Photographer Timothy Morris: How AI Is Disrupting Our Industry, and What We Can Do About It

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

Educate your clients — Teach your client base how your work is different/better than AI, show them the benefit to a human tough, for my field it’s as easy as a few images where the AI forgot an eye or gave the subject too many fingers.

Artificial Intelligence is no longer the future; it is the present. It’s reshaping landscapes, altering industries, and transforming the way we live and work. With its rapid advancement, AI is causing disruption — for better or worse — in every field imaginable. While it promises efficiency and growth, it also brings challenges and uncertainties that professionals and businesses must navigate. What can one do to pivot if AI is disrupting their industry? As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Timothy Morris.

Timothy Morris is a Maine Wedding Photographer and former software engineer. Morris is a professional photographer who brings deep technical knowledge of these topics from his background in Software Engineering and degree in IT. Coupled with his perspective of the art landscape, Tim is able to speak to both areas of the AI issue.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

Ioriginally got a degree in IT as it’s what my Air Force experience directly translated into, years later when working as a software engineer my wife and I had our first child. At that point I left the tech world to become a stay at home dad. My wife bought me my first professional camera to take pictures of our kids, shortly thereafter I discovered wedding photography and fell in love! I’ve been a wedding photographer ever since.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

At Timothy Morris Photography I focus on the story, I’m there to capture the beauty in every moment, I have a true to color candid style that showcases the natural beauty in my couple on their wedding day.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Determination — making it self employed isn’t easy, there’s no one to hold your hand, no guaranteed paycheck, it’s just you. There are a lot of moments that are tough, every time the business needs a lens, I need a new body, I have to choose between giving that money to my family, buying something for my kids, or moving the needle forward for my business. Each decision is personal.

Sleep Deprivation — In my world, running the way I have to run my business, sleep deprivation is the name of the game. I spend all day with my kids, and although I’m still working a lot of the time answering calls, sending emails, taking practice shots. I do 90% of my work at night when they’re asleep. Many evenings I’m running on 4 hours or less of sleep.

Passion — Photography isn’t about turning a profit, it’s art, it’s emotion, it’s everything. It’s easier to make a living doing a million other things, I do this because I’m passionate about the art, about telling the stories of my couples.

Let’s now move to the main point of our discussion about AI. Can you explain how AI is disrupting your industry? Is this disruption hurting or helping your bottom line?

AI has come in and introduced a whole new world. Now images that appear to be photographs can be easily created by anyone with a computer by entering in a few lines of text. People are able to make images themselves of scenarios that would be incredibly difficult to put together in person. For example, there are now online sites people are using to make their own headshots, upload any photo and it spits out a professional looking headshot. This is not only killing verticals of a lot of our businesses (headshot market as previously mentioned) but it’s setting expectations of reality high with the AI generated images.

Which specific AI technology has had the most significant impact on your industry?

AI image generation. The ability to edit photos with AI is also having a strong impact.

Can you share a pivotal moment when you recognized the profound impact AI would have on your sector?

I was scrolling Instagram and saw this amazing looking wedding, it was set on an Airplane. The florals were stunningly uniform, the interior of the plane had been removed and replaced with a mini banquet hall, it was gorgeous. Then I realized the photo wasn’t real, the artist disclosed at the very bottom of the image it was AI.

How are you preparing your workforce for the integration of AI, and what skills do you believe will be most valuable in an AI-enhanced future?

I put time into educating my clients about AI, letting them know how I use it and how to spot it in other’s works.

What ethical considerations does AI introduce into your industry, and how are you tackling these concerns?

People are calling AI images photographs and images, when in fact they aren’t generated the same way. I’ve become a fan of the term synthograph (synthetic photograph). It highlights that these aren’t taken with a camera and lets the viewer know they’re different.

What are your “Five Things You Need To Do, If AI Is Disrupting Your Industry”?

1 . Understand it — for photographers practice with an AI art generator, learn how powerful they can be

2 . Read Further — Learn what AI is and its roots, see what others are doing about it, what they’re calling it how it’s impacting them.

3 . Educate your clients — Teach your client base how your work is different/better than AI, show them the benefit to a human tough, for my field it’s as easy as a few images where the AI forgot an eye or gave the subject too many fingers.

4 . Consider a pivot — some fields will be replaced with AI, if you see it coming look towards something that AI can’t replace, a creative field, something challenging, something that involves work with your hands.

5 . Talk about it — Keep the conversation going, talk to everyone around you about it, see how your colleagues and your peers are reacting, what their thoughts are. We as a community will come up with what’s appropriate and what’s not with AI.

What are the most common misconceptions about AI within your industry, and how do you address them?

Rumors spread that AI will replace us all. Fact of the matter is, AI is a system of predictive math equations, it can only act in a predicable manner. Photography is all about being creative, it’s about finding new, transforming, staying ahead. That will keep AI from grabbing jobs, nothing can replace the real world.

Off-topic, but I’m curious. As someone steering the ship, what thoughts or concerns often keep you awake at night? How do those thoughts influence your daily decision-making process?

I’m always thinking about what my clients are thinking! I loose sleep when I send out a gallery and don’t hear a return lol. I do tend to later find out people loved their images, but in the meantime I’m a call of stress!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

That people treat art as a real career choice. I grew up being told I had to pick something to make money, and art was not a choice. I hope this next generation, my daughters’ generation, will see every option open to them.

How can our readers further follow you online?

Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.