By now, you’ve probably heard of ChatGPT, the AI chatbot that’s taken the world by storm. Maybe you’ve made an account and tried entering a few prompts. Maybe you’ve been avoiding it because you’re sick of tech bros telling you how great it is. Or maybe it just feels overwhelming to add another tool to your photography business. But if you’re still not sure how photographers can use ChatGPT — or whether it’s worth checking out, this guide is for you.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence-driven chatbot. It uses what’s called “natural language processing,” meaning it allows you to have human-like conversations with the tool. The language model can answer questions (kind of like a condensed version of Google) or assist you with tasks like writing emails, making outlines, generating lists of ideas, writing code, and so much more. And despite its ability to communicate with human language, no, it’s not sentient. It’s simply a tool with vast capacity.
What can’t ChatGPT do?
ChatGPT can do some pretty incredible things, even at this early stage in its development. However, it has limitations that you definitely want to be aware of.
- Accuracy isn’t guaranteed. Although ChatGPT has access to a large amount of information, it may not be able to answer questions about niche topics, understand context, or be aware of recent developments. And because it was trained using human information, it may contain biased responses.
- It can’t access the internet. Related to the point above, ChatGPT won’t always have the most up-to-date information because it doesn’t have access to the internet. For example, you can’t give ChatGPT a link to an article and ask it to summarize the information it contains, because it has no way to access it.
- Its scope of information is limited. Because ChatGPT was “trained” using data up to 2021, the chatbot does not have an awareness of events or news that have occurred since then.
- It’s not a human. Personal communication has all kinds of subtleties, sarcasm, humor, and social cues. ChatGPT can generate coherent, human-like responses, but it doesn’t have “common sense” per se, so depending on the prompts you provide, it may offer responses that are irrelevant or unrelated to your intention.
- You’ll need to edit. Only you know your brand voice, so while ChatGPT can give you an amazing starting point, you’ll want to go in, scope out anything that sounds awkward or robotic, and add your own personality.
How Photographers Can Use ChatGPT
Despite its limitations, ChatGPT is an incredibly useful work companion for photographers when you know how to use it. Here are a few ways to utilize ChatGPT to speed up the tedious tasks in your business and even get some new ideas.
- Generate ideas for your blog. You know we love a blog for SEO and showcasing your work, and ChatGPT is your BBF (best blogging friend). Give it a bit of context about your business and then ask it generate a list of 20 blog topics. Boom – you’ve got all kinds of ideas for your content calendar, or at least the beginning of a good brainstorm sesh.
- Write social captions. You took the pretty pictures, but now you’ve gotta come up with something to say before you post. Give ChatGPT a few pieces of key info like the location, the client names, the context and inspiration, and then ask it to write an Instagram caption for you.
- Get a starting point for any copy project. Whether you’re writing a new homepage, updating your About Me copy, or launching a new course or product, there is nothing worse than Blank Page Syndrome (i.e. you get so frazzled by the blank page that you just cannot figure out how to get started). Write a list of some of the key info you want to include, then prompt ChatGPT to write it for you. Think of what it gives you as a first draft, then refine the copy until it sounds like you and not a robot version of you.
- SEO ideas. If you’re trying to optimize your website or blog but don’t know what keywords might be relevant, try asking ChatGPT. In the prompt, provide information about your ideal client – demographics, location, interests, etc. and your business. Then ask for some things that audience would likely search for on Google.
- Brainstorm poses and prompts. If the old “whisper your favorite vegetable in her ear” prompt isn’t doing it for your clients anymore, ask ChatGPT to give you some ideas for poses to freshen up your arsenal of ideas.
- Find shoot locations. The more specific you get, the more accurate responses ChatGPT can provide. For example, you could say “I am a photographer located in Austin, Texas. If I am doing a brand shoot for a sustainable, women-owned clothing brand with a modern, minimalist style, where should I go for the photoshoot?” It will provide a list of potential locations with descriptions, and you can even respond back with some more details about the shoot to give you a more accurate response.
- Gear ideas and technique questions. While an experienced industry professional is always going to be a more reliable source, ChatGPT can provide tips for many common and niche photography questions. From lighting to shot lists to editing questions, the bot can give you detailed summaries of the information you’re looking for.
- Planning travel. If you travel for your photography business, you know how much time booking and planning can take up — especially if you like to include some leisure time in your work travels. You can prompt ChatGPT to write you an itinerary, give you a budget estimate, recommend hotels, and more; for example “Create a 5-day itinerary for a trip to Tulum, Mexico. Include active and outdoor activities, as well as cultural destinations and recommendations for authentic local food. Include a moderate amount of downtime.” Be sure to do your due diligence as info from bots can be limited.
- Create email templates. Streamline your client onboarding and create responses to common emails using ChatGPT. Save the responses in a folder so you don’t have to write them from scratch moving forward.
- Brainstorm almost anything. When you work solo, as most photographers do, you probably find yourself on your own little island, wishing you could bounce ideas off of someone. ChatGPT can be a helpful tool for these situations. There’s no replacement for actual community, but in a pinch, it’s the perfect tool for throwing out questions and getting the brain juices flowing (ew) when you feel creatively blocked.
How to Get Started With ChatGPT
Getting started is easy! Just head to chat.openai.com, create a free account, and you’re ready to go! Practice makes perfect, so don’t get frustrated if your first few prompts don’t yield the responses you’re looking for. Experiment with different prompts, get specific in how you word your requests, see how other people are structuring prompts, and you’ll be the #1 robot boss in no time.