AI headshots have gained popularity as an alternative to studio shoots, especially among the younger generations. I mean, how cool can it be to upload your selfies to an app and get professional-looking portraits of yourself in various clothing and backgrounds out of them?
The thing is that both individuals and businesses can utilize AI headshots to enhance their professionalism and improve their brand identity. However, like any technological advancement, AI headshots come with their own set of pros and cons.
Just like many other people, you may be stuck between using AI or simply going to a professional photographer like we’ve been doing before since the invention of the camera. For that reason, I wrote this article in which you’ll find out the advantages and disadvantages of AI headshots to determine whether they are truly worth it.
Disclaimer: Because the site is reader-supported, we may earn a commission if you use our affiliate links.
The Pros of AI Headshots
First, we look at the benefits of using AI-generated headshots.
1. Cost-Effective Option
AI headshots eliminate the need for professional photographers or studio bookings. You may already know that a single session for headshots can cost between $100 and $500, depending on the location and expertise of the photographer.
Keep in mind that studio shoots would cost more than outdoor photography because of the lighting and camera equipment in use and the cost of accessing a studio. For both types of shoots, you may also need to get yourself new professional outfits for the shoot if you’re more of a casual-wear type of person.
On the other hand, a quality AI headshot generator will cost around $30 for the lowest package, as is the case with Aragon AI and the like. This cost-effective solution allows for quick and affordable access to high-quality headshots among individuals and businesses.
2. Accessibility and Convenience
AI headshots can be easily created using smartphones on specific online platforms. In other words, they’re easily accessible to a wide range of individuals, regardless of the location.
There’s convenience because you can create headshots at your own pace and in your preferred environment. You won’t need to schedule appointments or travel to a studio.
3. Time Saving
Have you ever gone for a shoot and waited more than a week to get the results? It can be frustrating to have to deal with this.
Most professional shoots will have your pictures ready in a couple of weeks. You have to know that the waiting time associated with studio photography comes from the editing that has to be done. If the photographer is a skilled photo editor as well, you may get your photos within days.
But with an AI tool for headshots, you get your headshots in just an hour or two, which is similar to the time it takes for a single photoshoot session before you can begin waiting for results. The speediness of AI is particularly beneficial for those who require instant headshots for professional purposes.
These include job applications (which have deadlines) or social media profiles. You can have updated and polished headshots without going through lengthy photoshoots or editing processes.
If you choose AI for headshots, you won’t have to rent or borrow a suit from a friend if you don’t own one. The AI will take care of that for you.
You also don’t have to travel to any specific location just to have your photos taken. This could be a street, building, office, or something else that serves as a suitable background.
AI headshots can clothe you how you want (professionally) and set your background to almost anything. You can have a blue tuxedo and a plain or work-based background in your AI-created headshots.
These tools also provide you with different poses and facial expressions. You can even have alternative facial elements if you want to change your look in the headshots.
5. Unlimited Headshots
One thing that happens a lot is you going for a shoot, taking dozens of pictures, and getting back less than 10 of them. Two things usually happen here.
One of them is that the photographer has to handselect the best images for you (you may not always agree with them). Another thing is that they’ll only share with you the number of photos “you’ve paid for” and keep the rest for whoever knows what or delete them.
If you select an AI tool to create headshots for you, you’ll get unlimited variations of the images. Most models can provide you with over 100 headshots so you can pick the best ones yourself.
The Cons of AI Headshots
Now, let’s move on to the limitations of AI-generated headshots.
1. Lack of Human Touch and Creativity
AI headshots don’t have the artistic vision and personal touch that professional photographers bring to the table. They might not capture your unique essence or personality as effectively as human photographers.
2. Limited Expertise in Complex Scenarios
AI algorithms rely on your well-taken selfies to provide headshots that look like you. They may struggle with certain scenarios, such as capturing headshots in challenging lighting conditions or unusual angles.
AI might not be able to handle specific requirements or preferences that you may have for your headshots. It could be that you want to tilt your head a little or put on a very specific facial expression that is hard for AI to simulate.
3. Potential for Over-Editing or Unrealistic Results
AI models mostly take into account their training data and can sometimes produce overly retouched or unnatural-looking headshots. This act diminishes your authenticity.
It may not always accurately represent your true appearance, something that leads to possible misrepresentation. For example, you may find that your AI headshot has a different hair length, hair color, or eye color.
While you’ll have dozens of good images, some of the headshots may look unrealistic because we’re talking about AI, something without a conscious. You can find inaccuracies regarding your face, similar to when an unprofessional editor photoshops your pictures.
4. Privacy and Security Concerns
AI for headshots involves the use of personal data and images. While the majority of AI headshot generators vow to protect your data, there still are concerns about privacy and security.
There’s a risk of unauthorized use or misuse of these images, depending on the tool you use. This can potentially compromise your privacy and personal information.
5. Impact on Professional Photographers
This is a downside that doesn’t affect you as a user but rather photography businesses. The rise of AI headshots can negatively affect professional photographers’ business and income.
It could lead to a decrease in demand for their services and impact their livelihood. So, you can find yourself in a situation where you have to choose between supporting someone’s source of income or reducing your expenses.
How to Have a Good Experience Using AI for Headshots
Should you choose to use AI for headshots, there are some tips you can follow to ensure you get high-quality images and keep the limitations of AI at bay.
- Choose a reputable AI platform or software: Only select a reliable and well-established AI platform or software that specializes in headshot generation. Look for positive reviews, user testimonials, and a track record of producing high-quality results.
- Provide high-quality input photos: The quality of the input photos significantly affects the output of AI headshots. Ensure that you provide clear, well-lit, and high-resolution photos that accurately represent your appearance. Avoid using heavily filtered or edited images, as they may lead to unrealistic results.
- Select the right settings: Most AI headshot tools ask you to choose things like your gender, the kind of styles you’re looking for, and even hair or eye color settings. Be sure to provide these details to enhance the results.
- Review and provide feedback: After the AI headshots are generated, carefully review the results. Assess if they accurately represent your appearance and if they meet your expectations. If necessary, provide feedback to the AI platform, as many platforms use user feedback to improve their algorithms and offer refunds if you aren’t satisfied with the results.
Conclusion: Should You Use AI for Headshots?
As you can see, AI has several advantages when it comes to generating headshots. You can save your time and money with these tools and still get results similar to (or even better than) a real shoot.
However, it’s important to consider these cons alongside the pros of AI headshots to make an informed decision. AI for headshots may not be the best option for you if you want to capture “the real you” and be authentic in your photos.
- How to Create AI Headshots (Tutorial)
- Differences Between AI Headshots and Real Headshots
- Is It Safe to Use AI Headshot Tools?
- How to Use AI for LinkedIn Headshots