Most online dating services have the facility for you to include at least one photograph in your profile. There are reasons to add one and reasons not to but on balance you're usually much better off including one.
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Let's first assume that you want to add a photo to your profile and we'll come onto the positives and negatives later. Choose a photo that is of good quality. Remember that some online dating services will crop and reduce the quality themselves to improve download speeds so it helps to have a good quality image to start with. Choose a recent one that shows you in a relaxed setting preferably smiling, it certainly adds to the sparkle in someone's eyes and makes you look less intimidating. Also make sure that you can actually see you in it and not just a part of you behind some of your friends! Many online dating sites won't accept photographs with more than one person in it so as not to confuse other users. Another tip is not to choose a picture in which you're wearing sunglasses because they really obscure your face. Finally ensure that you are larger than a small dot in the photo because when an operative crops the image and blows it up you'll end up looking little more than a grainy smudge!
It also possible to judge how well an online dating site is run by the sort of photographs that are included on a profile. If the service is poorly run you will find all manner of 'adult' material. Any service worth your time and hard earned cash will look at and moderate all photographs before they are allowed to be made public.
Virtually all online dating services agree that adding a photo to your profile will result in more people viewing it - and it's not only attractive people that put photos up. There are a great many extremely attractive people that do not include a photo because they want their potential partners to get to know them as a person rather than just an attractive face. There are also some people that know they're not conventionally attractive so they post a photo so that no-one becomes disappointed when they do eventually meet up.
The only other reason for not posting a photo is if you're worried that someone you know might recognise you. If this worries you then just consider the probability of you both registering with the same site, out of the thousands of available online dating sites, and you matching up with each other! It's got to be a pretty low risk, and even if they did they can hardly blame you for wanting to change your life - and what were they doing looking at the site anyway?