Can You Use AI for a Headshot Photo? Lessons from Grandpa’s Handmade Rugs

Today, I’m diving into a question that’s been buzzing in the photography community: “Can you use AI for a headshot photo?” But before I answer that, let me take you on a little trip down memory lane to my grandpa’s living room.

My grandpa worked in Iran before I was born. When he moved back to Canada he brought with him some Persian rugs. Each one is a tapestry of colours and intricate patterns. What made these rugs extraordinary wasn’t just their beauty, but a unique characteristic – each had a deliberate imperfection. My grandpa used to say, “It’s the flaw that makes them perfect.” Factories can produce any number of identical items but a factory cannot produce unique items. This philosophy has stuck with me throughout my photography journey.

The rug I can still vividly remember had blue dots all around the perimeter of the rug but one of the little dots was yellow. This was intentional and put there by its creator to prove that the rug was handmade.

Now, back to our burning question: “Can you use AI for a headshot photo?” Sure, AI has made leaps and bounds. It can mimic styles, patterns, and even human faces. But here’s the catch – AI cannot capture the essence of a person, the ‘deliberate imperfection’ that makes each of us unique.

When I take a headshot or a portrait, it’s not just about getting the lighting right or the angle perfect. It’s about capturing the essence of the person in front of the lens – their story, their personality, their unique traits. Just like the imperfect stitch in grandpa’s rugs, these are the things that can’t be replicated by AI.

This isn’t to say that AI doesn’t have a place in the world of photography. It does, and its capabilities are honestly fascinating. But when it comes to capturing the real, authentic you, there’s no substitute for a human touch.

Rob trendiak photography - corporate headshot photographer

I use AI every day. I use it to create content, edit photos, edit videos, craft emails, make systems and so on… When it comes to portraits, your unique characteristics make you you. Your “imperfections” are not imperfections. Your individuality is like your fingerprint in history.

I photoshop my portraits and I use AI to make my job quicker and easier with often better results but I keep what makes you you. If you have any questions about what my process is when it comes to retouching images check out my article on Retouching and Photoshopping Portraits

So, the next time you think about using AI for a headshot, remember grandpa’s rugs. Remember that it’s the little imperfections, the unique quirks of your personality, that make a photo not just a picture, but a story.

Photography is an art that celebrates these imperfections, these unique stitches in the fabric of our lives. It’s about capturing the real you – and that’s something AI is still learning to understand.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you ever considered an AI-generated portrait? What’s your ‘imperfection’ that makes you uniquely you?