No offense, but I am not sure what made you guys think/believe for a second that that was a picture of a young-looking adult?
That was/is clearly the picture a young child - I goggled and found it (it is the first one):
BTW - I am still seeing the child pic. Where did you see the other (fake) picture?
You're allowed to have no pic if you prefer. Using someone else's is at best dishonest and at worst fraudulent. Once someone knows you're lying about how you look, what else might they think you could be lying about?
re: "No offense, but I am not sure what made you guys think/believe for a second that that was a picture of a young-looking adult?"
Tabassum, I have found that the people who post in the Community Forum are a pretty helpful and forgiving bunch. People offer advice that is designed to make your experience on oDesk better.
So if anybody (including myself) discusses your specific situation, it's not to "call you out" or anything. It's just to be helpful. And I think we're a bit voyeuristic (at least I am), so when somebody offers us a glimpse into their oDesk life, we enjoy seeing somebody who is doing things in a little bit different way. If we're being honest, sometimes a bit of "scandal" can be entertaining.
Speaking personally, the original photo we saw was smaller and cropped in such a way that I could imagine this was the photo of "Tabassum", who may look very young naturally, and I assumed that maybe it was an older photo of her when she was younger. My suggestion was based on the presumption that it was an actual photo of her, but not an optimal photo to use for being hired. I didn't immediately assume that it was a stock photo.
But, yes, when Ela points out the actual full-size photo... The original child photo is of somebody who looks even younger... The full size, uncropped photo I'm seeing looks like a child who could be between the ages of 5 and 8... not twelve.
The way that photo was originally cropped, it didn't look so much like a stock photo.
The new photo Tabassum posted looks VERY MUCH like a stock photo, which would be fine if it was not ACTUALLY a stock photo, and if it was a photo I could believe was of somebody named "Tabassum," from the (non-U.S.) country she is actually from. The stock photo looks like it is a photo of somebody named something like "Jennifer Dougherty" or "Sandra Jamison", who lives in Sioux City, Iowa or San Diego, California.
Of course constractors shouldn't be using stock photos to present a photo of somebody other than themselves, but if somebody is going to do that, it would help if the photo did not inspire people to look for the original source photo, due to the discrepancy between the name and the photo, and due to the quality of the photo.
Any use of a stock photo is risky, however, because getting caught doing that kind of thing can lead to account suspension.
Speaking of my own photo, I HOPE that it represents a high-quality photo that rivals stock photos in terms of quality. But I know that there is no risk of my photo being discovered to be a stock photo, because that's actually a picture of me.
I'm glad I use a real photo of myself. Just two days ago a client who hired me on oDesk pointed out that he lives only a few miles away from me and asked if we could meet for a consultation in person. I was happy to do so, because everything in my profile about who I am, what I look like, and where I live is all true. If I had lied about what city or country I live in, what my expertise is, or posted a photo of somebody else, I would not have been able to meet for a (paid) consultation like that.
Also, sometimes clients ask me to do paid consultation via Skype or other video conferencing technologies, and in those cases it would be a problem if the person they saw talking to them via video chat was not the person whose photo they saw on my oDesk profile page.
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