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One of the biggest shifts happening in product photography is the move towards using artificial intelligence and algorithms rather than professional photographers. While high-quality product images have traditionally required expensive equipment, studios, and human expertise, new technology is quickly changing the game. AI and automated systems are stepping in to handle the technical aspects of product photography, allowing businesses and marketers to get professional-looking results at a fraction of the cost and time.
At the forefront of this trend is the use of robotic cameras. Sophisticated robotic rigs can now independently handle shooting details like framing, focus, lighting adjustments and capturing images. Unlike human photographers who may eventually get tired or distracted, these robotic systems can continue shooting high-quality photos 24/7 with precision and consistency.
Brands using AI photo rigs report being able to shoot significantly more product images per day compared to traditional manned photo shoots. An AI system doesn't need breaks, can work around the clock, and never has an 'off' day. The resulting images are often crisp, well-lit and flawlessly framed.
Retailers have especially welcomed robotic photography for shooting large catalogs containing thousands of items. Home goods company Wayfair shared that their AI imaging system can photograph over 100,000 unique product SKUs per month. This volume and speed is unattainable for human crews. Other brands praise the cost savings, some reporting production budget decreases up to 60% after switching to AI photography.
As the technology continues advancing, we can expect AI photography to become accessible to more businesses. Tech startups are working on automated photo studio solutions designed for offices and warehouses. While robotic rigs once required major investments and engineering know-how, streamlined systems are bringing this capability to the masses.
For ecommerce brands and online retailers, product photography is a crucial element of sales and marketing. High-quality images that accurately showcase products can boost conversion rates and drive revenue. But obtaining these polished product photos has traditionally required hiring professional photographers and investing significant time and money into photo shoots. Now, artificial intelligence is stepping in to automate better product photography.
AI-powered solutions can analyze product images and automatically make adjustments to improve quality. This includes tweaks like modifying contrast, fixing colors, sharpening details, correcting blurriness, removing background imperfections, and more. The algorithms have been trained on millions of product photos to understand what edits result in appealing ecommerce imagery.
For example, Israeli startup EveryPixel employs AI that scans product photos and makes over 50 types of corrections and enhancements. It can identify and remove cluttered backgrounds, adjust awkward angles, fix lighting issues, and generally optimize images for online sales impact. Their tech is currently being used by over 100 major brands.
Similarly, ecommerce platform Shopify released an AI-based tool called Shine that polishes up merchants' product photos. Shine automatically performs adjustments like straightening crooked images, enhancing lighting, sharpening details, and augmenting color vibrancy. Shopify found that products with images edited by Shine saw a 6-15% increase in sales compared to unedited counterparts.
Remarkably, these AI tools are creating better product images than humans manually editing photos. Algorithms beat out human designers in A/B tests run by EveryPixel. Products with AI-enhanced images saw more clicks and conversions.
AI photo enhancement provides advantages like:
- Scalability - AI can edit high volumes of images rapidly. A human would struggle to manually process thousands of photos a day. - Objectivity - Algorithms consistently make data-driven improvements without subjective stylistic preferences. - Cost - Automated solutions are more affordable than hiring photographers and designers. - Speed - AI can edit photos rapidly, while manual editing is tedious and time-consuming.
One of the most tedious and time-consuming aspects of product photography is nailing the perfect angles and perspectives. The exact positioning of products can have a huge impact on how appealing and enticing they look to customers. Even slight adjustments in angles make a dramatic difference in portraying shape, functionality, and visual pop. Traditionally, photographers had to manually adjust tripods, camera positions, and lighting equipment to capture products from multiple flattering vantage points. This process could take hours of painstaking effort to find the ideal framing for every item.
Now, AI and machine learning algorithms are taking the guesswork out of finding that sweet spot framing. Automated solutions can independently position, adjust, and shoot products from a range of calculated angles optimized for visual appeal and sales conversion.
For example, Pixelz leverages robotic product photography integrated with intelligent software. Their tech automatically positions products on turntables and uses depth sensor cameras to photograph items from all sides, capturing hundreds of accurate 3D images. Machine learning algorithms then analyze these images and determine the most visually compelling angles. The optimal high-converting perspectives are automatically selected to be used for ecommerce or marketing.
This unlocks huge efficiency advantages. Brands have reported being able to photograph products in just minutes using Pixelz, compared to spending hours on manual positioning and shooting. The AI consistently nails better angles than human photographers working unaided. It gives brands a comprehensive 3D visual profile of products that would be hugely time and labor intensive to capture manually.
Dribble Lab is another company using AI to optimize ecommerce product positioning. Their tech creates an interactive 3D model of a product that can be rotated to view from any angle. Machine learning evaluates aesthetic factors like lighting, symmetry, rule of thirds, leading lines and more to recommend the most visually appealing perspectives. This allows finding the perfect angles and compositions to highlight products.
Product photography has always been an expensive endeavor for brands and retailers. Professional photoshoots require paying for photographers, equipment rentals, studio space, set design, models, make-up artists, lighting technicians, and more. For small businesses with tight budgets, forking over thousands of dollars for pro product photos can be cost-prohibitive. This often meant relying on mediocre images taken in-house by staff members. But AI is providing an affordable alternative to hiring photographers that can democratize access to quality product visuals.
With AI photo generation platforms, brands can now create high-quality product renders without shooting a single image. Companies like Anthropic and EveryPixel allow users to simply upload 3D product model files or existing product images. Their proprietary algorithms will then generate photorealistic product visuals set in any environment the user desires. Want your product shots set on a clean white background, a lifestyle context, or an aspirational travel backdrop? AI can render all of this with impressive realism and without requiring complex photoshoots.
Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed, which sells grass-fed beef online, utilized EveryPixel to create mouth-watering product visuals on cooking backgrounds and premium serving settings. This gave their product packaging a gourmet feel that boosted perceived value and conversions. The AI-generated images were far more vivid, appetizing, and commercially effective than their DIY photos, at a fraction of the cost of an agency photoshoot.
AI photo generation tech allows creating volumes of unique product compositions, angles, and environments that are unfeasible with manual photoshoots. Generated scenes also look consistently crisp and professionally lit without the hassle of setting up complex lighting rigs. For small businesses, the affordability and variety of AI imaging opens new possibilities. No longer limited by shoestring budgets, SMBs can use AI photo platforms to build expansive, sales-impacting visual content libraries. Maintaining visual freshness and variety is attainable like never before.
For ecommerce brands, product image aesthetics play a major role in capturing customer attention and driving sales. However, manually creating large volumes of visually appealing product photos can be extremely tedious and challenging. This is where AI comes in to automate the process of beautifying and optimizing product imagery.
Algorithms trained on analyzing aesthetic qualities in photography can now add visual flair to mundane product images. For example, startup Loomia uses AI to add whimsical styles and graphic design elements to basic product shots. This includes effects like geometric patterns, artistic brush strokes, vivid colors, and text/icon overlays tailored to brand identity.
The tech uplifts ordinary product photos with eye-catching aesthetics designed to spark customer intrigue. Early testing showed Loomia's AI-enhanced images received more user engagement on ecommerce product pages compared to the original photos.
Anthropic has developed AI that can apply stylistic color filters to product images with impressive nuance. Rather than a blunt one-size-fits-all filter, their algorithm intelligently adjusts color styling and mood based on the specific content of each image. For a shoe photo, it may boost warm earth tones, while applying a cool minimalist tone for a kitchen appliance.
This adaptive algorithmic colorization creates cohesive aesthetics that feel naturally tailored to each product, not randomly filtered. During A/B tests, products displayed with AI-colorized images saw a 7% increase in click-through rate.
Background removal and replacement is another area where AI can instantly elevate visual appeal. Rather than manually editing out distracting backgrounds, automated tools like Backgrounds.ai and Remove.bg leverage neural nets to instantly erase backgrounds with incredible precision.
The tech can cleanly cut out product shapes, retain fine details like hair strands and transparency, and remove backgrounds 10x faster than human designers. This allows ecommerce brands to place products on new minimalist backgrounds or lifestyle scenes that align with their image style and brand.
Automatically creating 3D models from 2D images is also revolutionizing product visualization. Startups like CGTrader and Threekit use AI to construct 3D product models from a few 2D photos. This opens up creative possibilities for spin animations, interactive 3D display, augmented reality previews, and visually rich marketing materials.
Rather than relying solely on static flat images, brands can showcase products from all angles and create cinematically dynamic views. Early data indicates 3D product models boost engagement, conversion rates, and click-throughs compared to conventional 2D photos.
The rapid advancements in AI aesthetics, 3D rendering, and creative stylization reveal the technology's potential for automating product photography at scale. While manual image production requires painstaking effort and human artistry, algorithms can replicate attractive commercial photography in a fraction of the time.
Product images don't exist in a vacuum. The backdrop and scenery shown alongside products play a pivotal role in telling a visual brand story and sparking customer desire. Yet many brands settle for shooting products against dull white backdrops or in front of cluttered homemade sets. This defaulting to boring backgrounds represents a missed opportunity to captivate shoppers. Fortunately, new AI-powered solutions make it simple to bid adieu to boring backdrops and transport products into worlds that align with target aesthetics.
Swapster is one company using artificial intelligence to revolutionize product backgrounds. Their technology lets users instantly replace backgrounds in existing product photos with any new scene. Whether it's abstract shapes, solid colors, illustrated patterns, lifestyle environments or brand-relevant imagery, AI makes the switch seamlessly. Early adopters of Swapster praise the technology for unlocking creativity. Athletic apparel brand PE Nation replaced their conventional studio shots with dynamic scenes of models wearing products outdoors. This better aligned with their adventurous identity and boosted customer transportation into the aspirational narrative.
For brands selling on visual-first channels like Instagram and Pinterest, AI background replacement is a game changer. Social commerce retailer Olive + Splash shared that products displayed against AI-generated travel backdrops saw engagement spike up to 200% higher compared to white background images. The technology opened new possibilities for more impactful and shoppable visual storytelling.
Equally important, AI background removal promises to rescue brands from the scourge of cluttered product images. Nothing screams "amateur" like items haphazardly photographed on messy countertops or grassy lawns. New intelligent software can instantly identify and delete distracting backgrounds with incredible precision. Companies like remove.bg and Unscreen provide this magic wand tool to strip away ugly backgrounds in one click. Unscreen helped drive a 2.9x increase in sales after implementing their tech to clean up product images.
Proper lighting can make or break a product photo. Finding the ideal illumination to showcase products in their best light is an art that professional photographers obsess over. But lighting also happens to be one of the most tedious and time-consuming aspects of product photography. Adjusting light rigs and equipment to cast products in a flattering glow often devolves into a game of trial and error. This represents a major pain point that artificial intelligence is now tackling head on.
New AI solutions are able to analyze product images and automatically optimize lighting. Algorithms trained on millions of photos of objects can identify ideal lighting principles tailored to each product's unique shape, design, texture, and desired look. For example, Pixelz utilizes patented technology that adds professional studio lighting to existing product photos with a simple click. Their sophisticated algorithms simulate how light should interact with specific materials and geometries to generate a natural, high-quality lighting effect.
According to Pixelz, their AI-enhanced product images drive a 20% higher conversion rate compared to the original lighting. Lighting impacts things like the visibility of details, depth perception, and perceived quality. Items lit in a crisp, intentional way simply sell better.
Drest uses similar artificial intelligence to algorithmically light 3D models of fashion products. Their tech can realistically simulate lighting angles and intensity to showcase garments and accessories. This opens up limitless lighting possibilities for visual merchandising without needing physical equipment.
Of course, for brands conducting actual photoshoots, AI also lends a helping hand. Lampix employs computer vision cameras and machine learning algorithms to track products during a shoot. The system continuously monitors and automatically adjusts lighting elements in real-time to maintain optimal illumination as products are repositioned.
This constant tuning liberates photographers from the frustrating chore of manually adjusting lights, freeing them up to focus on other creative aspects. Intelligent auto-lighting systems lead to faster shoots, fewer botched images, and more impactful visuals.