How to cite an image in APA Style
An APA image citation includes the creator’s name, the year, the image title and format (e.g. painting, photograph, map), and the location where you accessed or viewed the image.
|Format||Author name. (Year). Image title [Format]. Retrieved from URL
or Museum, Location.
|Reference list||Delacroix, E. (1826–1827). Faust attempts to seduce Marguerite
[Lithograph]. Paris, France: The Louvre.
|In-text citation||(Delacroix, 1826–1827)|
When you include an image or photo in your text, as well as citing the source, you also need to list it as a figure. Images you created yourself don’t have to be cited, but should still be included in the list of figures.
You can create your citations automatically with the free APA citation generator.
Citing images accessed online
For online images, the source location is the URL. Include a link directly to the image where possible, as it may be hard to locate from the other information given:
7th edition changes
In the 7th edition of APA, you no longer write “Retrieved from” before the URL, and you include the website name:
Thompson, M. (2020). Canyon wren [Photograph]. Flickr. https://flic.kr/p/2icfzq4
It can often be hard to find accurate information about images accessed online. Try looking for alternate sources of an image, checking image sites like Flickr that provide reliable information on their images, or finding a different image in cases where the one you planned to use has no reliable information.
However, if you do need to cite an image with no author, date or title listed, there are ways around this.
For untitled images, include a description of the image, in square brackets, where the title would usually go. If there is no publication date, add “n.d.” in place of the date, and add the date that you accessed the image.
For images where the creator is unknown, you can use the title or description in the author position:
Citing images viewed in person
If you viewed an image in person rather than online – for example in a museum or gallery, or in another text – the source information is different.
For images viewed in a museum or other institution, you include the name and location of the institution where you viewed the image:
Location information includes the city and state (e.g. Chicago, IL) for locations within the US, and the city and country anywhere else.
Including images as figures
When you include the image itself in your paper, it should be properly formatted as an APA figure, with a number, a description/title, and an entry in your list of figures.
The title or description of a figure should appear immediately below the image itself, and will vary according to the type of image cited. For example, an artwork might include the work’s title, the artist’s name, the date of composition, and some information about the materials used:
The format for figure captions is less fixed than it is for citations, but it will always include a figure number and a title or description of the image, and may also include copyright/permissions information, additional explanatory notes, or other elements.