Flickr API with OAuth 1.0A and uploads

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import flickrWithUploads from '';


Flickr API + uploads

My use-case project, flickr-sync, was recently merged into this project. This brought on a few additional dependencies, but no API changes. All library calls to flickr-with-uploads and flickr-sync are the same as before, but both are implemented in flickr-with-uploads. The flickr-sync CLI has also been merged over into this package.


If you have already installed flickr-sync globally, do a quick cleanup: npm uninstall -g flickr-sync

Or if it's too late for that, the important bit is getting rid of flickr-sync's ownership of the flickr script on your PATH, so rm $(which flickr) will do the trick.

With npm:

npm install -g flickr-with-uploads

Or require the library from your package.json:

  "dependencies" : {
    "flickr-with-uploads": "*",


First we want to prepare a closure preloaded with our credentials, which we'll call api:

var flickr = require('flickr-with-uploads');
var api = flickr(
  '0RjUImXvsYx2P8Gi4eZScFh9fkLJltDV', // consumer_key
  'mbu87dOB0FWncTRJ', // consumer_secret
  '3XF0pqP4daZf9oIlx-a7H1uMLeGrBidkJU', // oauth_token
  'KpslBxHoh4QYk6ad'); // oauth_token_secret

I keep these in a JSON file at ~/.flickr, which is what flickr-sync, so if you plan on using that, this is probably the way to go.

  "consumer_key": "0RjUImXvsYx2P8Gi4eZScFh9fkLJltDV",
  "consumer_secret": "mbu87dOB0FWncTRJ",
  "oauth_token": "3XF0pqP4daZf9oIlx-a7H1uMLeGrBidkJU",
  "oauth_token_secret": "KpslBxHoh4QYk6ad"

(All my values are fake, obviously---actual Flickr credentials are all hexadecimal.)


Using the api function from above, let's upload a file.

var fullpath = '/Users/chbrown/Pictures/Seaworld - The Heist/orca_019.jpg';
// the upload method is special, but this library automatically handles the
// hostname change
  method: 'upload',
  title: 'My new pet: baby orca',
  description: "Don't tell Seaworld!",
  is_public: 0,
  is_friend: 1,
  is_family: 1,
  hidden: 2,
  photo: fs.createReadStream(fullpath)
}, function(err, response) {
  if (err) {
    console.error('Could not upload photo:', err);
  else {
    var new_photo_id = response.photoid._content;
    // usually, the method name is precisely the name of the API method, as they are here:
    api({method: '', photo_id: new_photo_id}, function(err, response) {
      console.log('Full photo info:', response);
      api({method: 'flickr.photosets.addPhoto', photoset_id: 1272356126, photo_id: new_photo_id}, function(err, response) {
        console.log('Added photo to photoset:', response);


This library was (re)written to support my flickr-sync project, which is a script to backup a directory of directories full of pictures as sets of photos to Flickr. Since Pro accounts have unlimited storage on Flickr, and they allow totally private photos, it's a great archival service.

See flickr-sync for many more examples of using this library (it has been updated to use the ~1.0 version).

Flickr API Examples

Here are some sample responses that the Flickr API will send back for a couple of API methods (usually the responses are much longer, I'm abbreviating here to the interesting stuff (for example, you'll always get a { stat: 'ok' } value for successful queries, but I don't include that here):


  photosets: {
    photoset: [
      { id: '72147630888316081', primary: '7500858540', secret: '3bedf92dec', server: '8214', farm: 9,
        photos: 3, videos: '0', title: { _content: '20120716 Iceland - Reykjavik' },
        description: { _content: 'flickr-store' }, needs_interstitial: 0, visibility_can_see_set: 1,
        count_views: '0', count_comments: '0', can_comment: 1,
        date_create: '1344024608', date_update: '1344024918' },

  photos: {
    photo: [
      { id: '7500858540', owner: '33947520@N00', secret: 'f38df12d5c',
        server: '8014', farm: 9, title: 'flickr-store',
        ispublic: 0, isfriend: 0, isfamily: 0 }


  user: { id: '33947520@N00', username: { _content: 'audiere' } },
  stat: 'ok'


Fixes are totally welcome! In the master branch, even! Just use sane formatting (like what uses, but with 2-space indents, not 4).

Excepting any hashbang, the following should head all *.js files:

/*jslint node: true */


  • form-data, to assemble urls for OAuth signing
  • oauth, to add OAuth url signatures

I've sent a pull request to ciaranj's node-oauth, for some required functionality to allow signing but not GET/POSTing with that OAuth library. For the time being, this package requires my fork, which includes that functionality.

  // var wrapped_api = function(opts, callback) {
  //'Flickr API request: %s', opts);
  //   api(opts, function(err, response_object) {
  //, 'Flickr API response');
  //     callback(err, response_object);
  //   });
  // };



Copyright © 2012–2014 Christopher Brown. MIT Licensed.