Who remembers the slogan..”Is it live or is it Memorex”? Well fast forward to 2023 and we’re now asking..is it real or AI?  Artificial Intelligence as it’s formally known, has taken society by storm, even though the history of AI dates back to the 1950’s when it was explored to see if machines could think. Well the brilliant minds got to work and spent decades creating this mind boggling technology. I don’t begin to pretend I know much about it, but I am fascinated and quite freaked out by what AI can do. This of course leads into many ethical and security discussions…again not my expertise.


But for the average folk…we are embracing AI for basic things like writing blogs or newsletters or  those students who have jumped on the bandwagon to have ChatGPT to help write their essays. I know there’s a whole new world out there but let’s take it one step at a time. Let’s start with the growing use of AI generated headshots.

ChatGPT and the growing number of websites offering AI headshots seem to be some of the more popular uses of AI. I must confess the technology has now been incorporated into Photoshop making some retouching skills a delight so I’m not against evolving with new technology. But let’s talk about these new computer generated headshots!

You’re starting to see more and more of these “headshots” on LinkedIn and social media. At first glance you might think your good friend just updated her profile pic…nice….oh her hair looks amazing…I wonder where she got that done…love her new outfit. And chances are that will be the end of it. But if you look really close you will start to see things looking “off”. Eyes are too perfect and white and possibly have a blank look to them, hands can look fake and skin too plastic. Sometimes it looks like the person has been transported into some “scene”. That’s not to say an untrained eye will pick these things out. And that’s also not to say there aren’t good AI headshots. The balancing act is to make sure you know when your photo looks realistic and when you’re looking more like an alien.

As a headshot photographer it would be easy for me to bash these new styles of headshots but I know that would sound like a sore loser or that I feel threatened. But I know from lots of experience that there are lots of people that don’t like having their photos taken, don’t want to invest in professional headshots which can be expensive and time consuming, and quite frankly don’t care about quality. I’m good with that. There are still lot’s of people who still want that one on one experience, the personal touch and genuine photos of themselves. There’s definitely something for everyone.


Although I personally haven’t tried it out for myself,  I know the process is pretty simple…upload some photos and very quickly and inexpensively you’re given 50-100 headshots to review. It’s important to remember these are computer generated versions of yourself…so use them accordingly. Depending on what business you’re in you might want to use caution when using this technology. If honesty and trust is important to your credibility, you might not want to take that chance your audience discovers that’s not the “real” you. If that’s not a concern, then go crazy and show off all the different versions of yourself. You can definitely have fun with it…and the price is right!

Technology will always be evolving and at lightning speeds it seems.  I’m sure creating an AI generated headshot is just the tip of a (melting) iceberg. It scares me to think where this could be going, but we’ll always have the option of embracing what works well for us and try to ignore what doesn’t. In this case I think AI generated headshots will be great for some people, and a gimmick to others. One thing for sure as we move forward into this digital world…you might want to ask yourself…is it real or is it AI?

If you’re looking to upgrade your headshot you can try an AI generated service or you can:


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