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Copyright-Friendly Images and Music: Citation Help

Use the resources on this guide to locate copyright-free or copyright-friendly digital resources for your projects

Attributing a Creative Commons Image

Citing an Image in MLA 8

How to cite a digital image found on a website in MLA 8:

To create a citation for a digital image found on a website in MLA 8, locate the following pieces of information:

The name of the creator of the digital image
*The title of the digital image
The title of the website that the image was found on
The names of any other contributors responsible for the digital image
Version of the image (if applicable)
Any numbers associated with the image (if applicable)
*The publisher of the image
The date the image was created or published
*The location of the image, such as a URL

If the digital image does not have a title, include a description of the image. Do not place this information in quotation marks or italics.

If the picture was found using Google Images, do not cite Google Images as the publisher. Instead, click on the picture and use the information from the website that is hosting the picture.

When including the URL in the citation, omit “http://” and “https://” from the site’s address. In addition, if the citation will be viewed on a digital device, it is helpful to make it clickable. This ensures that readers will be able to easily access and view the source themselves.

Structure of a citation for an image found on a website in MLA 8:

Creator’s Last name, First name. “Title of the digital image.” Title of the website, First name Last name of any contributors, Version (if applicable), Number (if applicable), Publisher, Publication date, URL.

Examples of citations for digital images found on websites in MLA 8:

Vasquez, Gary A. Photograph of Coach K with Team USA. NBC Olympics, USA Today Sports, 5 Aug. 2016,

Information from Easy Bib:

How to Cite a Creative Commons Image

Photo from Photos For Class Website

Here is a photo of a girl doing homework that came from the Photos for Class website. The Creative Commons (CC) citation is included at the bottom.

It looks like this: 

If you use one of the other sites to find a CC image, you will need to create your own citation. You can model it after this one. Be sure to include the title of the image (homework-study-erase-girl), the creator (r.nial.bradshaw), the URL for the image, the type of CC license (Attribution) and, the URL for the license (

In an digital project, you can make your citations look better and be shorter by including links instead of the complete URL. In that case the citation would look like this:

Homework-study-erase-girl by r.nial.bradshaw (CC BY 2.0)