Using ai for headshots. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Part 1 of a 2-Part Series
The digital landscape is changing, and changing fast.
TLDR: Aragon is an AI platform that takes multiple images of you and places your face on a variety of different looks, outfits, and settings. In the post, I explore how it's done, how efficient it is, and if it's worth it.
Like it or not, AI is here to stay. Still in its infancy, AI is producing astounding results and upending industries, businesses, white collar jobs, and not to mention, the medical field... all for the better? Having been using AI technologies for the last year, I've seen it move at an incredible rate of speed within my fields of design, photography, and marketing. How you may ask? For one, I use AI technology within my job, daily, if not hourly. I've become hyper-aware of it to check results, write code, use calculations, create imagery, write and edit copy, as well as come up with full-blown marketing and social media plans at light-speed level. Now, just so we're clear, I'm not dependent upon it, yet. I use it more as a tool to aid in my project mission. Much like using Photoshop to enhance an image, or remove unwanted objects in a scene.
And did I mention, unlike the internet which is growing into young adulthood, AI is still just a newborn baby. Now, let's get right down to it and discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly with AI technology for producing headshots.
For just under $30, you can easily and somewhat effectively have AI generate a multitude of headshots, full body shots, and close-ups. The process is surprisingly simple and refined.
- Consistency and Efficiency: AI-powered tools can consistently produce high-quality results without getting tired or making errors, ensuring that every photo maintains a certain level of quality. Additionally, AI can process and edit images much faster than human photographers, saving time and increasing efficiency. Keep in mind, AI, as of now, CANNOT reproduce the same results each time.
- Automated Editing: AI can enhance portraits by automatically retouching skin, adjusting lighting, and even removing blemishes. This can speed up the post-processing phase and yield visually appealing results.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Hiring a professional photographer for headshots can be expensive. AI solutions, especially in the long run, might offer a more cost-effective option for individuals or businesses that require a large number of headshots.
- Accessibility: AI-powered tools can make high-quality portrait photography accessible to more people. Not everyone can afford a professional photographer, but they might have access to AI software or apps that can produce decent results.
How it works:
Step 1. Pay the Piper and Upload
Start by paying the fee and then uploading multiple photos to Aragon* (or your preferred platform). This should include close-ups, selfies, professional-grade photos, standing shots, posed shots, smiling photos, photos looking away from the camera, photos looking directly at the camera, cropped photos, and so on. The more images you feed into the system, the better the generated results will be. The system will guide you on which photos will work and which won't. You'll need to upload at least 16 decent shots for the software to function effectively.
Step 2. Processing Time
Depending on the service plan you choose, the system will take anywhere from one to several hours to produce results. With Aragon, the service is browser-based, meaning it will work in the background through their own servers, allowing you to continue with your work. The system does all the processing in the cloud. Keep the browser tab open and expect to check back for results in about an hour.
Step 3. Results Are In
The time's up, and while results may vary, my first experience using Aragon yielded results in about 90 minutes from signing up and finishing the photo uploads. The anticipation was reminiscent of a child on Christmas morning eager to open a long-awaited gift.
Step 4. The Reality Behind the Impressive
But wait, is this for real? Well, not quite – it's computer-generated. The system conducts face scans, takes measurements, analyzes skin tones, considers facial expressions, and takes into account minute features that we may not be fully aware of. Of course, there's also the issue of privacy, but that's a topic for another time and post. Don't misunderstand me; the results are more than impressive. My prompts were clear: "clear skin, lighter areas around the eyes (given my medium-dark olive complexion and brown eyes), a slimmer face (thanks, Lagunitas), and enhanced attention to my dimples (thanks, Mom!).
Step 5. The Fine Print
Now, here comes the catch. Although I only paid for 50 images, being a first-time user and part of their strategy to engage me, the system generated well over 200+ photos for review and download. Remember, these are not high-resolution images. They're more suitable for social media profiles or small thumbnails, lacking the quality you'd get from a professional photographer. I'll delve deeper into this in the next post titled "The Bad." Stay tuned, tap that like button—or rather, sign up below—and I'll notify you when the next post is up!
*Note, yes, I'm an affiliate of Aragon, so following the link does help support me in my ventures. Thanks!
A quick recap on the good:
- Easy to use, effective
- Large selection of images to choose from
- Quickly get an idea of what patterns and colors look good on you for professional portraits!
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