How to Build an Image Search App Using React – An In-Depth Tutorial


Image search applications have become increasingly popular, and building one with React is an excellent way to learn about modern web development. In this tutorial, we’ll guide you through the process of creating an image search app using React, leveraging the power of the Unsplash API.


Before we dive into coding, make sure you have the following prerequisites:

  1. Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager) installed on your system.

Step 1: Set Up a React Project

We’ll use Create React App to set up our project quickly. Open your terminal and run the following commands:

npx create-react-app image-search-app
cd image-search-app
npm start

This will create a new React app and start a development server.

Step 2: Create the Image Search Component

In your project’s src folder, create a new component called ImageSearch.js. This component will handle the image search functionality.

// ImageSearch.js
import React, { useState } from 'react';

function ImageSearch() {
  const [query, setQuery] = useState('');
  const [results, setResults] = useState([]);

  const handleSearch = async () => {
    // Fetch images using the Unsplash API based on the query
    // Update the results state with the fetched data

  return (
        placeholder="Search for images"
        onChange={(e) => setQuery(}
      <button onClick={handleSearch}>Search</button>

      <div className="results">
        {/* Display the search results here */}

export default ImageSearch;

Step 3: Fetch Images from Unsplash

To fetch images, you’ll need to use the Unsplash API. First, install the Axios library for making HTTP requests:

npm install axios

Now, import Axios in your ImageSearch.js file and modify the handleSearch function to make an API request:

// ImageSearch.js
import Axios from ‘axios’;

// …

const handleSearch = async () => {
try {
const response = await Axios.get(${query}&client_id=YOUR_UNSPLASH_API_KEY
} catch (error) {
console.error('Error fetching images:', error);

Make sure to replace 'YOUR_UNSPLASH_API_KEY' with your actual Unsplash API key.

Step 4: Display Search Results

Now, you need to map over the results array and display the images. You can use the map function to create individual img elements for each image URL.

// ImageSearch.js

// ...

<div className="results">
  { => (

Step 5: Styling

You can style your image search app using CSS or a CSS-in-JS solution like styled-components.

Step 6: Testing and Deployment

Finally, test your app locally using npm start. Once you’re satisfied, you can deploy it to platforms like Netlify, Vercel, or GitHub Pages.


Building an image search app with React is a great way to learn about React components, API integration, and user interfaces. In this tutorial, we’ve covered the initial setup, fetching images from the Unsplash API, and displaying search results. You can further enhance your app by adding features like pagination, filtering, and user authentication. Happy coding!

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