I’m Going to Solely Publish Photos of Myself on My Medium Stories

Am I being paranoid?

Bonnie Barton
4 min readMay 27


Bonnie can’t format but at least she didn’t use a filter/author’s image

When I first started writing on Medium in late 2017, there was a prolific writer who always attached photos of herself to her blog posts. She shared (and shared and shared) stories about her ex-beau who dumped her in Asia and the aftermath of that experience.

I never particularly minded the omnipresent photos of her but eventually tired of the rehashing of the same story. I haven’t read anything by her in years and am unsure whether she still writes on Medium. Hopefully, she’s finally gotten the closure she was seeking.

I can say that I never intended to use my own image in my blogging. I’ve never written anonymously and have always had a photo of myself for my profile page. But I was happy to use web images for my writing — music, personal, dating, and the other various stories I’ve shared.

I made a valiant attempt to use photos that were properly referenced, especially for my non-music writing. My music writing was more challenging. I stayed away from professional photos of favorite bands and musicians as much as I could because instinctively I knew I was on shaky ground for the rights.

On the one hand, I understand artists and photographers want to protect their work. On the other hand, I’m just some no-name blogger who loves music and makes pennies from that writing. I’ve had fun trying to track down more obscure or unusual photos to attach to my music stories.

It’s gotten increasingly frustrating to use images that are not my own in my writing.

About 2 years ago I grew so tired of trying to find photos of relatable middle-aged women on Pexels and Unsplash that I threw in the towel completely. Other women on Medium have made similar observations so I feel validated it’s not my imagination.

Ultimately, I decided to only use my own images for my personal stories since then. It’s less stressful and feels more authentic.

But I think I’m going to pivot to including my own photos in ALL of my writing, even music, going forward.

I don’t want to stress out my kind editors at the Riff (or other publications). I don’t want to worry about letting them down or…



Bonnie Barton

Queen of mixtapes. Lover of music, travel, and fashion. Authentic sharer of life lessons and dating foibles.