The iMac I have at work has an iSight, which is a decent camera. The picture I had taken for my OS X account was better than previous pictures I had. So, I wanted to get that picture and use it for my Plaxo personal card. Well, after searching in a few places, I couldn’t find it. After a bit of digging, I finally found it. If you need this, then this post is for you.
So, when you setup your account on OS X, you have the option of taking a photo. This photo is then stored with your account. You can see the picture in the System Preferences when you look at your account. Of course, you can also change it again… right there. If an app can use your picture, (like iChat, Address Book, or Mail), it can just use that one. The mystery, though, is where that picture gets stored.
Well, since it is associated with your account, it gets stored in a central location on the machine. (i.e. Not your home directory). I guess this simplifies the retrieval of these photos when the various systems need those photos (login window or the user switcher). So, I took a look in the netinfo store for my user account (ah, just like ye ole NextSTEP)… and lo, there is the path to the photo. Apparently, it stores the stuff in /Library/Caches/.
The exact name depends on your user id or uid. To get this number, just run id in a terminal. For example, my uid is 502. So, for my user id, it would use the name /Library/Caches/com.apple.user502pictureCache.tiff for my photo.
Awesome, done. All I had to do was open the file and then save it as a JPEG via Preview.