more time editing and instead can go out and shoot more work, which helps you progress in your career!