A new robotic ‘smart studio’ device aims to increase brands’ photography efficiency and productivity by replacing, to a certain degree, professional human photographers with artificial intelligence and a robotic camera/lighting system. Called StyleShoots Live, this smart studio is equipped with robotic lighting, a Canon 1DX Mark II camera, and machine intelligence for shooting, processing and exporting photos and video automatically.
The resulting content is automatically processed, including things like cropping images to certain aspect ratios or stitching together multiple videos. The final content can then be reviewed by the human in charge and, if approved, exported for various platforms. A human is given control over the entire process via a built-in iPad Pro with a Live View mode of the model.
Speaking about the smart studio, StyleShoots’ Head of Product Anders Jorgensen said:
‘Fashion brands need to keep their customers engaged with fresh content every day – and video shared on social media is the most powerful form of storytelling. To keep up with the continuous demand, StyleShoots Live creates stills and video ready for publishing on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and websites within minutes – without any manual editing or post production.’
Of course, such a studio raises concerns about technology and its potential ability to replace human photographers with machines. In response to that concern, StyleShoots explained in a long FAQ that it didn’t design its smart studio to be a replacement for humans. ‘To run a fashion shoot,’ the company explained, ‘you need a creative eye to compose the shot, pose the model and style the clothes — a robot can’t do that (yet).’
Is this the ends for snappers? No.
The tech involved here is fantastic, and for clients requiring fashion or product photography to be shot, that will then end up in a variety of different formats, then this could well impact some snappers.
Will robots ever replace humans in photography? I doubt it. Photography requires too much human emotion, judgement and observation, and currently AI is nowhere near replicating that.
What do you think?