AI for Headshots: A Cost-Effective Solution for LinkedIn Profiles
When it comes to creating a polished and professional online presence, having a high-quality headshot is a must. But what do you do when you need a headshot and can’t afford to pay for a professional photographer? Generative AI may be the answer.
The Benefits of AI-Generated Headshots
While they may not be perfect, AI-generated headshots can serve as a cost-effective solution for those who need a better LinkedIn profile picture or corporate avatar. Here are some of the benefits of using AI for headshots:
- Affordability: AI-generated headshots are significantly cheaper than hiring a professional photographer. With packages ranging from $29 to $100, you can have access to hundreds of images that you can choose from.
- Convenience: AI-generated headshots can be done from the comfort of your own home, saving you time and effort. Likewise, delivery of the finished products occur within hours, not days or weeks. So if a fast turn-around is a necessity, this can hit that mark with ease.
- Variety: With broad selections of generative options to select, and potentially hundreds of generated images to choose from, you can experiment with different poses, expressions, and backgrounds until you find the perfect headshot that best represents you. Variety, after all, is the spice of life.
The Controversy of AI-Generated Headshots
Many artists, and in the case of headshots specifically, photographers, feel that generative AI is using stolen art to create new imagery and taking money away from the very artists it is stealing from. This is, of course, a very nuanced conversation and one in which I agree to a point.
Regarding recruiters; I have heard rumour that some are being guided to look for AI generated images and hard pass on those LinkedIn profiles. I can neither confirm nor deny this practice currently, but I also feel that your specific choice in the image you use can help avoid this blanket denial. Not all generative AI headshots are made the same, so discretion and judgement are absolutely necessary.
My Personal Experience with AI-Generated Headshots
I recently found myself in a bind where I needed a headshot for my LinkedIn profile but being unemployed I couldn’t justify the larger expense or time to pay for a professional photographer.
That’s when I decided to give AI-generated headshots a try. After some research I opted to go with HeadshotPro. In under 2 hours, I received 240 images, all generated based on an upload of around 35 selfies of varying quality, and representative of various hair styles and beard grooming. While not all of the 240 images generated were usable (some absolutely not, especially in the eyes), a handful of them were good enough to serve my needs as a LinkedIn profile image and corporate avatar.
I paid $59 for the package of 240 images, but with a 20% coupon and some credit I had sitting in PayPal, my actual cost was only around $5 per usable image.
While I recognize that these headshots are not a replacement for a real headshot set, they served as a suitable in-between solution until I could afford a proper sitting with a real photographer. I was able to access a functional (albeit lesser quality) product that I had an immediate need for when I’d otherwise have been unable to do so. In the end, it was either nothing, a selfie, or this suitable in-between to the real thing.
AI-generated headshots may not be perfect, but they can serve as a cost-effective solution for those who need a headshot but can’t afford to pay for a professional photographer. While I still plan on getting a real headshot set with a professional photographer, AI-generated headshots have served me extremely well in the interim.
So, if you’re in a bind and need a quickie, inexpensive headshot, consider giving AI-generated options a try. You may be surprised at how well they can serve your needs too.