A Photographer’s Review of the new AI Headshots




I'm a wife & mom who believes in the power of a photograph to help us hold onto the moments in life we treasure most. This blog will help you to plan your own photoshoot, but it will also give you ideas & inspiration of ways to use your own photos!

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I don’t know about you, but ads for AI Headshots have been all over my social media accounts lately. The ads claim to create your perfect headshots and all you have to do is upload a couple snapshots of yourself. As a professional headshot photographer who’s spent years researching how to create the perfect headshot for my clients, invested in equipment to make sure I am always ready, and ask my clients to invest in the process, I was completely intrigued. Could it really be so simple? Am I out of a job? I had to give it a try.

After selecting the company I wanted to work with (who claimed to have the world’s most realistic AI headshots), I was asked to select my package- Package A included 40 new headshots on two different backgrounds, Package B included 100 new headshots on five different backgrounds & package C included 200 headshots on ten different backgrounds. The backgrounds varied from a simple colored backdrop (black, grey or blue) to a variety of “scenes” including an office, cafe, park or street view. I decided to go with the base package and selected a street scene and lush green backgrounds.

From there I paid & uploaded ten images of myself to the generator and it began creating the new headshots. To be honest I was a bit surprised that it took awhile for the system to generate the headshots; I’d assumed it would be almost instantaneous. That said, it was only about half an hour until I received an email that my images were available for download.

The Pros: After only spending $40 and about 30 minutes, I had 40 new headshots. If I needed a headshot quick, this would work… as long as it would have a short shelf-life. Also, I liked the background options and the variety of images produced.

The Cons: Of the 40 new headshots, only about 6 of them really looked like me– and all but a few of them made me look like I’m in my 20s (I’m nearly 50). Also, I didn’t get to choose my wardrobe- not even the colors- nor the poses or expressions (none of the images that looked like me had me smiling & only four of the images showed a smile at all). The images are nice, but are very generic looking. They don’t tell the viewer anything about me- and not even a hint as to my profession (there was an option specifically for physicians that featured white coats and a hospital background but that was the only professional customization).

CONCLUSION- While it was fun to try, hiring a professional to take your headshots remains the best option for moving your career forward both because a professional knows how to showcase your profession (you photograph a CEO differently than you do a therapist, for example) and how to feature your personality. If someone is looking you up online- a potential client or employer- they want to see who you really are. A generic headshot is going to be passed over because it doesn’t tell the viewer anything about you. If your career is important to you, your headshot should be, as well.

As for myself, while it was fun to see the variations (the hair color changes and haircuts were interesting), I won’t be using them as my headshots because they don’t tell the story of who I am or what I’m about- and that’s critical info to the people who are considering hiring me.


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Karissa Van Tassel is an accredited professional photographer, accredited by The Portrait Masters, an association of master photographers from around the world.


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