I'm not at all comfortable using my own picture. In fact, it took me five years on sites like this to even consider putting some version of a real picture online. First, I don't like public exposure. Second, I don't like the idea of someone being able to copy a whole picture and turn it into a fake I.D. if they're so inclined.
I've actually turned down some writing work because a professional head-shot was required with the profile or the article. BUT, within the last year, there's been more and more talk about how people who put real pictures can seem more real, and therefore, trustworthy to some other people. After years online, even I'd become cynical enough to have a hard time paying much attention to anyone who didn't have some version of a real (and authentic looking) picture.
Also, though, I'd occasionally gotten e.mails (when I didn't have my real picture) from people who seemed to imagine that I was something I'm not, and I'd think, "What on Earth do you think I am??!!"
So, with those things adding up, I decided to at least post a partial picture of my own face. I tried to make it kind of whimsical, but when I look it at it it looks more spooky. Oh well.... It is what it is.
When I decided to finally use a real photo (and Google and HubPages recommended using the same one everywhere online), I did put it on Facebook and Google+. After awhile, though, I got too uncomfortable and went back to the non-face photo everywhere but here. Sometimes the "shy" part of me gets squirmy and I take the real photo off for a day or so, but I do notice that my profile then looks a lot "colder" and less personal - so I end up putting it back (at least for now). I don't really think my real picture represents me best, because I don't look on the outside like the kind of person I am on the inside. (That was another reason I didn't want my real photo online: I have a hard enough time in offline life with people making assumptions based on my face and demeanor. I didn't want that introduced in my online life too. I think there's a chance that having the real picture may have actually hurt my credibility, rather than helped it. Oh well... For now, it's what I'm using. What I do tomorrow may be another thing. :) )