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Naming convention for photos


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#1 nicolemann9

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 07:04 PM

I'm doing a huge overhaul of my photo library right now (going and and getting rid of all the insane duplicates, blurry photos, etc.), and also somewhat merging 2 libraries, and I'm wondering what file structure/naming convention people use for their photo libraries?

 

Right now my folder structure is: 

Photos Folder > Year > Month > File name  

 

My file naming convention is YYYY_MM_Sequence#   (Hopefully this screenshot works!)

 

Attached File  Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 8.50.20 PM.png   197.29KB   1 downloads

 

Attached File  Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 8.50.55 PM.png   199.31KB   1 downloads

 

Since I auto import into Lightroom, and have the naming convention setup there, the sequence number obviously goes in order (0001, 0002, 0003, and on and on), but then as I go through and delete out duplicates,etc. you can see it kind of gets out of whack.

 

I hope that all makes sense....??

 

Just wondering how others handle importing/naming, photos, and what your photo file structure looks like. 

 

ETA: Also just realized for some reason I have an 02_January folder??? Haha. Just another example of some of the randomness that I'm trying to clean up!


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#2 Izzy

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 07:41 PM

Great topic!

 

In terms of my naming convention, I was heavily inspired by the "DAM Book" (Digital Asset Management -- Good book).

 

Anyway, my photo filenames look like this:

 

hyman_20160711_09743

 

The structure is "my last name"_"the date of the photo"_"padded number sequence".

 

Ideally each photo has a completely unique name, but I'm not 100% certain it's that way in my library.

 

And for folders, I just have a folder for each year. These days I don't take enough photos to worry about breaking them down more than that. That could change in the future though.

 

I also use Lightroom (and really like it).


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#3 janygb143

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 07:59 PM

I use LR, too, and I have it rename on import. I use the format "YYYYMMDD_IMG-1836" where IMG-1836 is the default that the camera uses. That way I'm not worrying about picking up where it left off last, and if I somehow end up with duplicates, it's easier to tell what's what. I don't mind having gaps in the sequence when I delete; I'd rather not have to worry about renaming later.

Also, I squish all the numbers of the date together to decrease risk of corruption with dashes (not sure if that's a legitimate worry, but I've run into some issues before with dashes/spaces causing file read issues). And, I can easily search for, say, all of my 4th of July photos by running a text filter for photos with filenames containing "0704" (would probably bring up a few extras, but close enough :)).

I use a similar folder structure with "YEAR" at the top, but I group photos by events, mostly. I name the folders "20160000 Random" (all my photos from around the house, etc. I use the four 0s so that folder goes to the top), "20160700 Kids July", and "20160704 Fourth of July", etc.

Oh, and one more piece of advice- don't delete, rename or move any files or folders outside of LR! It gets finicky :)

hope that helps :)
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#4 nicolemann9

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 08:12 PM

Thanks for the replies! 

Izzy, that book looks super interesting and helpful! I'll have to look into it more...

 

I think I'm going to stick with my Year > Month> File structure, that has been working for me, And I definitely take enough photos that I feel the need for monthly separation. :lol:  And my brain kind of works that way - I don't think grouping by events would work for me. But it's definitely something I think I will add as keywords within LR. (meaning events)

 

I will probably change my file naming convention. I do like the idea of what Izzy does, and am leaning towards that. YYYYMMDD all together looks so long and like a jumble of numbers, but I'm sure you get used to it after seeing dates like that for a while... and I know that it is the 'proper' way to name. 

                                                            

And janygb143, it only took me one time of changing a folder name outside of LR and then wondering why a ton of my photos weren't 'in' LR to figure out to ONLY make changes from within the program, haha. 

 

Thanks for your input! Great ideas and definitely given me stuff to think about for the direction I want to go in. Now onto the task of merging and implementing all this...  :mellow:


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#5 nicolemann9

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 08:35 PM

Oh! And another thing I wanted to ask, does anyone have any recommendations for a program that finds duplicate photos? I'm sure I have a few of those on my hard drive that could be cleaned up...



#6 wendyzine

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 12:57 PM

I sort photos by year, and create a new Lightroom catalog for each year that gets backed up with those photos. Within the year folders, they are simply sorted by date_event. So each day/event had it's own folder. I don't sort them by month. Basically, I let LR import into the year's folder and name them by date. Then I go through and edit within LR to add an event name to the folder. That helps me as I scroll through to know instantly what is in those folders. That's about all I do. 


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#7 anandi

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 11:14 AM

I do the same thing as @janygb143 - great minds :)  I do like that my iPhone adds 'iOS' in the title so even when I rename in LR, it's easy for me to see which were phone photos.  I don't care about missing sequence #s either - what I really like having is the date in the filename so I can quickly see when the photo was taken without digging around in the metadata.  I store them in month folders under year folders, unless it's something like a big trip or event that has more than 20 photos.  Those get their own folder.

 

I also LOVE Lightroom :) Between my eye-Fi card and my Auto-Import folder, I don't have to plug anything in to import anymore and it's awesome - so much faster and more automatic.

 

WRT changing things outside of Lightroom - I use the 'Synchronize Folder' option in LR often so I can sync up any new folders I  added, photos I saved out of email, etc.  It automatically imports new photos into LR from the folder, and missing folders then appear magically.


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#8 janygb143

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 04:16 PM

Speaking of iPhones and LR (sorry to hijack the thread), does anyone have an issue with iPhone serial numbers not showing in LR? I can't use the filters to show all of my own iPhone pics vs. my husband's. Maybe it's because I'm using LR5.

#9 anandi

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 04:27 PM

Speaking of iPhones and LR (sorry to hijack the thread), does anyone have an issue with iPhone serial numbers not showing in LR? I can't use the filters to show all of my own iPhone pics vs. my husband's. Maybe it's because I'm using LR5.

 

I wonder if this has to do with apps used for processing the photos? I've found that some of my phone-edited photos have no date metadata and get sorted all wonky. I haven't figured out which app is causing this issue.



#10 janygb143

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 08:14 PM

Hmmm, it seems to happen with all my pics, edited or SOOC. Haven't made the time to research it yet so I guess it's not that big of a deal :)

Oh, but because of that issue, I do add a suffix to only one of my cameras upon import - my husband's iPhone- so I'm not wondering why I don't remember taking that picture. Haha

I wonder if this has to do with apps used for processing the photos? I've found that some of my phone-edited photos have no date metadata and get sorted all wonky. I haven't figured out which app is causing this issue.






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