Client Asks Photographer for Real Estate Photos, Gets AI Images Instead

Real estate photography
Buster Cox did later come and shoot some real imagery for his client, left, but not before giving him some impressive AI imagery, right, that was ‘100% usable.’

When a Miami-based businessman was looking for fresh imagery for his new project he called up his photographer with the commission. He received the pictures just an hour later — the photographer never left his computer.

Of course, the images were generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and Dade Sokoloff tells PetaPixel they were “exactly what I wanted.”

“If you really studied them you could tell they weren’t real, but damn close,” he says. “They were 100 percent usable.”

AI-generated real estate photos
The AI-generated real estate photos.

AI-generated real estate photos

Sokoloff says he would have used the AI images except he had a very specific idea of what he wanted.

The photographer, Buster Cox, owns a small production company in Miami that does mostly business and branding content. Cox did eventually come and shoot a video for Sokoloff.

Staying One Step Ahead of the Game

Sokoloff and Cox are actually close friends, Cox assumes people who do photography and videography are going to be put out of business pretty soon so has been taking time to learn AI programs so he can produce good material with it.

“That’s an interesting take from a guy who is in that business,” says Sokoloff. “He’s not waiting to be put out of business, he’s looking to jump on the train because he knows it’s about to roll him over.”

Real estate photography
Real-life video that Cox shot for Sokoloff.
Real estate photography
Sokoloff says he would have used the AI images had he not been looking for something specific.

Cox concurs with Sokoloff’s assessment: “I’m trying to stay on top of it all, as much as I can or else someone else will.”

Cox has been experimenting with Midjourney, Kaiber, and Runway.

“It’s overwhelming the amount of stuff coming out. Not all of it is there yet to replace traditional production but it’s well on its way,” he says.

AI-generated real estate photography
The AI-generated images.

“I see both the very real and present threat to craft and long-standing established industries but also millions of businesses that would never normally be able to afford quality high content suddenly will be able to achieve all new levels of production value.

“It’s a paradigm shift to be sure. But in a lot of ways, I feel the biggest threat is NOT learning how to use these tools in the first place.”

A Valuable Lesson

The exchange between Sokoloff and Cox is a microcosm of what’s happening in the wider photography space. Professionals like Cox will surely need to master these tools sooner rather than later if they want to stay afloat.

And AI image generators such as Midjourney really do need to be mastered. The technician that has spent hours learning how to synthesize quality images will always achieve better results than the lay business owner who has no experience with such things.

With generative AI models continually improving, photographers should prepare the best they can for the coming turmoil.