My website has content type "album" which has field "field_photo". The field is multivalue i.e. the album consists of multiple photos.

I also have content type "Player" for individual players.

I'm writing an "imagefield_reference" module which allows me to "tag" players to photos.


The "tags" are autocomplete textfields where I can add a reference to a "player" node from an individual photo. There can be multiple players in one photo as shown in the example screenshot above.

What I want to ultimately do is that I want to show the photos of the player on that specific player's page.

Here comes the question (Drupal 7)

This is what I'm doing on a player node

  • On a player node, I know the NID of the player
  • I then load from my imagefield_reference module's DB table the file ids (FID) where the player has been tagged. (I also know the album's NID)
  • I now have the file ids in $fids array.
  • I load all the relevant image files (and only them) using file_load_multiple($fids)
  • This returns me an array of files
  • I can easily then show a thumbnail of the file and link to a bigger image using Colorbox module

Here's where I'm stuck:

  • file_load_multiple($fids) does NOT return the "title" (or "alt") field of the photo.
  • I want to load the title of the photo so that I can pass that to Colorbox so that Colorbox can show the photo title as a caption.
  • How to load the title (or alt) of the image in the most elegant way?

Some considerations

  • I definitely don't want to load the full "album" nodes when I'm viewing the player node.
  • One player can be tagged in N albums but it might be that in some album she is only appearing in one single photo. Loading full N album nodes would be a total performance nightmare.
  • Of course I could go directly to the database and load the photo titles with a direct SQL query but that's not the Drupal way to do it. I'm quite sure there is a more elegant way to do this.
  • I've been trying to play with EntityFieldQuery but so far I've not been able to build a query that would do what I'm loooking for...
  • The only API available for that is node_load() (or field_attach_load() more specifically). It can be pretty database heavy, so if that's a concern just go straight into the field tables. Or try the field_attach_load() single field option. An EntityFieldQuery will just get you some entity IDs, you'd still need to load up the entities to get at the field data – Clive Feb 1 '14 at 12:06
  • @Clive, thanks for a quick reply. I think I will go read the photo titles directly from the field tables as you suggested. – Markus Sipilä Feb 1 '14 at 13:42

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