Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI) techniques were employed to identify and selectively image biological films (biofilm) growing in aqueous systems. Biofilms are shown to affect both the longitudinal (T1) and transverse (T2) NMR relaxation time values of proximal water hydrogens. Results are shown for biofilm growth experiments performed in a transparent parallel-plate reactor. A comparison of biofilm distributions by both NMR and optical imaging yielded general agreement for both an open-flow system and an idealized porous system (the reactor without and with packed glass beads, respectively). The selective imaging of biofilm by relaxation NMRI is dependent upon the resolution of relaxation times for the fluid phases, dynamic range, and signal-to-noise ratio. For open-flow systems, the use of a rapid and quantitative T2-sorted NMRI technique was preferred. For porous systems where T2 values are generally more similar, a T1-weighted technique was preferred.