How to cite a photo in MLA

MLA photo citation

It is common practice to cite the work the photograph has been published in and provide the page number or chapter in the in-text citation. In case the photo has not been published in a journal article, book, or book chapter, but is rather on display in a museum or can be found online take a look at our MLA photo citation guides below.

MLA citation format for a photo

Take a look at our works cited examples that demonstrate the MLA style guidelines in action:


Photo citation from a digital source

Karsh, Yousuf. Winston Churchill. 1941. Karsh,

Photo citation from a book

O’Keeffe, Georgia. Alligator Pears in a Basket. 1923. Writing about Art by Henry M. Sayre, 6thed., Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009, p. 39.

Photo citation from a museum

Webb, Todd. Stove in Paris Studio. 1951, Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

How to do an in-text citation for a photo in MLA

When citing an image in-text using the MLA style, you'll use the surname of the photographer followed by the page number in parentheses.

In practice, you can expect your photo's in-text citation to be in this format (Creator of the photo, Page number).


If you were to cite a photo from a book, the photo should be cited in-text using the creator's name, along with the corresponding page number.

Citation of a photo from a book on page 223

The painting is known to be the most parodied work of art in history (Da Vinci, 223).

It's important to remember that you may not always be able to find all the information you need about the origin of the image. This is especially true if you are dealing with older, historical photographs.

If the creator of the photograph is not mentioned, you can place the image title or description instead.

Citation of a photo from a source where the creator of the photo is not mentioned on page 198

The painting was a story of the painter's own fear of the sea ("By the sea", 198).

If the photo is found online, do not list a page number.

Citation of a photo found online

The photograph shows the flamboyant attire of the female dancers(Amero).

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