Have you hopped on the AI images trend yet?

Images from AI Time Machine

Ever wondered what you’d look like as an Arctic explorer, Wild West cowboy or Russian princess?

Wonder no more.

There are multiple AI image generators available online that can transform photos of you into authentic-looking, historic images from yesteryear starring you as the main character.

I saw several friends jump on this trend and I was both amazed and entertained by the photos of them in ornate Victorian garb or dressed as Greek goddesses.

I assumed there was a cost to use this service so I refrained from looking into it – until one friend shared that she got her images for free.

That’s when I, too, got on board the AI image train. I found it to be a lot of fun!

Basically, you upload as many as 25 photos of yourself to the AI image generator website or app. They ask for photos with one subject only; ideally a range of different angles, lighting, poses and expressions.

I wasn’t sure if I had the right photos to upload, as I only have pictures of me smiling. Most of the AI-generated images I’ve seen are quite serious-faced.

Here’s the crazy part: I uploaded only smiling photos and still got the straight-faced images above. The AI is able to make you look completely serious regardless of how smiley your uploaded images are.

There are a few important things to know before you upload your photos to an AI image generator site:

  • Not all of the photos will be perfect, as they are AI-generated and many images contain errors or “artifacts.” The AI seems to have an especially hard time with fingers and hands – none of my images that had hands showing were any good, and some were downright freakish. Faces are apparently the specialty, as those typically look great. It does struggle with getting teeth to look right, though.
  • The images generated are unique to your photos and even to your particular upload session. If you upload the exact same photos another time, you’ll get totally different images. Likewise, if you upload the same photos to two different AI image generator sites, you’ll get completely different images as all have slightly different themes.
  • Your uploaded photos and your resulting AI images are owned by you. You are not relinquishing the right to your image by using these sites.

For my first time, I wanted a free experience so I used the AI Time Machine from My Heritage.

On that site, you get approximately 40 photos across 5 themes for free; then, for $12 you can purchase an additional 160 images across 20 themes. The My Heritage themes range from different time periods (1920s, 1950s, 1970s. 1800s, etc) to different cultural personas (Persian princess, Greek goddess, Egyptian queen, Russian tsarina, etc).

I’ll warn you that playing with this site is quite addictive. I started with the free images and was blown away. Then I had to see more! So, I splurged on the $12 upgrade and regret nothing. It’s so much fun to see how you look across the various decades, centuries and themes.

For comparison’s sake, and because I was in awe of the gorgeous images I saw others share from the Lensa app, I also gave that one a try. I went for the basic package which was $12. For that amount, I received 100 images across about 10 different themes.

The Lensa images appear to be high quality and I really like them, but they don’t have the historical or cultural themes offered by My Heritage. The Lensa ones are more fantasy-based and ethereal; basically just for fun. I shared a bunch on my Instagram if you want to check them out.

I think the AI images offered by My Heritage are really cool from a genealogical or ancestral perspective; it is fascinating to put your image into themes that reflect the cultural attire your family members might have worn decades or even centuries ago.

I definitely plan to show my AI images to my parents while they’re visiting us for the holidays. There are a few of mine in the 1940s and 1950s themes that look so much like photos I’ve seen of my grandmothers when they were younger! I think sharing and talking about these photos together will be a really fun, multi-generational family activity.

Have you tried the AI image generator sites yet – and if so, what did you think? As always, I’d love to hear your stories.

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About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Natural born writer. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.
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