Heather Elder Represents
Reps Journal

Andy Anderson: Overcoming the Fear of AI by Seeing the Potential

We recently published an article offering our perspective on how AI will change our industry. At this point, it’s a question as to whether or not it will, but how. And while it’s ok to be nervous about its impact, it’s important to recognize that it also comes with opportunities. It is our responsibility as reps to keep our finger on the pulse to feel out what trends will come and go, and what things will shake up our industry. Our artists are a group of forward thinkers, so knowing they would have points of view on the topic, we’ve talked to some of them about AI.

Andy Anderson’s curiosity has taken him all over the world. Now, it has pushed him to learn all he can about AI and how he can use generated images to augment treatments, collaborate more efficiently and explore the depths of his creativity.

Note: all images were generated by Andy via Midjourney. Thank you to all the artists whose work is part of these images.

You have begun to share AI-generated images that you create on LinkedIn, what excites you about AI?

AI-generated images are a great way to test ideas. You can get so detailed in the prompts you input to get exactly what you want to see. As I explore fashion photography more, I’ve been using Midjourney to create images of shots that I want to do in real life. Exploration has been a huge part of my life both personally and professionally. I started photography because of the inspiration of great painters throughout history. I thought “can I capture this through photography?” AI is the next iteration of exploration for me.

Your vision is one through curiosity, this seems right in line with that.

Absolutely. I love watching documentaries and reading books that teach me about things I don’t know. That might be why I decided to download the 90-page Midjourney manual to make sure I’m using best practices for the program. I always want to stay on top of the next tool and I believe AI will only become more prevalent. I want to make sure I’m a part of the conversation.

What are the shortcomings of AI-generated images?

As realistic as they will begin looking, it’s not real. So when I talk about capturing authentic stories, AI can’t do that. It will only create something that didn’t happen, so there will always be that “real” aspect missing from AI work.

Additionally, as we consider including any generated images in treatments, it’s possible that clients will evaluate artists based on the AI art in their treatments because they can look quite impressive. But creating a beautiful image in these programs is not easy and takes time to learn. So I worry that a photographer might be considered based on how good their AI art is in the treatments, rather than their actual work. I hope that creatives remember that we are photographers, not AI illustrators.

You seem generally optimistic about AI, how will you use it moving forward?

Right now, I am inspired by fashion photography and the current work that is out there. To explore this more I’ve been doing test shoots. However, now with AI, I am able to dive even deeper into the ideas I’ve created in my mind. I’ve posted some generated images on LinkedIn of some inspiration of shoots I think would be really beautiful. How great would it be to be able to share concepts to brands without the expense and time of doing a full shoot? It’s a great tool to add to our photographic toolbox. 

I plan to use it to create mood boards for projects and to help express my vision to collaborators. As I’ve explored Midjourney and created more art using it, I see the power it has to make parts of the creative process more efficient and that excites me. I remember when CGI was introduced and we all had a similar fear, but working with technology and not against it has just made us stronger artists.