Programmable Media

Python SDK

Last updated: May-08-2024

This page provides an in-depth introduction to the Python SDK.

If you're ready to get coding, jump straight to our quick start guide.
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We invite you to try the free Introduction to Cloudinary for Python Developers online course, where you can learn how to upload, manage, transform and optimize your digital assets.


Cloudinary's Python SDK provides simple, yet comprehensive image and video upload, transformation, optimization, and delivery capabilities that you can implement using code that integrates seamlessly with your existing Python application.

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This guide relates to the latest released version of the Cloudinary Python library.

For details on all new features and fixes from previous versions, see the CHANGELOG.

Most of the functionality provided by Cloudinary can be implemented using Python, regardless of your framework. Some features are only available with Django, as described in the documentation.

Take a look at our Python sample projects to help get you started.

Quick example: Transformations

Take a look at the following transformation code and the image it delivers:

sample transformation

This relatively simple code performs all of the following on the original front_face.jpg image before delivering it:

  • Crop to a 150x150 thumbnail using face-detection gravity to automatically determine the location for the crop
  • Round the corners with a 20 pixel radius
  • Apply a sepia effect
  • Overlay the Cloudinary logo on the southeast corner of the image (with a slight offset). The logo is scaled down to a 50 pixel width, with increased brightness and partial transparency (opacity = 60%)
  • Rotate the resulting image (including the overlay) by 10 degrees
  • Convert and deliver the image in PNG format (the originally uploaded image was a JPG)

And here's the URL that would be included in the image tag that's automatically generated from the above code:

In a similar way, you can transform a video.

Learn more about transformations

Quick example: File upload

The following Python code uploads the dog.mp4 video to the sub-folder path, myfolder/mysubfolder. The resulting public_id will be myfolder/mysubfolder/dog. The video will overwrite the existing video if a video with that public_id already exists. When the video upload is complete, the specified notification URL will receive details about the uploaded media asset.

Python Library features

Cross-framework features (Flask & Django)

Django-specific features


Cloudinary's Python integration library is available as open-source Python code.

  1. Install Cloudinary's module using either easy_install or pip package management tools:

  2. Add cloudinary to the list of INSTALLED_APPS in

  3. Include Cloudinary's Python classes in your code:

You can also initialize Cloudinary tags in your Django templates by entering: {% load cloudinary %}


To use the Cloudinary Python library, you have to configure at least your cloud_name. Your api_key and api_secret are also needed for secure API calls to Cloudinary (e.g., image and video uploads). You can find your product environment configuration credentials in the Dashboard page of the Cloudinary Console.

In addition to the required configuration parameters, you can define a number of optional configuration parameters if relevant.

Setting the configuration parameters can be done globally, using either an environment variable or the config method, or programmatically in each call to a Cloudinary method. Parameters set in a call to a Cloudinary method override globally set parameters.

For backward compatibility reasons, the default value of the optional secure configuration parameter is false. However, for most modern applications, it's recommended to configure the secure parameter to true to ensure that your transformation URLs are always generated as HTTPS.

Setting the CLOUDINARY_URL environment variable

You can configure the required cloud_name, api_key, and api_secret by defining the CLOUDINARY_URL environment variable. The CLOUDINARY_URL value is available in the Dashboard page of the Cloudinary Console. When using Cloudinary through a PaaS add-on (e.g., Heroku or AppFog), this environment variable is automatically defined in your deployment environment. For example:

Set additional parameters, for example upload_prefix and cname, to the environment variable:

Setting configuration parameters globally

Here's an example of setting configuration parameters globally in your Python application:

You must set your configuration parameters globally before importing the cloudinary.uploader and cloudinary.api classes in order to pass the optional api_proxy configuration parameter successfully:

Python configuration and installation video tutorial

Watch this video tutorial to see how to install and configure the Python SDK:

Python capitalization and data type guidelines

When using the Python SDK, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Parameter names: snake_case. For example: public_id
  • Classes: PascalCase. For example: CloudinaryField
  • Methods: snake_case. For example: add_tag
  • Pass parameter data as: dict or named arguments

Full Flask demo app and code sandbox

This demo uses Cloudinary's auto-tagging feature to recommend product images based on the images you select. Try out the demo and then check out the code behind it.

This code is also available in GitHub.

Learn more
  • Read this blog to discover all the Cloudinary features in this demo.

Jupyter notebook

This Jupyter notebook focuses on uploading images to your product environment. It walks you through:

  • Installing and configuring Cloudinary.
  • Creating an upload preset.
  • Applying the preset to assets being uploaded.
  • Uploading assets with incoming transformations.

To run the code snippets in the Jupyter notebook, you'll need to enter your credentials as part of configuration. Find your credentials in the Dashboard page of your Cloudinary Console.

Sample projects

For additional useful code samples and learn how to integrate Cloudinary with your Python applications, take a look at our Sample Projects.

  • Basic python sample: Uploading local and remote images to Cloudinary and generating various transformation URLs.
  • Basic Flask - image uploader and transformer: Uploading images to Cloudinary and displaying them on a webpage with various transformations applied.
  • Django photo album: A fully working web application that allows you to upload photos, maintain a database with references, list images with their metadata, and display them using various cloud-based transformations. Image uploading is performed both from the server side and directly from the browser using a jQuery plugin.

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