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Make your own marvellous mugshots (from nothing more than a few scruffy selfies)

AI generated headshots have come quite a way in the last 12 months.

Hopefully, this post will at least give you a chuckle.

In yesterday’s post about bios, I promised that I would get you a headshot worthy of a TED talk today.

The truth is AI headshots have come a long way in a year, but they probably still have a fair way to go.

About this time last year at the WIRE conference, when I gave my first keynote on AI, I showed everyone a bunch of disheveled selfies, as you can see below:

Then, on the following slide, I showed how these were transformed by using Headshots by AI (circa Feb 2023)

I think we can all agree that the ‘transformed’ me into something smoother than a beach ball with Botox - looks absolutely nothing like me (and oh! to look that cool in a wardrobe of blazers that in reality would give me a middle-aged meltdown in matter of minutes here on the Gold Coast… )

So, when we kicked off the first AI course earlier this year, it seemed right and fair to attendees to see if things had improved on the headshot front.

First attempt: Remini

Six selfies are not enough for Remini - I needed to find another 11 awkward selfies to upload.

You then need to pick a model image, which will generate mashups of your selfie(s) with the model on all sorts of different backgrounds (basically, this is how AI influencers are made!).

So anyway, here are a few of the results:

All of a sudden, I’m in Paris

If only I was still that skinny

This one is just all kinds of wrong!

I soooooo did not ask for this!

But Remini can do more than generate AI photos; it can enhance photos and video - help you time travel to your older or younger self, and more.

So you might want to test it out on that basis… but please do not use these as your headshots - as soon as your clients meet you in person, they’ll think you’re a bit of a weirdo. Enough said.

Second Attempt: Secta.ai

I was watching a Chris Do podcast on YouTube when I saw a recommendation for another AI headshot company Secta Labs.

So if it's on a Chris Do show and the mention of a product didn’t end up on the cutting room floor, it must be kinda OK (well, you would think, anyway!)

Basically, you upload the same bunch of selfies, and it sends you back 300+ photo options as a virtual shoot.

So, I handed over my $49 USD in the name of research to see what I would get.

Here’s a selection of what came back:

Of course, the pink hair is weird - but these shots are way more like what you would see from a professional retoucher (assuming professional hair and makeup).

The difference here is that I am quite happy that some of the laugh lines have been left in; and the assortment of earrings the AI has given me is relatively on point.

NB: If you need a reminder of where these photos came from, scroll back up and look at those bedraggled selfies again. It’s pretty incredible.

The final test will be to update my Facebook/LinkedIn profile pic and see who guesses.

So, if you need a mug shot for your media kit and don’t have time to hire a photographer, Secta Labs gets my vote for now.

Happy Hunting 🚀