Uploading Photos

This is the specification for building photo uploader applications.

It works outside the normal Flickr API framework because it involves sending binary files over the wire.

Uploading apps can call the flickr.people.getUploadStatus method in the regular API to obtain file and bandwidth limits for the user.


Photos should be POSTed to the following URL:



This method requires authentication with 'write' permission.

For details of how to obtain authentication tokens and how to sign calls, see the authentication api spec. Note that the 'photo' parameter should not be included in the signature. All other POST parameters should be included when generating the signature.


The file to upload.
title (optional)
The title of the photo.
description (optional)
A description of the photo. May contain some limited HTML.
tags (optional)
A space-seperated list of tags to apply to the photo.
is_public, is_friend, is_family (optional)
Set to 0 for no, 1 for yes. Specifies who can view the photo.
safety_level (optional)
Set to 1 for Safe, 2 for Moderate, or 3 for Restricted.
content_type (optional)
Set to 1 for Photo, 2 for Screenshot, or 3 for Other.
hidden (optional)
Set to 1 to keep the photo in global search results, 2 to hide from public searches.

Example Response

When an upload is successful, the following xml is returned:


photoid is the id of the new photo. This response is formatted in the REST API response style.

Error Codes

If the upload fails, a REST API error response is returned. The following error codes are possible:

2: No photo specified
The photo required argument was missing.
3: General upload failure
The file was not correctly uploaded.
4: Filesize was zero
The file was zero bytes in length.
5: Filetype was not recognised
The file was not of a recognised image format.
6: User exceeded upload limit
The calling user has reached their monthly bandwidth limit.
95: SSL is required
SSL is required to access the Flickr API.
96: Invalid signature
The passed signature was invalid.
97: Missing signature
The call required signing but no signature was sent.
98: Login failed / Invalid auth token
The login details or auth token passed were invalid.
99: User not logged in / Insufficient permissions
The method requires user authentication but the user was not logged in, or the authenticated method call did not have the required permissions.
100: Invalid API Key
The API key passed was not valid or has expired.
105: Service currently unavailable
The requested service is temporarily unavailable.
106: Write operation failed
The requested operation failed due to a temporary issue.
116: Bad URL found
One or more arguments contained a URL that has been used for abuse on Flickr.


When a set of photos have been uploaded, direct the user to this url:


...where "1,2,3" is a comma separated list of successful upload ids.