Comparing AI generated Headshots vs Photographer created Headshots

Is an AI Estimation of You or a Headshot Photo best?

In a world where technology has made significant strides, the choice of procuring headshots often boils down to AI-generated alternatives versus the expertise of a professional photographer. While AI-generated headshots can offer some convenience and accessibility. There’s an undeniable allure to the artistry and precision that only a skilled photographer can bring.

When it comes to capturing the essence of an individual or conveying the professional image of a team, the discerning eye and creative vision of a photographer can make all the difference.

In this article, we’ll delve into the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a professional photographer for headshots, exploring the unmatched quality, personalized touch, and timeless appeal they bring to the table.

Chart to help you decide; AI generated image or Photographer headshot photo is best

Criteria AI Generated Headshots Photographer Created Headshots
Image Quality 6 10
Composition 6 10
Lighting 7 10
Facial Expression 6 9
Pose and Body Language 7 9
Background selection 6 8
Authenticity and Realism 7 10
Attention to Detail 7 9
Emotional Connection 6 9
To Brand Guidelines 3 10
Time and Cost for 1 pax Medium Medium
Time and Cost multiple pax High Low
Procurement Time Short Short
Individual’s Time 1 hour to take 5-20 photos, register and upload sample photos 2 minutes at staff headshot session, 15 minutes or 1 hour for individual service
Quantity of Staff Photos 1 1-500
Turnaround Time Same Day up to 2 days Same Day up to 2 Days
Who’s it Best for Individuals, Solopreneurs, Small ID Card Photos, Temporary projects. Alternative to mobile phone use. Professional use, high-quality requirements, on brand, overall cost saving
Cost per each person AU$40 to $60 each person AU$50 to $300 average person
Quantity of Staff per each person From 1 to 500 people

Chart demonstrating how we see the benefits for either AI-Generated Headshots or Professional Photographer created Headshots

Please Note: This chart and page is under a constant revision process so therefore will be updated regularly

Advantages of using a professional headshot photographer instead of an AI generator

  • Expertise: Professional headshot photographers have years of experience taking and editing headshots. They know how to pose people, use lighting, and choose backgrounds to create flattering and professional-looking images.
  • Nuanced Human Understanding: Experienced Photographers can see when a person is either a little nervous or too excited to be able to get shots that are on brand and appropriate for their role and industry.
  • Customization: Professional headshot photographers can customize your headshots to your specific needs. They can help you choose the right pose, expression, and background to reflect your personality and professional brand.
  • Quality: Professional headshot photographers use high-quality equipment and software to produce high-resolution images that will look great online and in print.
  • Time savings: Professional headshot photographers can take your headshots in a single session of just 15 minutes, saving you time, hassle and possible looking silly and artificial.
  • Peace of mind: Hiring a professional photographer gives you peace of mind knowing that your headshots will be taken by a skilled and experienced professional that has provided guidance to hundreds or possibly thousands of people.

Disadvantages of creating headshots using AI software instead of hiring a professional photographer

Here are some disadvantages of creating headshots using AI software instead of hiring a professional photographer:

  • Accuracy: AI headshot generators are still under development, and their accuracy can vary. Some generators may produce images that are not a true representation of your appearance. This could be a problem if you need your headshots for professional or personal use. Just about every AI Headshot generator gives you 20 to 50 photos to choose from because it is know that man will look very different to you.
  • Customization: AI headshot generators typically offer limited customization options. You may not be able to choose the background, pose, or lighting of your image to your satisfaction. You may need a photo with a specific background in your own office for example. This could make it difficult to create a headshot that reflects your personal style or brand.
  • Professionalism: Some people may perceive AI-generated headshots as less professional than those taken by a human photographer. This is because AI-generated headshots can sometimes look too perfect or unrealistic. If you work in the medical sector, do you want to look made up like it’s Saturday night at a club? Hopefully not.
  • Privacy: When you use an AI headshot generator, you are uploading your personal photos from your company server to another in a foreign country. This raises privacy concerns about how your data will be used in the future. Typically to train other AI Models or the IP transferred to unknown entities.

Video: I Tried AI Headshots | AI Headshots Gone Wrong!

Will an AI process help with guidance on your best look?

Surry Hills Headshots in Sydney. Photography by

As this photo shows, and it was decided by humans; to have the hair style on one side to the front of the shoulder, and the other side back

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can AI-generated headshots completely replace professional photographers?

While AI-generated headshots have made significant advancements, they cannot entirely replace the expertise and artistry of professional photographers. The human touch, personal connection, and ability to capture context and uniqueness are essential elements that AI models currently struggle to replicate.

Are AI-generated headshots suitable for all industries and purposes?

AI-generated headshots may be suitable for certain purposes, when headshot cost is a primary concerns for an single individual. However, industries or professions that require a strong emphasis on personal connection, trust, and authenticity may benefit more from the expertise of a professional photographer.

What should I consider when choosing between AI-generated and photographer created headshots?

Consider factors such as budget, desired outcome, time constraints, brand identity, and personal preference. If you value customization, artistic quality, and a personalized approach, a photographer created headshot is likely your best choice.

Is a Mobile Phone photo better than an AI photo?

If you are totally cash strapped and need a headshot right now so you might as well use a mobile phone photo. For most of the AI models out there you will need 5 to 20 photos anyhow. One of those will no doubt look fine in the interim and being authentic is much better for credibility than artificial.

How long does it take to get AI headshots?

AI Headshots can take about an hour to take 5-20 photos of yourself, register for the software and upload sample photos. Then it may take 2 days to get the photos back.

It takes less than 30s & it’s free

Headshot Content Hub for Further Reading