Is a Virtual Photo Shoot Right for You?

By Michelle Cosby (Follow us on LinkedIn)

Throughout the years, I have lost track of the countless headshots I have had taken in my career. Some of these were captured by professional photographers, while others were taken by good souls armed with cameras. However, there is only one single headshot that I love. It is quite the phenomenon – the feeling of not quite being photogenic, even though I possess the advantage of dimples that add a hint of charm.

One day, while scrolling through LinkedIn, I stumbled upon a post by Beth Ziesenis about how she got fantastic headshots through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). I was instantly sold! I went straight to StudioShot, a virtual photo shoot service, to see how I too could have an amazing virtual photo shoot.

Stepping into this new arena, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that for the low, low price of $29.25, I could acquire around 100 AI-generated photographs. The process was easy and straightforward. I began by creating an account and then had to decide whether I wanted a headshot of myself or one for a team. This was followed by the opportunity to select a backdrop from a range of eight options. Think law firm chic!

With my choices made, I proceeded to upload about 20 selfies. Though I am typically a rule-follower, I slightly deviated from only uploading selfies, and I included a few solo shots of myself.  Touch-ups are also included in your package, but I did not use this feature.

StudioShot says the turnaround time is 2 business days. I had my headshots in about 25 minutes. My overall impression? These pics were fantastic! The array of headshots stood out for all the right reasons: the diversity in backgrounds, the choices of outfits, and most importantly, the striking resemblance to me. Among the hundred shots provided, only a handful were verging on an alien-like appearance.

I now had the AI photoshoot bug and decided to try a different style of virtual photo shoot, something distinctive.  To that end, I found TryItOn. The process mirrored that of StudioShot: submit a collection of 10-20 selfies and select my preferred backdrop. Distinctly setting itself apart, TryItOn offered the option of choosing multiple backgrounds for the virtual photoshoot. Ranging from classic black and white to beauty-inspired shots, even Hollywood glamour. The possibilities were as extensive as my curiosity. Priced at $17, it was an investment I made enthusiastically. Customizations after the initial shoot are available for $10. I eagerly waited to see the results, with hopes of enhancing my dating profile with a touch of digital allure.

Regrettably, my high expectations were met with disappointment as TryItOn’s offerings proved to be lackluster, in my humble opinion. Many photos barely resembled me. In an unexpected twist, one image bore an uncanny likeness to the comedian Leslie Jones. Additionally, photos had beauty marks that I do not have, and there were several pictures that I found misrepresented my facial features. Out of the 100 photos I received from TryitOn, only 5 got my stamp of approval.

Yes, you are essentially giving a company the permission to create a deepfake of you. Read the privacy statements before you commit. However, despite the potential caveats, my experimentations with AI-facilitated photoshoots have been productive. Different companies have different approaches to how the AI generates the photo. So, I would recommend using a few companies to see which you prefer. I will 100% use StudioShot again in the future.


Notes Between Us (NBU) is a blog about conversations and topics of interest to the writers. The writers are expressing their personal opinions solely. The essays represent their personal beliefs and not those of their workplaces or any organization they are associated with.