5 minute read - Oct 18, 2023

Human Editing vs AI Editing in Photography

In the fast-evolving world of photography, the role of AI in editing has become a pivotal topic. This article delves into the comparison between traditional human editing and AI automated editing, exploring the pros and cons of each approach.
Darren Blench
Enterprise Partnerships

1. Rethinking AI Editing

If you still envision robotic arms and sci-fi scenarios when thinking about "AI editing," it's time to reconsider. AI editing has seamlessly integrated into our daily lives, from filtering photos to removing backgrounds. In this article, we'll explore the differences between AI and human editing and help you decide which might be more suitable for your e-commerce brand.

2. What is AI photo editing?

AI photo editing involves leveraging technology to transform manual editing tasks into semi-automatic actions. Using algorithms based on machine learning and neural networks, AI editing tools can retouch portraits, replace backgrounds, perform color correction, and more with just a few clicks. These tools learn from pre-set guidelines created by human editors, continuously improving their capabilities.

3. Benefits of AI Editing

Time Efficiency

The significant advantage of AI editing lies in its time-saving capabilities. AI tools can handle repetitive, time-consuming tasks quickly, allowing human editors to focus on more detailed or creative aspects. This efficiency is particularly beneficial for e-commerce brands dealing with a high volume of images during product launches.

Cost Savings

Time efficiency translates to cost savings. AI tools can accomplish most basic edits in seconds per image, contributing to a more streamlined and cost-effective editing process.

4. Drawbacks of AI Editing


AI editing tools excel at basic tasks but may have limitations for more complex procedures. Manual tweaking might be necessary for certain edits, potentially consuming more time than manual handling from the outset.

Lack of Creativity

AI editing can sometimes stifle creativity, as the algorithms tend to produce a standardized look. Human editors bring a unique touch and creativity to each image, providing a more diverse and distinctive result.


While AI editing is advanced, it's not infallible. Graphic designers must meticulously check each image for subtle yet noticeable problems that could impact a brand's reputation.

5. Advantages of Human Editing


Human-edited photos often exhibit less homogeneity and more uniqueness compared to AI-edited ones, providing a distinctive look for each image.


Human editors can make nuanced edits and fine-tune details that might be missed by AI tools, allowing for a more customized result.

Quality Control

Human editors simultaneously edit and check for errors, potentially ensuring more reliable results. Quality control is a crucial aspect where human touch prevails.

6. Choosing the Right Option for Your Brand

There's no one-size-fits-all answer. The choice between AI and human editing might depend on the specific project requirements.

When to Choose AI Editing
When to Choose Human Editing

7. The Outlook for AI Photo Editing

Undoubtedly, AI tools will continue shaping the future of photography. New tools and capabilities, such as shadow removal in challenging lighting conditions, improved night video modes, and enhanced smartphone camera capabilities, showcase the ongoing influence of AI in the field.

The debate between AI and human editing is ongoing, with both approaches having their merits. Whether it's the efficiency of AI or the creativity of human touch, the key lies in starting with high-quality images. As technology advances, finding a balance between AI and human editing may be the recipe for optimal results.

About the author

Darren Blench
Enterprise Partnerships

Darren Blench leads partnerships for enterprise Other clients at Snappr. He has helped dozens of major players in the industry with their content strategy. He is available for a no-obligation consultation about your Other photography needs.

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