My Take: How AI Image Editing Keeps Me Competitive in the Market

Black and white portrait of a smiling middle-aged man with glasses, sporting a beard and wearing a black t-shirt, against a plain background.

I’m Karlis, a professional photographer with 13 years of experience and a focus on weddings. I’ve been using AI image editing for over two years, during which I’ve tested various tools and now work with the German provider, Neurapix.

In this article, I’ll share my experiences from the past few years on how I incorporated AI editing into my workflow and some insights on getting started and on how it’s helping me remain competitive.

Full disclosure: This sponsored article is brought to you by Neurapix.

How can artificial intelligence edit my images exactly as I would? When I first heard about this possibility two years ago, I couldn’t imagine it. I had to understand that it involves a synergy between my human intelligence and artificial intelligence.

From my perspective, there are three types of AI for photographers. First, there’s the generation of new pictures based on existing images. Some photographers already use this profitably, but it’s often critically discussed in the industry due to many open questions about copyright and creativity.

Then there’s image manipulation via AI, where you can swap faces in Photoshop, for example. And there’s image editing with the help of AI, which I see as purely beneficial. It supports me significantly without taking anything away from my creativity; it just handles the tasks that I find less enjoyable. I always maintain full control over my workflow.

A joyful bride and groom laugh heartily while holding hands on a beach, wearing a wedding dress and a tuxedo, with a bouquet in hand and a vast ocean in the background.

A monochrome image of a bride and groom holding hands. the bride, in a lace dress and floral headband, smiles at the groom who is dressed in a formal suit. they stand in front of a dark wooden backdrop.

When Does AI Image Editing Make Sense for Me?

AI-supported image editing is always useful when I need to edit more than 20 images. It already saves time at that point. Our goal in image editing is always to achieve a consistent visual presentation. The images should look seamless. At the same time, we want to bring our own style into it, our trademark. After all, that’s what we’re booked for.

As soon as I’ve shown my preferences to the AI – just as I would to a colleague or an editing agency – it can apply them. I have extensively tested and worked with various tools in recent years. The best results for me come from the current product of my choice from Neurapix. Those guys have additional advantages compared to other services, which I will discuss later.

Making Lightroom Presets Smart with AI

Many of us use presets in Lightroom. Rough estimates suggest that between 50 and 70 percent of professional photographers start their image editing this way. Presets provide a general direction by creating a specific look in certain situations. However, when daylight turns to artificial light over the course of the day, our preset no longer fits.

We spend a lot of time manually correcting countless images. With my own classic preset, I start with about 30 percent of my image editing done. But today, much more is possible because Neurapix has made my preset smart. Their AI understands how I would edit in that specific lighting situation to maintain a consistent look. It then adjusts the slider values in Lightroom for each image individually, instead of always setting the same static values.

A joyful newlywed couple holding hands in a forest setting. the groom wears a tan suit with a bow tie, and the bride wears a white dress with a denim jacket and carries a bouquet.

A joyful bride and groom laugh together in front of a red wooden cabin, the bride in a lace dress and floral crown and the groom in a vest and bow tie.

How Does AI Learn My Editing Style?

First, the AI needs examples to learn from. At Neurapix, it typically takes 500 edited RAW images to create my own SmartPreset. That’s significantly fewer than other tools which I was using, making it easier and quicker for photographers to get started.

The images need to be edited in a consistent style so the AI understands how I would edit under different lighting conditions to achieve my personal look. I can even start with just 20 images at Neurapix if, for example, I want to create a new style for a specific business shoot quickly. Neurapix calls this feature “Kickstart”.

After a short wait, I receive my SmartPreset and can use it right away for editing. The AI has even more potential though, as it continues to learn with every manual adjustment I make. I can refine my SmartPreset at any time for free. Through feedback, similar to what I would give a colleague or an editing agency, my SmartPreset gets better and more precise.

Saving Time and Money Through AI Image Editing

Using AI in image editing saves me a significant amount of time and money. If I wanted to edit 600 photos in Lightroom, it would take me about six hours. If I tried to find someone to do it for $15 per hour, it would cost me $90. For this amount, few would work, and it’s not necessarily fair either. And yet, I would still need to check all the images again and possibly make manual adjustments.

The AI tool of my choice, Neurapix, costs me $49.95. And that’s not for six hours, but for an entire month. It can edit an unlimited number of images and get the results in real-time. The AI takes less than the time of a coffee to edit my 600 photos.

Quality Improvement Through AI Use

This may be surprising, but using AI for editing also leads to a quality improvement. To be clear: I wouldn’t upload my images to an online gallery for my clients without reviewing them. And that’s not the goal of a photo AI – it’s supposed to support me. Yet, with Neurapix, about 90 percent of my image editing is already done when I join the process myself.

The cool thing about AI is that it always reaches these 90 percent without exception because it is independent of external factors such as the time of day, a calibrated screen, or my concentration e. g. While these factors can affect my human editing, the AI always works exactly the same – and thus more consistently than we ourselves.

Fully Integrated in Lightroom: My Workflow Remains the Same

One of the biggest advantages of Neurapix for me is that the team has developed a plugin that is directly integrated into Lightroom Classic. Unlike other providers, I don’t have to use a different app and can always stay in my usual workflow. So it works just like manual editing or using classic presets. We import our RAW images into Lightroom, select them with Cmd+A, and then click on “Edit photos” from the Lightroom menu.

Another major advantage of Neurapix is the option to let the photos be edited locally on my own computer (using the flat-rate pricing model). The first edited images appear in real-time after 20 to 30 seconds in my gallery view, so I can start the final check immediately. Usually, I only need to make slight adjustments to every tenth to 20th photo.

I also have the option to have my photos edited through the Neurapix servers in Germany – also extremely fast, up to 1,000 photos per minute. By the way, only small data packets are uploaded and downloaded, not the entire RAW images. But I recommend the flat rate because it’s the same technology and there’s no waiting time at all. Just try it out yourself.

A man and a woman dressed in formal attire, standing side by side, face profiles illuminated by diagonal light and shadows on a solid background.

A black and white photo of a bride and groom intimately touching foreheads, smiling gently, amid a backdrop of soft-focus trees. the bride holds a bouquet and wears a lace dress.

Positioning as a Photographer: Speed Matters

Those who edit large volumes of images know: Especially in high season, I can’t edit and retouch every single photo in great detail. Because professional photography is also about speed. We have already seen this development with the rise of online platforms. The colleagues who went along with the online trend to deliver products quickly have survived. Others, however, have fallen behind.

Customers often don’t care how much we’ve labored over the 20th congratulatory image in a wedding shoot. They mainly want their pictures as soon as possible. For me as a photographer, it’s about being competitive and not falling behind. With services like Neurapix, we can keep up with competitors who already use AI tools and are able to deliver a shoot on the very same day. Thus, the AI helps us improve our position in the market.

No AI Contradiction: More Creative Freedom and Shootings

Exactly this speed is another advantage of AI regarding creativity, as it also gives me more freedom to be creative. I can spend more time on the really important photos of a shoot and deliver them perfectly. Or, for example, also deliver the entire project in black and white (which Neurapix has also recently started offering).

Aside from editing, I can now take on twice as many jobs as before, which naturally also pays off financially. Thanks to AI, I can invest more time in what I enjoy most: shooting. Neurapix enables me to be more creative and work with people.

It is up to each photographer to explore these new possibilities. We can resist artificial intelligence in photography and reject technological support. But then we might lose our competitive edge sooner or later. I’d like to encourage you to give it a try!

Tips for Using AI Tools

I leave you with four personal tips what you can do with AI tools such as Neurapix:

  • Offer your clients an optional express delivery.
  • Offer your clients the entire shoot also in black and white.
  • Let Neurapix first edit your entire shoot before you start your culling (for flat rate users).
  • Create different SmartPresets for different occasions (wedding, business, travel, etc.) for free.

Test Neurapix now with 2,000 free images.

To see more of Karlis Kalnins work, visit his website,

Image credits: All images © Karlis Kalnins