Have you ever taken the absolute perfect shot of your work, be it a creative endeavor, or a masterpiece on a client in the salon, and then… that's it?
You know you’ve got something but don't share it because the self doubt trickles in… the backdrop needs work, the image needs to be sharper, the model's makeup needs some retouching, or you need a caption (the creative dead end of this decade). The issues we perceive with each photo require time, attention, the right contacts and, let’s be honest, money in order to be considered a high quality image or post.
As an artist, I know how daunting the task of finishing and sharing my art can feel, which causes stress and seriously constricts my creativity and I'm constantly searching for new ways to alleviate that pressure.
Enter artificial intelligence.
If you’ve opened your social media in the past six months you’ve surely come across content referencing AI or artificial intelligence. Plenty of face generating filters hit the beauty scene--I know I tried a few--but what seemed like a fun novelty began to pose serious implications…“Will this technology take away work from artists?”
In a world where tech has often replaced the human touch, how can we use AI in a way that doesn’t feel like cutting off the hands of a fellow artist? How can AI support this community?
At first it felt evasive, as if I was avoiding paying someone by using AI to help fine tune my own art, but then I realized that I had a camera roll full of incredible images that I was neither having a human retouch, or even sharing for that matter. Was I cutting off my own hand by not utilizing all the resources available to me?
When I did decide to hire someone to retouch my images it was only for the big things, competitive submission, editorial collections, etc. but what about all the art I create in my day to day? What about all that beautiful work hoarded in my photo library just waiting for finishing touches? That’s exactly where AI fits in so sweetly.
Recently while on set in New Jersey, my friend and fellow SET Haus contributor Victoria Casciola showed me an AI app she was using to retouch her Instagram content that was super easy to navigate and gave users a few simple, clean, edit options which dramatically (and instantly) enhanced the overall image quality. I was honestly shocked and immediately started to play with the application and share it.
When S.E.T. haus took on Premiere Anaheim, I used the app to retouch some of our images that same day just to get a feel for the completed collection and showed them to our photography expert SaraJane Maples, a S.E.T. haus founding member-- she was floored. It was a revelation that we could have instant access to polished up images for professional use.
There's an app for that.
The app we tried out is called Remini; it adds pixels to each image and yields you a few variations of color and beauty edits without majorly reconstructing the photo, it's truly just enhancement of what is already there.
After this conversation started we began to discuss other applications of AI for creatives. We learned how AI can help with the spot I know so many of us get stuck, the caption!
Salon owner, and S.E.T. haus founding member, Erica Keelen opened up our minds to how she uses AI tech to help her dictate captions for herself and her business, as well as writing up copy for emails, texts and client communications. S.E.T. haus contributor, salon owner, and all around business boss Ambrosia Carey agrees and personally recommended ChatGPT and Descript for all of your dictation needs.
“I use ChatGPT as a daily assistant, providing copy for documents, offering suggestions, and engaging in open-ended discussions. It can also generate creative content, it's like having a full-time virtual assistant by your side 24/7”.
— Ambrosia Carey, S.E.T. haus contributor and salon owner
Lastly, I want to mention a favorite that our whole team agreed on and uses, Canva. In recent updates, Canva can now help you replace backdrops, fix ‘photo fails’ like closed eyes, and even change your model's wardrobe/makeup (kinda creepy but also kinda cool LOL).
Does this mean I can do everything through AI?
While you could, I think what this really means is that you can start, right now. It means you don't have to wait for a big budget, a new tool, a new space, or to make the right connection to create relevant art within your respective realm.
The goal is always to build a team because truly everything great is a team effort, but as artists we must remain resourceful, and what AI provides to us all, is access.
If you’ve read this far you may still feel skeptical as to whether or not the tech we’ve discussed is truly up to par, so to keep it as real as possible SaraJane has gone ahead and edited this collection of images only with Remini AI. This series was created during 2023 Modern Salon Independent Artists Bootcamp in Miami. Sarajane lit these photos with one continuous light, and shot them on a clean white backdrop, and after just a few minutes she had these three images publication ready.
In the words of industry icon Sam Villa “We must embrace the youth.” I feel this also holds true for the youth of technology, where we are just scratching the surface of what AI can provide us. Will you be embracing the new wave?
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