Setting the default on an ImageField

Goal: I’m trying to use the same image across all instances of Cause as a default image

Problem: With the below code, the broken image icon alongside the alt text appears on the page & a 404 error shows in the terminal: [20/Sep/2023 21:48:39] "GET /causes/causes/519d1436-b6e5-4c1c-aa7f-df65d068ef71/images/name-of-image.jpg HTTP/1.1" 404 5022

When I create a Cause instance and then look in the Django admin, this clickable link is shown: Currently: [images/name-of-image.jpg] but if I click on it, it throws an error that it doesn’t match any URL patterns. Did I misunderstand how to do the MEDIA_URL setting?

I think I could solve this by just directly putting the static image template tag in the templates as desired, but then if I ever wanted to change the image in the future, I’d have to find and change all the template tags. My hope with using the default was to have one location where it can be updated universally. I’ve seen the default= in ImageFields for Django several times on other resources (StackOverflow etc.) but since I don’t see it in the Django model field doc maybe a default like this is actually not possible?


  1. Can you have a default in an ImageField?
  2. Did I misunderstand how to do the MEDIA_URL setting?
  3. Might you please point out anywhere I’m going wrong with this effort?

Project Settings

# Media
MEDIA_URL = "media/"


class Cause(models.Model):
    id = models.UUIDField( 
    cause_representation_image = models.ImageField(upload_to='images', default='images/name-of-image.jpg')


    <img src="{{ cause.cause_representation_image }}" alt="cause image">
    # I've also tried adding the url too like this:
    <img src="{{ cause.cause_representation_image.url }}" alt="cause image">

Thank you in advance!

Is this in your media folder? if so then try and add / like this /images/name-of-image.jpg
If it is not in your media folder then specify the path for this name-of-image.jpg file or move it to your media > images folder.

Thanks. Yes, the image is in my media folder like this:
media > images > name-of-image.jpg

I tried adding a slash so the model has this:
cause_representation_image = models.ImageField(upload_to='images', default='/images/name-of-image.jpg')

The problem persists.

Your old instace still have the path saved as this images/name-of-image.jpg. /images/name-of-image.jpg this will be generated for new instances. If you have created less instance then try to add new and delete those old instance if it is not important and then try.

Thanks, that was good to flag; I should’ve mentioned - I did do that. Just in case, I also cleared my cache & deleted all instances and then created a new one to test.

Can you check the complete path for any instance image by inspecting in browser from Django admin panel.

Also try to do this MEDIA_URL = "/media/" instead of MEDIA_URL = "media/"

I tried the MEDIA_URL = "/media/" (then deleted instances & added a new one) - no change

Can you please clarify what you mean when you say check the complete path for any instance image by inspecting in browser from Django admin panel? (What are the steps to do this?)

In your browser simply check it like right click > click inspect > select the particular tag

and share what path you are getting for that particular file