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I used to use an illustration of mine which represented my work much better than my photography. Nothing happened during months, but one day my account was suspended until I replaced it with a photo. I wish I could go back.
I was on elance for a short time before the change over to upwork, so I thought I would check it out - Now I'm stuck on Step 1 - creating my profile because they are requiring a personal profile photo which I happen to think is total BS This isn't a dating site, a social media site, nor a beauty contest. While I realize I am in the minority these days, I don't have a Facebook account, nor a LinkedIn or any other 'platform' (just an IG account becuase I do enjoy taking pictures). I have nothing to hide, but I don't post personal pictures of myself anywhere online, never mind a 'new' freelance site. I would be happy to post a logo, but not sure about even creating an account at this point given this new 'requirement' that has absolutely nothing to so with finding or providing quality freelance opportunities.
To my mind, there is nothing inherently wrong with your anonymity-favoring philosophy.
But I'm not in charge of Upwork, so my preferences do not prevail.
Upwork has essentially the OPPOSITE position on this than you do. They want real names, real addresses, real profile photos. They want to assure clients that they are dealing with a real person, and they want to be able to track contractors with a high degree of accuracy and ensure that no contractor poses as multiple people or as somebody other than themself.
It IS possible to work as a fairly successful contractor on Upwork WITHOUT HAVING A PROFILE PHOTO, but if you are generally uncomfortable with a freelance platform monitoring you, gathering informatoin about you, asking you to validate your identity, etc., then you're probably in the wrong place.
Many people value privacy a lot. And I can understand that. I absolutely do not think it's necessary for anyone to have to prove who they are unless they're providing unsatisfactionary results. How ever, I can understand why a profile picture is required. Other than that, the remaining information is only so that I can be paid for the services provided.
At the end of the day, Upwork is a company. The information I give to upwork about me will be limited to information that is already publicly available. As it happens to be that is (fortunately) the only information they require.
The best recommendation I can give you is to just go with it. It doesn't negatively impact you in any way. Odds are, there's more pictures on the internet about you than you think there are.