I'm trying to print a user profile's picture in a block that gets displayed on a node page. I have the nodes author be loaded as in the following code:

$node = menu_get_object('node');
$user = user_load($node->uid);

This is the code I have come up with for the block:

<div class="author-block">
  <h4>Meet the author</h4>
  <?php print drupal_render(field_view_field('user', $user, 'picture', 'user-pic-style'));?>

This isn't working and doesn't print anything. I want the user's picture be loaded if users have one, or the default user picture if they don't. I have other custom user fields that are printing just fine using the field_view_field(), so I am wondering why I am not having luck.

  • May I suggest that you re-title the question to be less specific to a particular function? Just "How do I programmatically render a picture", perhaps?
    – Letharion
    Jan 7, 2012 at 11:23
  • If you have the image url, you could do this - print theme('image_style', array('style_name' => 'user-pic-style', 'path' => $user_picture_path));
    – SGhosh
    Jan 31, 2013 at 9:40
  • 1
    Please don't use $user = user_load(... it can conflict with global $user. Use $account = ... instead. Jan 31, 2013 at 9:44

2 Answers 2


Try this

<div class="author-block">
  <h4>Meet the author</h4>
  <?php print drupal_render(field_view_field('user', $user, 'picture', array('settings' => array('image_style' => 'user-pic-style'))));?>

I'm not entirely sure why the field isn't returning any data, but I think it has something to do with it being an image, and you not setting a style. Here's how I've done similar things with images before. Please note that I have altered the code below both to protect my original customer, and to hide the fact this was done as a Ctools plugin, instead of a block. So there could be minor issues like misspellings and the like. My apologies if that's the case.

// Create a shortcut to the image we want to render
$image_data = $image_node->field_images[LANGUAGE_NONE][0];

// Image rendering data
$variables = array(
  'style_name' => 'blurb_208x208',
  'path' => $image_data['filename'],
  'alt' => '',
  'title' => '',

$styles = image_styles(); // Get all available styles
$style = $styles['blurb_208x208'];

// We are responsible ourselves for ensuring the derived image is available.
$derivative_uri = image_style_path($style['name'], $path_to_original_image);
if (!file_exists($derivative_uri)) {

$markup = '<div class="image-wrapper">' . theme('image_style', $variables) . '</div>';

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