Adobe Slams Photographers Over New AI Tools

Joshua Diaz
4 May 202409:44

TLDRAdobe's recent marketing campaign suggesting that their new AI tools in Photoshop can eliminate the need for a traditional photo shoot has sparked controversy among photographers. The campaign implies that AI can streamline the creative process, potentially replacing certain aspects of a photographer's job. This has led to concerns about the future of creative industries, particularly in stock photography, where AI-generated images could replace the need for professionally taken photos. Adobe's focus on business efficiency and cost reduction seems to be at odds with the interests of its core user base of artists and photographers. While AI tools offer powerful new capabilities, there is a call for Adobe to support its users and acknowledge the value of human creativity in the face of technological advancements.


  • 📸 Adobe's new AI tools in Photoshop are causing controversy among photographers, as they suggest that photo shoots can be skipped using AI.
  • 🚀 Adobe has been investing heavily in AI tools, leading to significant advancements in software capabilities, such as the popular 'content aware fill' feature.
  • 🎨 AI tools in Adobe's suite are designed to give creatives more control over their work, allowing for fine-tuning and enhancing their art.
  • 🤔 The statement 'skip the photo shoot' has created an ideological divide between Adobe and the creative community it serves.
  • 👨‍💼 Adobe's focus on streamlining processes for businesses may be perceived as a shift away from supporting the artistry and creativity of its users.
  • 📉 The rise of AI-generated images threatens traditional earning models, particularly in the stock photography industry.
  • 🧐 Adobe's Chief Strategy Officer, Scott Belsky, has referred to the new AI tools as a 'revolution', suggesting they could replace the need for a digital camera.
  • 📉 The ease of creating images with AI could disrupt the market for professional photographers and designers, who rely on their work for income.
  • 🛠️ Despite the controversy, AI tools in Photoshop are powerful and convenient, and have their place in a creative's toolkit.
  • 💭 The outcry stems from concerns that AI could replace creative jobs, leading to a sense of betrayal among those who have invested in Adobe products.
  • 📉 Adobe's marketing and positioning of AI tools as replacements for traditional creative processes may alienate its core user base of professional creatives.

Q & A

  • What recent claim made by Adobe has caused dissatisfaction among photographers?

    -Adobe claimed that their new AI tools could allow users to 'skip the photo shoot,' which has upset many photographers who feel that these tools could undermine their professional significance and livelihood.

  • What is the Content Aware Fill feature in Photoshop?

    -Content Aware Fill is a feature in Photoshop that allows users to repair, replace, or expand different aspects of an image. It leverages AI to help manipulate the image in ways that weren't possible before, providing significant flexibility in editing.

  • How do Adobe's new AI tools threaten traditional models of earning for creatives?

    -Adobe's AI tools, particularly in image generation, threaten traditional revenue models such as stock photography. These tools could potentially replace human photographers in creating images for stock photo sites, affecting their earnings and job security.

  • What was the perspective of Adobe’s Chief Strategy Officer on the new AI tools?

    -Adobe's Chief Strategy Officer, Scott Belsky, referred to the new AI tools as 'a revolution' and 'the new digital camera,' emphasizing the transformative potential of AI in digital imagery and its impact on traditional photography.

  • How has Adobe’s historical relationship with creatives changed according to the transcript?

    -The transcript suggests that Adobe, originally founded to support artists and creatives, may now be focusing more on serving business needs and streamlining processes, which could alienate their core user base of creative professionals.

  • What are some creatives' concerns about AI replacing creative jobs?

    -Creatives are concerned that AI tools might directly replace their jobs, making traditional skills less valuable as companies might prefer cheaper and faster AI-generated alternatives for tasks like photography and design.

  • How do AI tools affect the competitive landscape for creatives according to the transcript?

    -AI tools may force creatives to adapt by learning to use these technologies to remain competitive. Those who can integrate AI tools effectively might have advantages in terms of cost, speed, and innovation, reshaping the competitive dynamics in creative fields.

  • What does the speaker suggest about Adobe's current communication strategy?

    -The speaker criticizes Adobe’s communication strategy for suggesting that AI can replace aspects of creative work. This messaging is seen as potentially damaging to the trust and reliance creatives have on Adobe’s products.

  • How does the speaker personally feel about the integration of AI tools in creative workflows?

    -While the speaker acknowledges the power and convenience of AI tools and uses them in his own work, he is concerned about Adobe's messaging that these tools could replace creative jobs, which he views as dismissive of the professional skills of creatives.

  • What is the implication of AI advancements on contractual work for creatives?

    -AI advancements could lead companies to terminate contracts with human creatives in favor of hiring providers who use AI tools, thereby offering services at a lower cost. This shift could dramatically affect the job market for traditional creative roles.



📸 The Impact of Adobe's AI Tools on Photography

Josh discusses the controversy surrounding Adobe's recent advertisement suggesting that photographers can skip the photo shoot with the help of AI tools in Photoshop. He touches on the broader implications of AI in creative industries, particularly the potential for AI to replace certain aspects of creative work. Josh also mentions Adobe's history of developing AI tools that have significantly enhanced the capabilities of their software, such as the content-aware fill feature. He expresses concern over the divide between software developers and the artists who use their products, and the potential threat to traditional earning models for creatives, like stock photographers. The discussion also includes the views of Adobe's Chief Strategy Officer on the revolutionary nature of AI in creating images without the need for photography.


🤔 The Creative Industry's Response to AI Advancements

Josh continues the conversation by reflecting on Adobe's origins and its initial focus on supporting artists. He expresses worry about the potential job losses in the creative field due to AI advancements and the shift towards using AI tools by businesses. He talks about how creatives might lose contracts, not jobs in the traditional sense, to those offering services at a subsidized rate through AI technology. Josh emphasizes the importance for creatives to explore and leverage AI tools to remain competitive. He criticizes Adobe's marketing and its positioning with the new tools, suggesting it may alienate its core user base. He acknowledges that while there are valid cases where the photo shoot can be skipped using Photoshop, the way Adobe communicates this to its users is problematic. Josh concludes by encouraging creatives to adapt to new tools while also expecting support from the programs they rely on and pay for.



💡AI Tools

Refers to artificial intelligence tools integrated into Adobe's software, such as Photoshop, which enable users to manipulate and generate images with minimal manual input. These tools include features like content-aware fill and Adobe Firefly, which allow artists to repair or expand images, creating compositions that weren't originally shot.

💡Content-Aware Fill

A feature in Adobe Photoshop that uses AI to intelligently replace, repair, or expand parts of an image. It enables users to manipulate photos in ways that weren't possible before by automatically filling in gaps or changing elements based on surrounding patterns.

💡Skip the Photo Shoot

A controversial marketing statement used by Adobe to promote its new AI tools, suggesting that artists can generate or modify images entirely through software without the need for an actual photo shoot. This statement has sparked concern among photographers, who feel it undermines their craft.

💡Scott Belsky

Adobe's Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President of Design and Emerging Products. He has championed the integration of AI in Adobe's products, referring to it as a 'revolution,' and comparing new AI tools to the advent of digital cameras.

💡Stock Photography

A business model where photographers sell licensed images for commercial or editorial use through platforms like Shutterstock. The rise of AI-generated images has caused concern among stock photographers, who fear losing clients and market share.


Adobe's AI model that powers various creative tools, enabling users to generate new images or modify existing ones. It's a key player in Adobe's push for integrating AI, allowing artists to enhance their work faster and more creatively.

💡Photoshop as a Digital Camera

A concept promoted by Adobe suggesting that Photoshop can replace the traditional camera by allowing users to create or modify images directly through software. This has sparked debate about the evolving role of traditional photography in the AI era.

💡Creative Jobs

Refers to professions that rely on artistic skills, such as photography and graphic design. The increasing use of AI tools in Adobe's software has created anxiety among creatives about job security as traditional tasks become automated or replaced.

💡Business-Creative Divide

An ideological gap highlighted in the video between Adobe as a business aiming to streamline its processes and increase profits and the creatives who use its products. This divide has deepened with Adobe's marketing that implies photographers and artists can be replaced by AI.

💡Creative Workflow

The series of steps artists follow to produce their work, which has been impacted by Adobe's new AI tools. Creatives are encouraged to adapt and integrate these tools to stay competitive, but many worry about the implications of fully automated workflows.


Adobe's new AI tools in Photoshop are causing controversy among photographers by suggesting they can skip the photo shoot.

AI tools have enabled significant advancements in Adobe's software capabilities, particularly with the Content-Aware Fill feature.

The development of AI tools has given creatives more control over their work, but also raised concerns about job displacement.

Adobe's marketing suggests that their software could replace certain creative jobs, causing unease among professional photographers and designers.

Scott Belsky, Adobe's Chief Strategy Officer, has referred to the AI tools as a 'revolution' and the 'new digital camera'.

The ability to generate images without photography threatens traditional earning models, especially in the stock photography industry.

Adobe's Firefly image 3 model has improved significantly since 2020, offering powerful and convenient AI tools for creatives.

There is a growing divide between software developers and the artists who use their tools, with a focus on streamlining for business.

Creatives are encouraged to explore AI tools to stay competitive, but there is concern over Adobe's messaging that these tools may replace human jobs.

Adobe's shift towards AI threatens the jobs of its own customers, which is worrying for staff and the creative community.

The creative industry must adapt to the influx of AI imagery, but there is a call for support from the software they rely on.

Adobe's responsibility to shareholders may be influencing its marketing towards businesses rather than its core creative user base.

Despite the controversy, there are situations where Photoshop can indeed replace traditional photo shoots.

Creatives are advised to understand how new tools fit into their workflow and continue to be supported by the programs they invest in.

The speaker expresses sympathy for photographers facing immediate changes and the pressure to adapt to new tools.

There is a need for Adobe to communicate effectively with creatives and consider the impact of its innovations on their livelihoods.