Shortly after welcoming AI-generated images on its platform, Shutterstock has introduced its own AI image generator, Shutterstock.AI. In collaboration with OpenAI, Shutterstock now offers AI-generated stock images to its customers from anywhere. They can create images in seconds, using any of the languages the website offers. Could this be the end of stock photography as we know it?
Similar to other text-to-image generators, Shutterstock.AI requires you to be as descriptive and accurate as possible when writing your prompts. For best results, add visual cues and vibe of the image you want to create. Once you type the prompts and click “Generate,” Shutterstock.AI generates a few versions to choose from. Select the one you like, and from there, you can further edit it in Create, if you like, or just license it and download immediately.
I tested Shutterstock.AI real quick to see how it works, and it might give you an idea why this could be the beginning of the end of stock photography. Three lives ago, I sold some stock photos on this website, and I described to AI one of the best-selling ones:
Here’s what AI gave me in 5 seconds (there were a few more options, but this was the best one):
And here’s the pricing:
At this point, AI is rather good at generating all sorts of scenes: landscapes, cityscapes, animals, everyday objects… So, for photographers, is there a point of taking and selling these photos any longer if anyone can just generate them in a few seconds? Personally, photos like this were what I mainly sold on Shutterstock, as photographing people isn’t really my forte.
On the other hand, photos with people in them are generally the most sought out on stock websites, at least to my knowledge. AI still isn’t that good at generating believable images of people (although one could argue). However, I’ve followed some photographers who have been playing with AI-generated portraits, and they’re definitely getting better. And once they become perfectly believable – will stock photography completely lose its point? What do you think?