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Python script to download faved photos and 'photos of you' from Flickr
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Flickr Download Favorites

A Python 3 script that:

  • Downloads all your 'Fave' photos and videos from Flickr
  • Saves JSON files of data about each one
  • Makes a basic HTML file listing all the downloads
  • Can do the same for 'Photos of You'


  1. Download or check out this code.

  2. Install the dependencies with pip:

     pip install -r requirements.txt

    or with pipenv:

     pipenv install
  3. Create an App for the Flickr API at

  4. Copy the config_example.ini file to config.ini.

  5. Replace the values in config.ini with your App's API Key and API Secret.


Before fetching anything you'll need to get the OAuth token by running this:

python authorize

and following the instructions it gives you.

Once that's done, download your Faves by doing:

python favorites

And download Photos Of You by doing:

python photosof

If you run these again in the future, only new photos/videos will be downloaded, assuming your directories of photos and data are still in place from previous runs. If previously-downloaded photos have been deleted on Flickr, or if you've un-faved them, they won't be deleted from your local copy.


Assuming all goes well each command creates on directory (favorites/ or photosof/).

Inside each one will be:

  • photos/ – All the downloaded photos and videos.

    Where possible the original photos will be downloaded, otherwise the largest size available.

    Videos are downloaded as MP4 files.

    All filenames are of the format datetime_name_id.ext, using the datetime of when the photo was taken, the name of the person whose photo it is, and the photo's ID on Flickr.
    e.g. 2018-12-24_11-58-20_Mary_Loosemore_46511930971.jpg

  • data/ – For every photo/video there should be 2 or 3 JSON files, with names similar to their associated photo/video.

    If there was an error fetching the data for a photo, or it's not available, that file will not be present.

  • index.html – A basic HTML file listing all the downloaded, photos/videos, some information about them, and links to the downloaded file and its page on

NOTE: I found some photos didn't completely download, so it's worth going through and viewing each file – some might be incomplete and partly gray. You can delete these and then run the script again to replace them; then check again. This seems a common problem with Flickr downloading tools.

One quick way to find incomplete images is using jpeginfo (e.g. on macOS, it can be installed using Homebrew and brew install jpeginfo). For example:

cd favorites/photos
find . -iname "*.jpg" -exec jpeginfo -c {} \; | grep -E "WARNING|ERROR"

A note on privacy and rights

Remember that all these files are downloaded as if they were viewed on the site by you, with your permissions. This means you can download photos/videos that are only visible to you or a small number of people, so don't go sharing them all without checking their permissions on the site (or in the JSON files) first.

Also, the licenses might be restrictive – such as "All Rights Reserved" – so be aware of this too.

If the original is no longer on Flickr this information can be found in the *_info.json file for the photo/video.

The data have a visibility attribute that indicates who it is visible for. e.g. this photo is private, but visible to both Friends and Family:

  "visibility": {
    "ispublic": 0,
    "isfriend": 1,
    "isfamily": 1

The data also have a license attribute that's a digit. This refers to the licenses as returned by the licenses.getInfo() command:

 0 All Rights Reserved
 1 Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License
 2 Attribution-NonCommercial License
 3 Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License
 4 Attribution License
 5 Attribution-ShareAlike License
 6 Attribution-NoDerivs License
 7 No known copyright restrictions
 8 United States Government Work
 9 Public Domain Dedication (CC0)
10 Public Domain Mark


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