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APA: Citing Electronic Images

Examples of how to cite digital, electronic and online images using APA 6th edition style.

APA Image Basics

Caption: A reader should not have to refer to the text to understand the image. Explanatory text should include title, owner/artist and where the image is stored. In APA you must provide a copyright attribution in addition to citing item when you reproduce it in the body of your work. See Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, 2.12. p. 38.  For educational projects, look to instructor's instruction for further guidance.  

flamingo photo by emery

Emery. A. (2016). Flamingo photograph. Licensed under Creative Commons Zero on

APA Image Citation Examples

References Owner/Author/Creator. (Publication Date or n.d.). Title of image in italics [media type such as Painting, Outdoor mural, Photograph, Infographic]. Retrieved from URL Emery, A. (2016, August 8). Flamingo [Photograph]. Retrieved from Featherstone, D. (n.d.). Pink Flamingo Lawn Ornament [Photograph]. Retrieved from BioExpedition Publishing. (2014). American Flamingo [Infographic]. Retrieved from

No Author/Owner/Creator?

Determine if you can use image ethically. Did you find it via a search engine? Find the original source. Find images that have copyright and other information so that they can be used legally.


Consider these:

  1. Search FLICKR using Creative Commons license to suit your project. 
  2. Search Unsplash. All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash. 
  3. Search Pixabay.  All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required by Pixabay, but will be required by your Professor.
  4. Search Creative Commons. Select "modify, adapt, or build upon."
  5. Search Wikimedia Commons.

Look at the APAStyle Blog for more Image and APA examples.