The Truth about AI Headshots: Convenience vs. Authenticity

Tara Flannery is a  Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), Photographic Craftsman, and Master of Photography based in Houston, TX.  Tara Flannery Photography specializes in corporate headshots.  See more headshots in the gallery.  Contact me to book your professional headshot today!

In recent years, AI headshots have become a popular alternative for individuals seeking a quick and cost-effective way to create professional images. While these AI tools offer convenience, they fall short in providing the authenticity, individuality, and meticulous attention to detail that a professional photographer brings to the table.

The Convenience Factor

AI headshot generators have made it possible for anyone to create a polished, professional-looking image within minutes. This can be especially appealing for individuals who need a quick solution without investing significant time or money. However, the ease and affordability come with significant trade-offs.

Lack of Authenticity

One of the primary concerns with AI headshots is their lack of authenticity. According to the 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report on Trust in Technology, 65 percent of people worry that technology will make it impossible to know if what they are seeing or hearing is real. This concern extends to AI-generated images, which can often appear artificial and fail to capture the true essence of a person.

Unrealistic and Inaccurate Results

AI headshot generators may produce images that are unrealistic or inaccurate, failing to reflect an individual’s true appearance, personality, or culture. Here are some common issues with AI headshots:

  • Inability to Match Corporate Guidelines: AI tools often struggle to adhere to specific corporate guidelines that require particular poses, expressions, or settings.
  • Lack of Custom Backgrounds: AI cannot replicate specific locations or backgrounds that might be essential for a corporate image.
  • Unnatural Skin Texture: AI-generated images often depict skin that looks rubbery and shiny, resembling a doll rather than a human being.
  • Exaggerated Facial Features: The eyes in AI headshots can appear excessively white or display over-exaggerated expressions, which can be unsettling.
  • Proportion Issues: Hands and other body parts may be cropped or improperly proportioned, leading to awkward and unrealistic images.
  • Mismatched Clothing and Style: AI tools cannot accurately represent your personal style or the clothing you actually wear, leading to images that don’t truly represent you.

Trust Issues and Ethical Concerns

The Edelman report also highlighted varying levels of trust in technology across different regions and markets, with social media being one of the most distrusted subsectors. This is particularly relevant in the context of AI-generated images, which can be seen as a form of deepfake technology. Trust is crucial when it comes to professional headshots, as these images are often the first impression someone will have of you.

Moreover, there are ethical concerns about how data used to train AI models is collected and whether it perpetuates biases. AI algorithms might not represent diverse populations accurately, leading to biased or exclusionary results.

Client AI Horror Story

In a recent session, I had the pleasure of working with Morgan Rabito, who requested an Executive Headshot Session. As we were about to begin her hair and makeup services, Morgan pulled out her phone and said, “I need to show you something.” Curiously, I watched as she revealed her AI-generated headshot, and we both burst into laughter—it had transformed her into a man! After the initial shock and laughter, we proceeded with her session. Morgan is truly gorgeous, and the professional headshots we captured showcased her authentic beauty perfectly. I’m so grateful she trusted me to provide her with headshots that truly represent her.

AI headshots

AI-generated images

The Importance of Professional Photography

Professional photographers provide a level of authenticity and personalization that AI cannot match. A professional headshot is not just about looking polished; it’s about capturing the true essence of a person. When you meet someone in real life, your headshot should make them feel like they already know you. If an AI-generated image fails to represent your true self, it defeats the purpose of a headshot.

In a world where technology often pressures us to look younger, thinner, and smoother, it’s essential to love ourselves as we are. A well-done professional headshot with subtle retouching can enhance your natural features without creating an unrealistic version of yourself. Authenticity builds trust and genuine connections, which are invaluable in both personal and professional settings.

Professional Headshot Photography


While AI headshots offer convenience and cost savings, they lack the authenticity and accuracy that professional photographers provide. Trust, individuality, and ethical considerations make a strong case for choosing professional photography over AI-generated images. When it comes to headshots, the value of an authentic, personalized image cannot be overstated.

By investing in a professional photographer, you ensure that your headshot truly represents you, helping to build trust and make meaningful connections in both your personal and professional life.

More of Morgan’s Headshots I Captured

Importance of a professional headshot photographer

Corporate headshots

Tara Flannery is a  Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), Photographic Craftsman, and Master of Photography based in Houston, TX.  Tara Flannery Photography specializes in corporate headshots.  See more headshots in the gallery.  Contact me to book your professional headshot today!




Serving the Greater Houston, Texas Area


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Tara is a member of the Professional Photographers of America PPA.
Tara is a Certified Professional Photographer.
Tara is a member of TPPA Texas Professional Photographer's Association.
Tara has earned her Master of Photography degree.
Tara has earned her Photographic Craftsman certification.
Tara is a member of the Professional Photographers Guild of Houston PPGH.
Member of the Conroe Chamber of Commerce