Photos - Do you rename your pictures?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by conamor, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. conamor macrumors 6502


    Jun 27, 2013
    Good day,

    Do you keep the default name for your picture? DSC_12345.JPG or .RAW

    Or you always change the name for the session you took? 2015_summer_1stime_pool_baby_001.JPG?

  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I don't use Photos, but in LR I use file number and date. Then use key wording as well. The key wording is the easiest way to locate your pictures with a larger library.
  3. conamor thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 27, 2013
    Thank you very much!
  4. ricosuave macrumors 6502


    Mar 27, 2007
    In front of my mac
    I use cameramodel_date_time_originalname.JPG

    This way the finder doesn't give you issues with same file names.
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I'm with fanboy; I never rename and use keyword and other metadata for organization. Since I copy to date-based folders I don't have to worry about name collisions, and using the camera-generated filenames allows me to sort in sequence when the shots were made on the same second. It just seems to make things easier than messing with a renaming system.

    If you use something like Lightroom or Bridge that can do hierarchical keywords, that's even better than file renaming for storing info. Remember that the date and time and a bunch of other info is already stored in the exif or IPTC metadata; no need to duplicate info like creation date in the filename.
  6. ricosuave macrumors 6502


    Mar 27, 2007
    In front of my mac
    Renaming files also makes offline backups easier. You can instantly see what file is backed up.
  7. Ray2, Oct 19, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015

    Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014
    I only rename what gets published. Event description + sequence. Keeps them in whatever order I choose, wherever they go (other than Apple which appears to recognize disorder). Use keywording extensively.
  8. bgd macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2005
    Using LR I rename on import. Pix_date_sequence#.dng. Ideally I'd like the sequence number to reset each day but haven't worked out how to do that. Like others I use key words to find photos, file name isn't relevant, just needs to be unique.
  9. conamor thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 27, 2013
  10. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000


    Jun 5, 2012
    I don't rename my files and suggest that's it's a personal preference thing that really doesn't matter provided:

    - you're naming syntax is consistant for all shots, and
    - your primary file names match your back-up file names.

    ~ Peter
  11. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I never rename all of my photos but I put photos in many different folders.
  12. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    I follow what Fanboy does - I rename the files by year - month - date then sequential # ie.

    2015-10-30_01 etc...

    I also add in keywords and metadata then save those right back to the original files so they are changed forever.

    The reason for that is software will always change, but at least the base files will have the right information.

    I had Aperture 1.0 crash a long time ago and much of the organization was gone. Any software can have that issue, but if you have the base files with the right info and backed up, then it's a lot easier to get back up to speed.

    Plus, if I ever want to share files with friends/relatives, the files are ready go.

    Then backed up weekly in double and every few months in triplicate to hard drives stored in a bank safety deposit box.

    Currently using Aperture for this as Photos doesn't (yet? maybe never?) have the same features.

    But if you use LR, Aperture or CaptureOne, the absolute beauty is the organization based on those keywords.

    Example: my son had a project requiring specific family photographs.

    Within a minute or 2, I had smart albums set up so he could scroll through and find the ones he needed.

    Easy peasy.

    A lot of work? Absolutely lol ALOT :)

    Good luck!
  13. conamor thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 27, 2013
  14. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    When I still had access to Aperture, I named my Projects by date followed by an identifying name like June 16 2015 NOLA. Then I could find my photos from New Orleans as long as I remembered even just the month or year. My file names tend to be trippy and I don't like to rely on that. For stuff that I publish I name the files by the event or place in a way that conveys info to the random viewer. In the case of the drag race photos I had been doing, I gave the files names to identify the drivers and classes of the cars. A lot of photographers who post to racing sites don't do this and it bothers me that they don't give the drivers credit.

    Dale (Lost in PC land)
  15. HDFan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
    I rename my photos by Country (or event)/Dates (or date) traveled/Camera Prefix/original index from camera, e.g.

    Japan 2015.09.13-2015.10.03 I6+_1346

    All are stored in a folder with the Country/Date name, e.g. Japan 2015.09.13-2015.10.03

    This way I can easily find all pictures from all Japan trips and searches and utilities that bring up 20 IMG_0015 files don't happen.

    For iPhone pictures since IMG means nothing I rename it to the specific model as the camera's change. For other cameras when it is distinctive (such as Sony's DSC or Panasonic's P) I leave the original prefix. This makes it very easy to find shots from a particular camera in the finder.

    I leave the original index on just in case I've missed something as I'm processing things in Lightroom. It makes it very easy for me to go back and find a missing photo from the SD card.
  16. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    I use Aperture for renaming them with the YEAR_MONTH_DAY_TIME.

    Can Photos do any renaming?
  17. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    I rename mine the way Keebler does (2015 11 06 001) upon import (I use Nikon Transfer for that). Each day's shooting is in a folder with the date as its name.

    But every so often I create a folder with a name like "2015 11 06 CF dump" and transfer all the image files currently in the camera into it, with their original names. I keep those folders on another disk (where the renamed ones are also backed up).
  18. caprica21 macrumors member

    Sep 9, 2014
    It's a personal preference whether you want to rename photos or not. For last 7-8 years while using Photoshop Elements, Apple Photos and bunch of other software, I never found any benefits of renaming files - primarily because image itself stores EXIF information (See exception case below). Any decent photo organizer will be able to find your photo based on EXIF data including date/time/location and keywords you set.

    I always organize my photos based on categories (in Finder as folder names). Example:
    Personal - For all personal photos including Birthdays/Anniversary, etc
    Portfolio - For all my personal work related photos
    Clients - For all billable photos
    Places - For places I visit like NYC-Statue of Liberty, Niagara Falls, etc

    Below is my folder name format
    <Category>/<Event> YYYYMMDD

    Places/Niagara Falls 20140526/*

    This way you can quickly go to particular event photos without even opening photo software (if required)

    Having said this, I got in trouble recently (after I decided to clean install El Capitan). Because I also decided to re-create entire photo library / catalog as I wanted to trash photos that are not required as it was taking too much disk space (I have over 300 GB photos currently). While shuffling through photos I ended up cluttering files as many file names were same. I later found out that if you have photos from different sources (iPhone6, iPhone4, Sony DSLR, Canon DSLR, etc), you may end up having same file name.

    So in such cases, I would recommend to make one camera as primary for which you will not change file names (Example: My primary Canon DSLR which I use 90% of photos). For all others rename based on source (Mostly iPhone for casual photography).
  19. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I never look at the file name. So I never see the need to change it. But there is one exception. If I export the file to send to someone else I change it to be descriptive.

    The photo library software (Aperture, Photos, LR or whatever) allows you to name or caption the photo and add keywords. This is far more useful than changing the file name.

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