How to Cite a Photograph in APA


When discussing visual arts in your paper, you need to cite all examples of other people's work in your American Psychological Association reference list. Photos taken as part of your own research are not outside references and do not need to be cited. How you cite a photo depends whether it is collected in a larger work, such as a book or journal, or on display in a physical location.

Citing an Image Taken From a Book

  • How you cite images on your reference list depends on the source in which you found them. If the image you're citing is in a book or other print collection, cite the entire book on your reference list in the following format:

    Author Lastname, First Initial(s). (Year). Title of book: Any subtitles. Publisher Location: Publisher Name.

    Here's an example:

    Muir, R. (1980). The English village. Over Wallop, UK: Thames & Hudson.

Citing a Book From a Gallery or the Web

  • To cite a photo from a gallery or museum on your reference list, directly include the name of the artist and the location of the exhibit in your citation:

    Artist Lastname, First Initial(s). (Work Date). Title of photo [Photograph]. Gallery location: Gallery name.

    For example:

    Kent, C. (1976). Man with cape [Photograph]. New York, NY: Guggenheim Museum.

    Photographs taken from the Web include the same information, but replace exhibit information with the Web URL. The photo is also classified as an "online image" instead:

    Gutierrez, R. (n.d.). Jungle reclaimed [Online image]. Retrieved from

    You can use "n.d." in place of the year if you can't locate the date information for the photo you are citing.

In-Text Citation

  • When you describe the contents of a photo in text, provide a citation to your source. In the case of a photo in a book, reference it with the name of the author, year of publication and the page on which the photo appears:

    The old building's sack hoist shows that it used to be a mill (Muir, 1980, p. 88).

    To cite a gallery or Web image in text, include the artist's name and the year of the photo:

    The man ascends at a 45° angle, backlit by the sun (Kent, 1976).

    If date is not available, include "n.d." in the citation:

    The vines and trees of Angkor Wat have begun to eat away at the stone (Gutierrez, n.d.).


  • Photo Credit View Stock/View Stock/Getty Images
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