I ran across this at a client after an Enterprise Voice deployment, they had a small handful of users who just couldn’t see photos in Lync. The silhouettes are there, just not the actual pictures.
Of course the first thing you check is that pictures are enabled in Lync, from Tools->Options->Personal and “Show pictures of contacts”. But of course they are, or you wouldn’t see the outlines where a picture should go.
Next you check to see if a proxy or filter is getting in your way. You can look at your photo cache directory in \users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync\email@example.com\Photo. In this case it’s downloading the images, if you rename one to .jpg (it might be a .png or something else) you can open it and see it in an image editor. If you delete the directory, the cached photos come back. Lync is set up right, and pictures are being downloaded but not displayed.
So WHY aren’t they showing up? As we’ve discussed before, there are Office settings outside of Lync that can affect Lync. In this case it’s a setting in Outlook. Within Outlook if you navigate to Options->People, you’ll see a checkbox for “Show user photographs when available (requires restarting Outlook)”. Checking that box, restarting Outlook, then restarting Lync will turn those silhouettes into the beautiful glamor shots that you expect from your friends and coworkers.
If you found this article, hopefully I’ve saved you a minute or two. Thanks for reading!