How do I credit myself as the author of a photograph?

How you credit yourself as the author of a photograph depends on the accessibility of the photograph. If your paper discusses a photograph that is publicly accessible, such as on a personal blog or other public site, create a works-cited-list entry for the photograph. Cite the photograph as you would cite any image viewed online. Give your name in the Author element, followed by either a description of the photograph or, if applicable, the title. Give the name of the website where the photograph can be viewed in the Title of Container element, followed by a URL in the Location element. The following shows an example of a works-cited-list entry for a photograph published on a photographer’s personal website: 

Mulligan, Lauren. “Fishermen at a Lake in Limpopo, South Africa.” Lauren Mulligan, 

If the photograph is not publicly accessible, you might choose to reproduce it in your paper. In this case, create a label and caption for the photograph and place them directly below the photograph. With the exception of tables, all visual material included in your paper should be labeled Figure and assigned an arabic numeral (e.g., Figure 1). For instance, if you are writing a paper on architecture in New York City and want to include a photograph you’ve taken of the Oculus, the label and caption for the photograph might look something like this: 

Figure 1. Oculus. New York City.

Having created an identifying label and a caption for the photograph, you can refer to the photograph in your essay either parenthetically or in prose. Note that figure is abbreviated as fig. in parenthetical references but should be spelled out in prose. For example:

Figure 1 shows the exceptional design created by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

Designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the Oculus is a structural tour de force (fig. 1).

In this instance there is no need to credit yourself as the author of the photograph. Unless otherwise indicated, the reader should assume that you are the author of the images included in your paper. Since the caption provides sufficient information, no works-cited-list entry is needed.

When including images in your paper, be mindful of potential copyright issues. While it is acceptable to cite your own work—for example, a photograph you’ve taken of the Oculus—other images may be protected by copyright. To reproduce an image that is not your own and that is protected by copyright, permission needs to be obtained from the individual or entity who holds the rights to that image.