AI photo editing is the most efficient and affordable solution for editing large photo volumes quickly.
If you’re new to the world of artificial intelligence (AI for short), then you’re mind is going to be blown.
One staple problem we’ve had with our wedding photography careers has been the amount of time we’ve been forced to commit to photo editing after our weddings and portrait shoots. While editing our images is something we enjoy, doing it for 30, 40, 50+ weddings per year across tens of thousands of images…is not…
AI photo editing is a solution that allows us to still have the final say on our images, but get them edited to our standards faster.
AI Photo Editing vs. a Human Editor – Pros & Cons of Each
One of the initial questions many photographers have – is AI photo editing better than hiring a human to do it for you?
In our experience, yes – it is!
Let’s dive into the reasons why we feel this way (and some of the drawbacks you’ll encounter even with AI).
Pros & Cons of AI Photo Editing:
- Really fast turnaround times
- Lower cost per image edited
- Time savings to edit a full gallery
- Very consistent on small galleries with standardized lighting
We started using an AI editing software to speed up the processing of our wedding photography galleries during a very demanding wedding season. In practice, outsourcing our photo editing to an artificial intelligence software took us from spending about 16 hours of editing (for a full wedding gallery) to about 2 hours of editing (where we review the AI’s results and make changes as needed).
For us, this expense and time saving has been significant. Every year, we save about 420 hours of editing (about 18 full DAYS of work).
Over time, our AI photo editing profile has become better and better as it learns the nuances of our editing style. We anticipate that in the years to come, this type of service is just going to get better for photographers.
- Most photographers will still need to review and modify images
- Can be inconsistent, especially across large and diverse galleries (like a wedding day)
- Most programs have large image volume requirements to set up a profile to edit for you
If your goal is to outsource your photo editing and never have to look at the images again in Lightroom, then AI photo editing may not be right for you.
We have found that we do still need to spend some time going through our images. For us, this works – but we do know some photographers would prefer to never have to touch them again.
If you’re a new photographer, you may also lack the required number of images the AI software may require to start emulating your style. For example, with Imagen AI (the AI photo editor we use), they require 5,000 images uploaded before you can begin. While they do have workarounds like their Talents profiles, it’s not the same if you’ve created your own style.
Pros & Cons of Human Photo Editing:
- Humans can recognize things AI cannot (yet)
- You can create a working relationship
- You may be able to create a process that allows the images to be edited perfectly to your style without a need to review
Up until a few years ago, outsourcing photo editing to a person has been the only option for photographers. Even with the advent of AI technology to do photo editing for us, having a human editor still has its benefits.
At its core, photographers like working with people because they can pick up on even smaller nuances. This is especially true when faced with editing situations like mixed lighting in a photo.
With the best editors, you may also be able to put together a workflow that makes it so they get your image gallery just right the first time – making it so you never have to look at an image while in the editing stage again.
- Longer turnaround times
- Editor turnover
- Higher cost for editing
- Quality contingent on your editor
The problem with human photo editors is that this editing takes much more time and costs much more money. In general, turnaround times for photo editing of large galleries (like portrait sessions and weddings) is typically between 3 – 14 business days. Specific timing can vary depending on the person or company you hire.
More than time, costs are also dramatically different.
AI photo editing costs around $.05/image.
Human photo editing costs around $.35/image (or more).
In practical terms for our wedding photography businesses, this is how much we’d spend to edit our galleries.
AI photo editing an 800 image wedding gallery = $40
Human photo editing an 88 image wedding gallery = $280
If we do 30 weddings a year like this, here’s how much we spend:
AI photo editing 30 weddings = $1,200
Human photo editing 30 weddings = $8,400
This is a huge difference!
AI Photo Editing – What’s the Best AI Photo Editing Software?
Artificial intelligence has made it’s way into every corner of a photo editors toolkit. From very specific applications like Topaz DeNoise AI (which removes noise in images exceptionally well) to batch processors like Imagen AI and Aftershoot AI.
Some examples of these softwares include:
- Imagen AI
- Aftershoot AI
- Auto Enhance AI
- Luminar AI
- Topaz DeNoise AI
In the context of a professional wedding or portrait photographer, our focus shifts towards AI batch photo editing. Most photographers who struggle with editing, struggle with the volume of photos they need to edit.
In our experience using Imagen AI regularly to process images for our photography businesses, being able to batch process Lightroom catalogs fits perfectly into our workflow. As most photographers are using Adobe Lightroom for their photo editing, it’s a perfect match.
While batch editors do not get into the nitty gritty yet (like removing noise), they work exceptionally well for most contexts.
See Our Results with AI Photo Editing – Full Galleries and Samples
The best way to showcase AI Photo Editing is to look at the results of galleries we have edited for our own photography businesses.
Below are links to some blog posts we have created on our respective photography websites showcasing full wedding days edited with AI. The images showcased include some that were just edited by AI, and others that were edited then tweaked by us to create the final product.
On this page, you can also view some before-and-after comparisons so you can see our original, unedited file and the edited image produced by AI.
Should you use AI photo editing in your business?
At the bare minimum, you should give AI photo editing a try to see how you like it.
We recommend it because we see how much time it saves us in our day-to-day, freeing us up to do more things we enjoy – like photographing weddings and actually relaxing from time to time.
One of the biggest issues photographers bring up to us time-and-time again is just how much time they spend editing their images. This thing that was once fun and a creative expression becomes an incredible chore when you take on enough clients to make a consistent income.
AI photo editing helps us speed up the boring parts of this process, still gives us control, allows us to get images to our clients faster, and saves us time. This simple workflow adjustment has done so much for our businesses and mental health – we’re on the AI editing train for life now!
Chris is a SEO professional with a passion for helping photography businesses succeed online. With years of experience in the industry, he has a proven track record of increasing website traffic, improving search rankings, and driving revenue growth for his clients.