I think what you're trying to do here is Gamificiation, something many "profile" based services do. Rather than just biasing the search to show users with images first, make a game of filling out your profile. Make adding a profile image worth a lot of "points." If you're going to sort by people with profile pics first, tell users that especially when they have no profile pic. Have a blurb like "Want to help people find you? Add a profile picture? Read why..."
Facebook and LinkedIn are good examples of gamifying profile completion; LinkedIn gives you a % score on how complete your profile is, and Facebook has some steps to help you fill in your profile. Facebook goes the extra mile and lets users know when their friends' profiles are incomplete, and gives you (or it did, not sure with the new layout) messages like "Help X fill out their profile:" and would ask you to suggest a profile picture or suggest friends for that contact. This can help add some (friendly, nonforced) social pressure from a person's real friends to add a picture/contacts, rather than punishing them systematically for not doing so.
Option one doesn't seem too devious but I would prefer the gamification approach which encourages adding a profile picture rather than punishing not doing so, but your concern about wanting users to appear "active" by using a picture is certainly valid.
The email option is extremely slow and has the issue that it's completely detached from your website. If the site itself encourages posting a profile picture, I'll notice it every time I use the site--until I add my picture! If the site doesn't encorage it, I'll only notice a whole month after I started the service. Maybe I've even left the service because no one friended me--because no one knows who I am.