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The importance of a profile photo
If you don't define your image, others will do it for you

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that the first thing we see when checking out a new profile is the photo. And if the photo you present isn’t eye-catching, or illustrative of your personal brand, you may miss your shot at making a positive first impression.
First and foremost, your profile picture stands for your online identity of who you are. The basic essence of a Profile Picture is equal to proving ownership of a profile. There is a real person behind this profile.
Just choose one of many different types:  
      Professional or Casual
      Real or Imagined
      Kids or Pets
      Brand logo, Clip Art, Artistic Expression.
You can say a lot about yourself by using a representative image instead of the obvious photographic choice. Don't waste your chance.
And you can say a lot by not showing one (unfortunately you are just leaving someone else to fill in the blanks. And usually that does not help).
Hans Boldt's profile photoRicardo Nuno Silva's profile photoAndy Anderson's profile photoAlex Garcia's profile photo
User #6 thinks the person can't figure out digital imagery.
Actually +Hans Boldt I was going to put the last image as nobody believes you don't have a camera or don't know how to upload a photo.
Thanks, +Alex Garcia, for the post. I think many people don't realize:
- the photo is the quickest tool for being recognized, not the name
- the different credibility of using a virtual image instead of a real one
- the disruption it causes (for everybody else) when the picture is changed
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