Debating between AI-generated headshots or hiring a professional photographer?

Carla Morgado posing a client during a headshot session

Let’s break down the pros and cons.

You recently realized you’d benefit from a new headshot, and you’re thinking about using an AI generator. I’d like you to consider that although AI headshots are quick and budget-friendly, there’s more to consider. Here’s why hiring a professional photographer is the best way to get a headshot that, showcases an authentic image of you.

The Hype Around AI Headshots VS Professional Headshots

AI headshots sound awesome, right? They’re convenient, cheap, and quick. Just snap a selfie, use an app, and voila, you have a professional-looking headshot. Perfect for busy people or those on a budget. You don’t need to schedule a photo shoot and can update your look as often as you like.

But here’s the downside: AI-generated images often feel fake. They look polished but end up feeling more like an avatar version than a true, genuine reflection of who you are. They lack the human touch and subtle nuances that make a photo personal and engaging​.


Let’s take me for example. Hit play on the image on the left to see my selfie (completely not retouched, as evidenced by my dry skin and very defined eye wrinkles) transform to my AI-generated headshot. Since this is a selfie the lighting is not the most flattering for my features. And because the face is left natural without any retouching, in comparison with the smooth polished look of my neck, blazer and hair the result feels unnatural.

Some More Sample AI Headshots.

I tried multiple times to get what could be considered a good headshot; these were the best of the bunch. And yet I still wouldn’t feel comfortable using any of these on my LinkedIn profile.

Compared To My Most Recent Professional Headshots,

What do you think of these? I feel they have more energy and life. The professional lighting is more flattering, and the image feels consistent and real overall.

The Difference Professional Photography Makes.

So why is hiring a professional photographer the better way to go? With a pro, you get more than just a picture. You get an experienced guide who helps you with poses, expressions, and wardrobe choices. They’ll ensure your new image is an authentic, professional version of you.

Professional photographers are skilled at lighting, angles, and settings to bring out the best of your features and personality. This personal touch ensures your photos aren’t just high quality, but also uniquely you.

For example, in my professional photos, the light in my eyes is brighter, my expression is more engaged, and the overall image looks cohesive. It feels more real, which is crucial in a world where people are slow to trust and quick to judge authenticity.

AI Headshots vs. Professional Headshots: Authenticity vs. Perfection

Here’s the big difference: authenticity. AI headshots often lack realness. They can feel sterile and detached. Whereas a professional photographer’s image captures your personality and is customized to enhance your best features,. It’s these subtle, genuine differences that make a headshot feel more authentic to the viewer.​

The headshot you choose to represent yourself on websites—like LinkedIn, your business website, or even dating profiles—should be a true reflection of you. People can tell when a photo feels real versus when it feels like it’s fake. I’m sure by now you’ve seen some AI-generated headshots of friends and colleagues, what did you think of them?

Sarah Johnston Founder of The Briefcase Coach has written a very in-depth and interesting article on the subject if you’d like to read more HERE.

Wrapping It Up

AI headshots might be tempting because they’re easy and cheap, but they fall short on authenticity and personal touch. Investing in a professional photographer is worth it. You’ll get a headshot that looks fantastic, feels real, and represents the true you.

It’s about making a strong, genuine impression, and that’s something only a professional can deliver.

For anyone serious about their personal brand or professional image, a pro photographer is the way to go. It’s an investment in yourself that pays off every time someone sees your photo.

I’m incredibly grateful to connect with people through photography every day. Don’t wait to capture your best self! Contact me today to schedule your portrait session and experience the joy of being photographed.

Studio located in Milton, Ontario CANADA. Serving Toronto and the GTA.

Sessions are available by appointment only.

Please call (647) 561-0118 or e-mail to book your session.

Carla Morgado

With a charming studio located in Milton ON and serving Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, Burlington, Georgetown and Halton Hills

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