LinkedIn allows you to add a single image to your profile. It is only 80 x 80 pixels in size and so you don’t really have many options as to what you can put there. My recommendation is that it should be a headshot so that a person who may have never met you can pick you out of a crowd.
There is a strong temptation to put in a picture of yourself engaged in an activity you love, possibly one that defines you, such as being engaged in your favorite hobby or perhaps posing with your pet. But I’d say that if you do that, you’ll find that it won’t meet the objective I mention above, i.e., letting someone who has never met you to pick you out of a crowd. Anything else in an 80 x 80 pixel image will make your face smaller and thus harder to recognize. Take, for example, the 3 images above. You probably won’t be able to figure out who the first two people are, but you’d have no trouble recognizing me from my mugshot. The image doesn’t have to be captured by a professional photographer; you can do it yourself, or even extract it from an image with other people in it as I’ll explain later.
You shouldn’t feel that putting a photo on your profile is narcissitic or egotistical. For many of us, it may be just the opposite. It’s there as a convenience to others. It may help during a LinkedIn search by a long lost colleague if your name brings up 10 people with the same name. Your image may be the thing that identifies you as the person they are looking for.
There may be a good reason why you don’t want to put a photo on your profile. I have a friend who doesn’t want his photo on his profile because he’s concerned about age discrimination. He’s 24 but only looks like he’s 19 and and he doesn’t want anyone to think he’s just a kid. But that’s not a problem for most people on LinkedIn.
If you uploaded a photo when this feature first became available, you may have had trouble with it cropping the image incorrectly, but LinkedIn has improved the upload feature and allows you to center the cropping box anywhere in the photo. This means you can upload a photo with several people in it (in case you don’t have a digital image of just yourself) and may be able to crop it to have just your face in it. So if you tried this feature when it first became available last year and didn’t get a good result, you can give it another try and see if it works better now.