How to Cite a Picture or Image in APA

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Referencing visual media in your research paper, thesis, or dissertation can be an engaging and effective way to support your argument. Photographs, paintings, infographics, and maps are only a few examples of the many types of visual content that can be included.

In this guide, you will learn how to create accurate APA citations for digital images, infographics, maps, and even artwork from museums. The information from this guide comes from the 7th edition of Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Chapter 10, Section 10.14).

Looking to cite a different type of media, like an audio recording or a radio interview? EasyBib.com has citing tools that can help! There are also other guides on these different media types, like how to cite a movie in APA and how to cite a YouTube video in APA.


Guides Overview

Here is an overview of everything this page includes:


Citing vs. ‘reproducing’

This guide provides information on how to cite images and photographs. However, reproducing the image inside of your essay or research paper might require additional permissions and/or attributions. Section 12.15 of the Publication Manual provides more information on reproducing images and graphics.

Creating an APA 7 citation for a digital image is easy. In the following example, we are going to show you how to cite a digital image found online.

Reference Page
Structure

Author last name, First initial. (Publication or creation date). Title of image [Type of media]. Name of publisher, museum, or university. URL

Example

Stone, M. (2020). [Picture of fireflies at night in Congaree National Park] [Photograph]. National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/06/synchronous-fireflies-rare-look-congaree-national-park/#/fireflies-congaree-1994.jpg

Note: In the above example, the photograph is not presented with a title. For untitled photographs, a description of the photo is included inside of square brackets in the place of the title. 

In-text citation
Parenthetical (Stone, 2020)
Narrative Stone (2020)

Citing an image from a museum or a museum website

The following citation structure can be used for all types of museum artwork, including paintings, photographs, drawings, and even sculptures.

Reference Page
Structure

Author last name, First initial. (Publication or creation date). Title of artwork [Type of media]. Name of museum, Location of museum. URL if applicable.

Example

Monet, C. (c. 1900) Waterloo bridge [Painting]. Denver Art Museum, Colorado, United States.

Note: If you accessed an image through a museum’s website or online collection, then include the URL at the end of the reference entry.

In-text citation
Parenthetical (Monet 1900)
Narrative Monet (2020)

Citing an infographic

According to APA 7, infographics are treated identically to any other type of image or photograph. Infographics tend to include all the necessary reference information within the image itself, usually in the bottom corner.

Reference Page
Structure

Author last name, First initial. (Publication or creation date). Title of infographic [Infographic]. Name of publisher or organization. URL

Example

Lutz, E. (2014). An animated chart of 42 North American butterflies [Infographic]. Tabletop Whale. https://tabletopwhale.com/2014/08/27/42-butterflies-of-north-america.html

In-text citation
Parenthetical (Lutz 2020)
Narrative Lutz (2020)

Citing a map

Reference Page
Structure

Author last name, First initial. (Publication or creation date). Title of map [Map]. Name of publisher or organization. URL

Example

Cambridge University Press. (1912). Historical map of the religious divisions of Germany c. 1610 [Map]. Emerson Kent. https://www.emersonkent.com/map_archive/germany_1610.htm

In-text citation
Parenthetical (Cambridge 2020)
Narrative Cambridge (2020)

Citing a map from Google Maps

Dynamically created maps like those generated by Google Maps do not have titles, so  the map must be cited with a clear description in brackets, as well as a retrieval date (Publication manual, p.347).

Reference Page
Structure

Program or service. (n.d.). [Description of map]. Retrieval month, day, year, from URL

Example

Google. (n.d.). [Google Maps directions for driving from Auckland to Wellington, New Zealand]. Retrieved June 13, 2020 from https://bit.ly/37wTTvx

Note: Some Google Maps links can get unnecessarily long. Link shortener services like Bitly and Ow.ly allow users to create shortened links that will make your references list cleaner and easier to look at. 

In-text citation
Parenthetical (Google, n.d.)
Narrative Google (n.d.)

Citing PowerPoint slides

Reference Page
Structure

Last name, First initial. (Year, Month date of presentation). Title of presentation [PowerPoint slides]. Website name. URL

Example

Rodriguez, M. (2020). Writing your discussion section [PowerPoint slides]. SlideShare. https://www.slideshare.net/brianhousand/writing-discussion-sec-2020/

Note: Include the learning management system name and URL when you are writing for an audience that does not have 

In-text citation
Parenthetical (Rodriguez, 2020)
Narrative Rodriguez (2020)

Citing lecture notes

Reference Page
Structure

Last name, First initial. (Year, Month date of lecture). [Description of lecture topic]. Department name, name of university. URL

Example

Sanchez, C. (2019, March 22). [Lecture notes on commas and semicolons]. English and Modern Languages Department, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. https://www.cpp.edu/class/english-modern-languages/index.shtml

 

In-text citation
Parenthetical (Sanchez, 2019)
Narrative Sanchez (2019)

Citing clip art or a stock image

Reference Page
Structure

Last name, First initial. (Year, Month date of publication). Name of clip art or stock image [Source type]. Website name. URL

Example

Kuba. (2022, February 6). Bob Marley improved [Clip art]. Openclipart. https://openclipart.org/detail/335589/bob-marley-improved

Note: No citation is necessary for clip art from Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint (Publication manual, p. 346)

In-text citation
Parenthetical (Kuba, 2022)
Narrative Kuba (2022)

Here’s a quick video overview of how to cite an image or picture in APA:


What You Need

The guidelines for citing visual works are detailed in section 10.14 of the APA handbook and include a number of different images and source types. In every case, the following information is required:

  • Name of author, artist, or photographer
  • Date of publication or creation
  • Title of work
  • A bracketed description of media type (e.g., [Photograph] or [Painting])
  • Publisher, production company, or museum name
  • Location of publisher (if it is from a museum or university)
  • URL if accessed online

For most images sourced online, the above information is easily accessible and usually provided alongside the image.

For digital images, using Google’s reverse image search is an effective way to determine the creator and creation date of a particular image.


References

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

Cambridge University Press. (1912). Historical map of the religious divisions of Germany c. 1610 [Map]. Emerson Kent. https://www.emersonkent.com/map_archive/germany_1610.htm

Google. (n.d.). [Google Maps directions for driving from Auckland to Wellington, New Zealand]. Retrieved June 13, 2020 from https://bit.ly/37wTTvx

Lutz, E. (2014). An animated chart of 42 North American butterflies [Infographic]. Tabletop Whale. https://tabletopwhale.com/2014/08/27/42-butterflies-of-north-america.html

Monet, C. (c. 1900) Waterloo bridge [Painting]. Denver Art Museum, Colorado, United States.

Stone, M. (2020). [Picture of fireflies at night in Congaree National Park] [Photograph]. National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/06/synchronous-fireflies-rare-look-congaree-national-park/#/fireflies-congaree-1994.jpg


Published 20, 2012. Updated June 23, 2020.

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and the in-house librarian at EasyBib. You can find her here on Twitter. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.


 

 

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How do I cite an image?

You will need the name of the image creator, the image title or an image description, the year of publication, the name of the publisher or website, and the URL (if it’s online). Here are two examples:

MLA:
Johnson, Herbert. Critical Moments. 1921. Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/resource/acd.2a09222/.

APA:
Johnson, H. (1921). Critical moments [Photograph]. Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/resource/acd.2a09222/

See this guide for more information on citing an image in APA.

How do I cite an image in APA style?

To cite an image in APA style, it is important that you know some basic information such as the name of the photographer or artist, title of the image, publisher/museum/gallery, and/or URL (uniform resource locator). The templates for in-text citations and reference list entries of an image along with examples are given below:

In-text citation template and examples:

Narrative:

Author Surname (Publication Year)

Watkins (1867)

Parenthetical:

(Author Surname, Publication Year)

(Watkins, 1867)

Reference list entry template and example:

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Title of the image [Medium]. Name of the Museum, location of museum. URL

Watkins, C. E. (1867). View on the Columbia, cascades [Photograph]. The Met, New York, NY, United States. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/262612

You need to set the title of the image in italics and sentence case. The medium of the image should be set inside square brackets after the title. Do not give a period after the URL.

How do I cite an image with no author in APA format?

To cite an image with no author in APA style, it is important that you know some basic information such as the title of the image, publication year, publisher/museum/gallery, and/or URL (uniform resource locator). The templates for in-text citations and reference list entries of an image along with examples are given below:

In-text citation template and examples:

If the work does not have an author, cite the source by its title or a shortened version using the first word or two. For example, a parenthetical citation might look like this:

Parenthetical:

(Title of the Image, publication year)

(Parliament, Vienna, Austro-Hungary, ca. 1890)

Reference list entry template and example:

Title of the image. (Publication Year). [Medium]. Name of museum/gallery, location. URL

Parliament, Vienna, Austro-Hungary. (ca. 1890). [Photograph]. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., United States. https://www.loc.gov/item/2002708394/

You need to set the title of the image in italics and sentence case. The medium of the image should be set inside square brackets after the date. Do not give a period after the URL.