In this blog post, I’ll be reviewing a few AI headshot generators I tried out, and give you my verdict on which ones are the best.
A question I often get about website projects is, “How many professional photos of me do you need to design my website?”
I typically respond that, for a five or six page website, it’s helpful to have at least 5-8 professionally taken photos of yourself for best results. Bonus points if the photos are in slightly different settings with an outfit change or two.
But occasionally I have a client who has only 3-4 photos, and they really, really don’t want to bother with scheduling another photo shoot.
I also know there are some of you who want to DIY your first simple website, and don’t have the time or resources to get professional photos taken. After all, it can be a lot of work to find a good photographer in your area, get the shoot location booked, and decide what to wear.
That’s where AI headshots can be useful.
In fact, I recently had a client who gave me a handful of AI generated headshots to use on her site because she only had a few professional photos she liked. And the end result on her website still looked great, relatable, and like her!
What are AI headshots?
AI stands for Artificial Intelligence, and AI headshots are just computer-generated images of people’s faces. Basically, an AI headshot generator is a website where it’ll ask you to “pay” for a photoshoot, then you’ll upload a handful of selfies.
The website will then use those photos to generate more photos of you that (theoretically) look professionally taken, using machine learning to make them look good.
AI headshots aren’t expensive, usually somewhere between $10 and $30, and you’ll get anywhere from 50-120 photos out of the deal.
Now just to set expectations, in my experience, only about 10% of the photos look enough like you that you’ll want to use them.
But they’re not expensive to generate, so it’s still worthwhile, especially if you need more (or any!) nice-looking photos of yourself to market your coaching business.
How to generate great AI headshots
Before we dig into the best AI headshot generators, I wanted to give you some tips and tricks for getting the best results with these tools.
First, you’ll upload 10-20 different photos of yourself as “seed photos” to give the AI a good idea of what you look like. Exactly how many photos are required depends on the generator.
You want these photos to be ones of you where:
- You’re looking directly at the camera
- It’s you from the shoulders up with no hands near your face
- No one else is in the photo with you
Here are the seed photos I used in my testing for this post:
The better the photos are you can submit to an AI headshot generator, the better results you’ll get.
When I polled my coaching network to see who had experimented with AI headshots, the people who had given the generator a couple of professional photos along with selfies as part of their seed photos got better results than those who did 100% casual selfies.
Not to say you can’t get great AI headshots with only casually taken photos, but having at least a few professional photos to in your seed photos, even if they’re family photos cropped in on only you, is helpful.
After you submit your photos to the generator, you’ll get your results from the platform anywhere from a few hours to a few days after submission, to give the AI time to work.
Best AI Headshot Generators
Without further ado, are 4 AI headshot generators I researched and experimented with, and a visual of what my results were.
Try It On AI
Try It On AI was the first generator I tried because it’s the one I had heard the most about on social, and it’s also the one my client used who brought me those AI headshots to use on her website.
It’s $17 and you get 100 AI headshots, with no refunds. I uploaded 15 photos of myself, and within 24 hours I had a link from Try It On AI to view my photos.
Here were the top three photos from my shoot, as well as the top 3 duds:
Overall, the AI headshots from Try It On AI were okay. I got a few decent photos, but not really any that I’d be willing to put on my website or use for my business social. The “best” photos from above are a bit too glam for my usual look.
Most of the photos either had me with long hair, no glasses, or with makeup that I wouldn’t normally wear. This is pretty key for me because being a pixie-wearer is a big part of my brand recognizability. Also
, one or two of them were just totally bad, like the one above where I have 15 fingers!
Not that Try It On AI can’t give great results. One of my friends and life coach for neurodiverse physicians, Krystal Sodaitis, also used Try It On AI, and really loved some of her photos. See her results below:
The top row are her seed photos, and the bottom row are the top 3 she loved.
She noted that some of the generated photos looked nothing like her, making her look too slim or too gray-haired, but a few she does love and uses for her coaching practice.
All in all, my thoughts about Try It On AI are that it’s a fairly trendy platform, so the photos are meant to be more for the “fun of it” and aren’t as geared towards professional use.
Also, there was no “download all” button on the website, so you have to download each photo one at a time — not a great user experience!
HeadshotPro was the second AI headshot generator I tried.
It’s much more geared toward professional teams who want to have cohesive photos of all their employees without needing to book a physical shoot.
Their interface is designed to help individual team members upload photos of themselves, with a team lead actually paying for the service.
That’s pretty time-saving if you’re using HeadshotPro in a corporate environment!
It costs $29, and you get 120 headshots after 2 hours.
HeadshotPro also required 20 photos, and validates if the photo is usable with each one you upload. This was kind of a pain, especially when it told me that specific photos I had uploaded weren’t going to work so I had hunt for replacements.
I hoped the validation would mean I’d get a better result, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case for me.
Most of the photos I got made me look older than I am, but generally did use glasses and absolutely NAILED my hairstyle, so that was nice.
See my results below:
All in all, I wasn’t all that happy with the results I got with HeadshotPro because most of them made me look too old.
But there are one or two I might consider using. For teams, I can see this being a super useful tool to get cohesive AI headshots!
AI Suitup is marketed towards individual professionals who want headshots to use on their resumes, LinkedIn, and team pages.
There’s no bulk purchase option for teams, though, like there is on HeadshotPro and another generator I’ll mention later. So you’ll have to pay for each individual team member’s generation individually.
It costs $20 and you get 100 AI-generated headshots just an hour or two after uploading your 15 seed photos. Here were my results:
The AI Suitup generated photos were okay. They felt more artificial than I prefer, probably because of the indoor studio-feel.
Also, again, many of them made me look older than I am. They did do a pretty good job of using the right hair and glasses, though.
On the few “worst” photos, the shadow of glasses was present on the face, but the person wasn’t actually wearing glasses. So that was weird.
Lastly, I tried Studioshot AI. This one is also marketed toward more teams.
I appreciate that you can choose a photography style for your shoot, customizing the lighting setup, background, and overall aesthetic.
Their pricing is on a sliding scale, starting at $30 per person for 80 photos, but getting less costly per person the more people you’re generating for.
Here were the photos I got from Studioshot AI after two days of processing:
These were by far my favorites out of all the AI headshot generators that I tried. They actually used my glasses and only gave me short hair, unlike some of the other options.
These results might have been the best because Studioshot AI actually has a team of photo editors who tweak the AI generated images after they’re created (hence the longer processing time).
And you get unlimited revisions if you don’t like the first edits!
So that’s a unique value proposition that sets Studioshot AI above the rest.
A final note about AI headshots…
I hope this has been helpful, and gives you a good idea of what types of images to expect from these 4 different AI headshot generators!
I’m curious…would you use an AI generated headshot on your website? I’d suggest that if you do, make sure that it looks very similar to you in hairstyle, makeup, and glasses (if you’re a glasses wearer like me).
I’d also suggest you don’t use AI generated photos in the main areas of your site (like the top sections of your pages) unless you truly don’t have any professional photos you can place in those spots.
I say this because the primary job of a website, especially for a coach, is to connect and build trust with your audience.
If you’re using AI headshots in most or all places on your site, the photos may end up feeling less real and relatable to your audience, which definitely isn’t the result you want!
That said, if you’re just getting started in your coaching business, I think AI generated photos that look like you can be a great minimum viable way to get going on a website without needing a professional photo shoot right away.
AI headshots definitely aren’t going to replace eventually getting yourself a proper photo shoot!