Citation Guide

How to cite a photograph in a bibliography using MLA

The citation format for a photograph depends on the type of photograph and in what context it was published.

PHOTOGRAPH FROM MUSEUM/COLLECTION: Last Name, First Name. Photograph Title. Year Created. Medium. Museum/Collection Name, City.

PHOTOGRAPH FROM PUBLICATION: Last Name, First Name. Photograph Title. Year Created. Museum/Collection Name, City. Publication Information.

PHOTOGRAPH FOUND ONLINE: Last Name, First Name. Photograph Title. Year Created. Museum/Collection Name, City. Website Title. Medium. Date Accessed.

PERSONALLY TAKEN PHOTOGRAPH: Last Name, First Name. "Photograph Title/Description." Year Created. Digital File Type.

Begin with the name of the photographer. This person's name should be reversed, with a comma being placed after the last name and a period after the first name (and any middle name). A suffix, such as a roman numeral or Jr./Sr. should appear after the person's given name, preceded by a comma.

For a photograph from a publication, museum/collection, or the web, next include the title of the photograph, which is italicized, and the year created, both followed by periods. If the photograph is from a museum/collection, include the word "Photograph" to indicate the medium of the work, along with a period. If the photograph is from a publication, museum/collection, or the web, include the museum/collection name, a comma, the city of the museum/collection, and a period.

Smith, John. Sunset on the Atlantic. 2000. Photograph. Museum of Modern Art, New York.

If there is no year created available, substitute the abbreviation "N.d." instead.

Smith, John. Sunset on the Atlantic. N.d. Photograph. Museum of Modern Art, New York.

For a photograph from a publication, conclude the citation with publication information related to the publication in which the photograph was published. See the Citation Guide entries for these works (e.g. books, magazines, newspapers) for specific guidelines. For books, there are minor changes to the publication information formatting. The author's name should not be reversed, should be preceded by the word "By", and should come after the book title.

Smith, John. Sunset on the Atlantic. 2000. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Great Big Book of Photographs. By Jane Doe. Pittsburgh: Scholastic, 2009. 23-24. Print.

For a photograph found online, conclude the citation with the website name, which is italicized, the medium (which in this case is "Web"), and the date on which you accessed the website. Follow each of these pieces of information with periods. For date accessed, the complete date should be written in the international format (e.g. "day month year"). With the exception of May, June, and July, month names should be abbreviated (four letters for September, three letters for all other months) and followed with a period.

Smith, John. Sunset on the Atlantic. 2000. Museum of Modern Art, New York. CNN.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2009.

For a photograph that you took, if it is a digital photograph, cite it as you would a digital file. Cite yourself as the photographer. Include the title or description, along with a period, in quotation marks. State the year you took the photograph and a period. Complete the citation by stating the file extension of the photograph (e.g. JPEG file, GIF file, PNG file).

Smith, John. "My Treehouse." 2009. JPEG file.