Type Function
Library media.*
Return value none
Revision 2015.2578
Keywords media, camera, photo
See also media.hasSource()


Opens a platform-specific interface to the device's photo library. This function is asynchronous, meaning that it returns immediately so the calling code will continue to execute until the end of its scope; after that, the application will be suspended until the session is complete. By default, the image object is added to the top of the current stage, although there is an option to save the image to a directory instead.



Some Android app/device combinations require you to add the android.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission.


The Corona Simulator for Windows does not support this API and it will do nothing when called.


The iPad requires the additional parameters of origin and permittedArrowDirections to specify the location and direction of the popup used to select the photo.


media.selectPhoto ( { listener [, mediaSource] [, destination] [, origin] [, permittedArrowDirections] } )
listener (required)

Listener. Can be either a function listener or a table listener. If a table, it must have a completion method. The event dispatched to the listener will be a completion event with the following additional properties:

  • is a DisplayObject based on the mediaSource parameter. If the chosen image is saved to a file, there is no display object added to the stage and this value will be nil.
  • event.completed will be true if the user selected a photo; false if the user cancelled the camera or photo selection.

    media.selectPhoto( { listener=sessionComplete } )

mediaSource (optional)

Constant. Can be one of the following:

  • media.PhotoLibrary
  • media.SavedPhotosAlbum
destination (optional)

Table. If provided, the chosen image is saved to a file. In this case, there is no DisplayObject added to the stage. The parameter filetable is a table of the form { baseDir=, filename= [, type=] }. For the type property, use an appropriate MIME type such as "image". This is useful if you want to save the full resolution of the chosen image to a file (only available on iOS and Android).

origin (optional)

Table. Only available on iPad. The rectangle of the button which the iPad's popup emerges from. A convenience pattern is to pass the contentBounds property of your button.

media.selectPhoto( { listener=sessionComplete, origin=myButton.contentBounds } )
permittedArrowDirections (optional)

Table. Only available on iPad. An optional field that is an array of allowed directions the iPad's popup arrow may point. Valid values are "up", "down", "left", "right", or "any". The default is "any".

media.selectPhoto( { listener=sessionComplete, origin=myButton.contentBounds, permittedArrowDirections={ "up", "down" } } )


local function onComplete( event )
   local photo =
   print( "photo w,h = " .. photo.width .. "," .. photo.height )

if media.hasSource( media.PhotoLibrary ) then
   media.selectPhoto( { mediaSource=media.PhotoLibrary, listener=onComplete } )
   native.showAlert( "Corona", "This device does not have a photo library.", { "OK" } )
-- Selection completion listener
local function onComplete( event )
    local photo =

    if photo then
        print( "photo w,h = " .. photo.width .. "," .. photo.height )

local button = display.newRect( 120, 240, 80, 70 )

local function pickPhoto( event )

        mediaSource = media.SavedPhotosAlbum,
        listener = onComplete, 
        origin = button.contentBounds, 
        permittedArrowDirections = { "right" },
        destination = { baseDir=system.TemporaryDirectory, filename="image.jpg", type="image" } 

button:addEventListener( "tap", pickPhoto )