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Duru Chidozie
Duru Chidozie

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GraphQL Image Upload To Cloudinary

A comprehensive guide on how to upload image to cloudinary using graphql.

As you know, i love to explain things in such a way newbies can understand also.So please pardon me if you feel like this is way below your level.


  1. NodeJs must be installed on your machine.
  2. You must have signed up with Cloudinary.

Project Structure

|   node_modules/
│   .env    
│   app.js
|   package.json
|   yarn-error.log
|   yarn.lock 
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Let's Begin

let's initialize our server with yarn

yarn init
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The above code sets up our server with ready packages.Next,we need to install the necessary node modules for our server.

let's install the necessary node modules:

  • express - Express is a minimal and flexible Node.js web application framework that provides a robust set of features for web and mobile applications.

  • nodemon - Nodemon is a tool that monitors our app for changes and restarts our server.

  • apollo-server-express - This is the Express and Connect integration of GraphQL Server.

  • dotenv - This loads environment variables from a .env file into process.env.

  • cloudinary - This would serve as our cloud storage service for easily uploading images.

yarn add express, apollo-server-express, dotenv, nodemon and cloudinary
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By now your project structure should look like this:

|   node_modules/
|   package.json
|   yarn-error.log
|   yarn.lock 
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We need to create two new files .env and app.js.Immediately after creating these files your project structure should look like the first project structure in this article.

Now, we are going to write our environment variables to our .env file

PORT = 4000
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If you do not have a cloudinary account,you will need to create one in two easy steps and get your cloudinary credentials:
Sign up
Account Verification

Next we are going to write into our app.js file which we previously created.

//import our necessary node modules
const express = require("express");
const { ApolloServer, gql } = require("apollo-server-express");
const cloudinary = require("cloudinary");
//get port from  process.env which is set to 4000 
const { PORT } = process.env;

const app = express();

const typeDefs = gql`
  type Query {
    _: Boolean
/*our mutation type for image upload which accepts the image location as a string whether local or remote.It returns a string.
  type Mutation {
    uploadPhoto(photo: String): String
const resolvers = {
  Mutation: {
    uploadPhoto: async (_, { photo }) => {
//initialize cloudinary
        cloud_name: process.env.CLOUDINARY_NAME,
        api_key: process.env.CLOUDINARY_API_KEY,
        api_secret: process.env.CLOUDINARY_API_SECRET,
try-catch block for handling actual image upload
      try {
        const result = await cloudinary.v2.uploader.upload(photo, {
//here i chose to allow only jpg and png upload
          allowed_formats: ["jpg", "png"],
//generates a new id for each uploaded image
          public_id: "",
/*creates a folder called "your_folder_name" where images will be stored.
          folder: "your_folder_name",
      } catch (e) {
//returns an error message on image upload failure.
        return `Image could not be uploaded:${e.message}`;
/*returns uploaded photo url if successful `result.url`.
if we were going to store image name in database,this
      return `Successful-Photo URL: ${result.url}`;
const server = new ApolloServer({
  playground: true,
Using Apollo Server’s applyMiddleware() method, you can opt-in any middleware, which in this case is Express.
server.applyMiddleware({ app });

//starts listening on our port
app.listen(PORT, () => {
    `🚀 Apollo Server started on http://localhost:${PORT}${server.graphqlPath}`

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let's start our app

yarn run 
nodemon app.js
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let's test our mutation on graphql playground
Access http://localhost:4000/playground from your browser and type :

mutation {
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where image_location.jpg is a valid image location whether remote or local

Alt Text

If you have followed every step carefully,your image should be uploaded to Cloudinary.
♨️ Congrats
Here is a link to the full project on my github repository.

Top comments (1)

leonbuitrago profile image
Leon buitrago

hola que tal me gustaria saber como implemetar la siguiente mutacion en react con una sola variable para varios elementos:

mutation creandopedido($creapedido: PedidoInput!) {
crearPedido(input: $creapedido) {

nombre: String
direccion: String
pedido: [String]
whatsapp: String
correo: String