Can AI Produce A Good Headshot?
When I realised my LinkedIn profile picture was no longer an accurate representation of what I look like now (less hair, and more grey beard), I got to seeking out a way to get a new headshot. I’m time poor, and a bit tight with money when it comes to things that I consider vanity items, so a professional photographer was not an option. I started googling, and this is where I delved into the world of AI headshot generators, and the fine line between hilarity and eeriness in the resulting output.
1. How Do AI Headshot Generators Work?
2. The AI Headshot Results
Non-AI Headshot (the 'Control')
Glare with weird artefact
Weird chin dimple
Not too bad
The casual wall lean
Long lost brother?
3. They’re Retouched?
To enhance the quality of the AI-generated headshots, human intervention comes into play. After the AI has done its job, a human retoucher steps in to refine the images. This step can often be the deciding factor in turning an amusingly flawed headshot into something more polished and professional. However, it also means that any oddities or exaggerations produced by the AI can sometimes be amplified unintentionally, resulting in an even more outrageous outcome. After seeing some of the images, it’s hard to believe that much (if any) attention to detail is given in the process.
4. Affordability and Expectations
One of the main advantages of AI headshot generators is their affordability. For a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional photographer, (I paid around USD $30), you can experiment with different styles and generate multiple headshot options without breaking the bank. That said, if you’re venturing into the world of AI headshots, temper your expectations (Exhibit A, ‘Conehead’ above).
Well, I got what I paid for I suppose. The wacky results are hilarious, and completely unusable for a platform like LinkedIn.
There might be a Facebook profile photo in there somewhere, but the results are not what you would call professional.
I’m sure the technology has a way to go, and it might depend on which company you choose (I’m not going to say which company I went with, I don’t want the bad karma).
In the end, for my LinkedIn profile, I went with an image that my 8 year old took on my iPhone. It’s just slightly better than the AI version, but it’s enough for now.
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