Imagen’s AI Photo Editor Learns How You Think

Say goodbye to tedious busywork

Key Takeaways

  • ImagenAI learns from your photography edits and creates a profile to use for future photos. 
  • The tool needs 5,000 edited photos to learn your editing style.
  • Wedding and product photographers could save days of work.
A photographer editing photos on a laptop.

Matthew Leete / Getty Images

Imagen AI learns how a photographer edits their photos, and then edits their future pictures—automatically. 

Presets only get a photographer started and often don’t help much at all. After you apply one, you still have to tweak settings to get the image you want. Imagen AI works with Lightroom and analyzes 5,000 images you have already edited.

It then takes what it has learned and applies it to new photos. For photographers who have to churn through many images, this could save hours, days, or weeks. 

"AI-driven bulk edits and adjustments (especially in color and tone) can be a huge time-saver," photographer and blogger Andreas de Rosi told Lifewire via email. "For example, a product photographer who has to get a consistent style and look for a client would benefit a lot from AI-driven software solutions."

Bulk Edits

Because Imagen uses your existing editing style as a base, it helps if you’re consistent. Amateur photographers who like to fine-tune every image might not get useful results. But if you edit in bulk, a tool like this is huge.

Wedding photographers, for example, are often hired because their photos have a specific look. A preset might be a good way to boost the brightness by 5%, but that may not be appropriate for all photos. If an app can learn from your results, though, then it can tweak thousands of photos in a quick batch. 

Screenshot showing the original compared to the results of using the Imagen software.

In fact, it was wedding photos that inspired the product. Imagen founder Yoav Chai hired a photographer to photograph his wedding. It took three months for the photographer to deliver the images because he was snowed under with editing. The results were fantastic—they just took too long.

By training a computer to do the heavy work, even a lone photographer can speed through projects that would normally take forever. A photographer still has to cull the best images from the shoot, but AI reduces the busywork. And it’s not just weddings. Any place that a photographer requires consistency will benefit.

How It Works

Imagen AI works like this: You upload 5,000 edited photos from your Lightroom catalog, and Imagen uses them to create a profile. The app integrates with Adobe’s Lightroom, so you can apply the profile to new images and then fine-tune the results. 

If you don’t have 5,000 already-edited images, or you prefer not to upload them, then you can choose from a "Talents" gallery of ready-made profiles. For these ready-made profiles, you pay per use. For your own profile, you pay a $7 monthly subscription, plus a per-photo fee for use (from $0.04).

The Human Touch

In some instances, AI might deliver the exact result you want, but many photographers will still want to tweak it. 

"AI programs, like the one you are writing about, are great for the user proficient in manually completing the editing process," Fred Barr of photography site The Main Museum, told Lifewire via email. "I have asked assistants with limited editing skills to use AI, and the results are laughably bad."

Two people collaborating on photography edits in an office setting.

Jacob Wackerhausen / Getty Images

Editing photos is only partly about the technical details of color, brightness, and so on. A lot of it comes down to feel. Does the photo feel right? Does the edit suit the mood? Those are things that an AI can’t replicate—yet.

Even individual photographers who don’t think they have a "look" may be surprised at how consistent their choices are. There’s an old joke among electric guitarists. They spend many years chasing a famous player’s signature "tone," spending thousands of dollars on gear to get them closer. But the truth is that whatever gear you use after you tweak the knobs to taste, you’ll end up sounding like you. 

"At this point, AI has not supplanted the need for the human touch," says Barr. "I am excited for where we go from here, but today it still requires guidance to get the results you need."

Was this page helpful?