Best point to rename your files.

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by john_may|5, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. I'm just looking for some of your thoughts on when you are renaming your photos.
    I shoot RAW, burn a copy right away then bring them into Lightroom. Is it a good idea to do it then or wait till after I sort and delete the bad. Or wait till later in the process to have some kind of sequential order in the finished photos.
    I just know if I do it right away then delete photos the naming sequence will be out, which I know I can rename again to keep files in order but not sure if this is the best way. Maybe putting to much thought into this and having the final photos in sequential order is not a huge deal.
    My work flow
    RAW to TIFF (export to PS from Lightroom at this point if needed) then to JPEG for output.
  2. I personally get the names into some kind of meaningful form directly on importing them from the memory card.
    _MG_0003.CR2 is pretty much useless if something happens and you don't get back to it right away. I typically have an initial name that is something like a place name, a date, and the sequence number. So even later on, Chicago_111021_1002.CR2 gives me something to start with for any further extensions/renaming for specifics.
  3. You can set up a pre-set to rename your files with various variables in LR on import. I typically leave the date (mmddyy), custom text (name of shoot or location) , and then the orig file number and extension (cr2).
    You can also do this when exporting to another format (ie jpeg) as part of the output dialog and also save THAT as an Export preset. Very useful indeed!
  4. I don't rename until I export finished files for the client. Because I use tags, metadata, and collections to organize my files in Lightroom, I just put the files in folders that contain the project name and shoot date and leave the camera-generated names alone.
    But, since those names are meaningless to the client, I rename the files on export to <project name><project date>-<sequence number>. So a typical client file might be named jacobs_ukulele_12-17-12-01.jpg
  5. I agree with JDM and Mark -- Rename upon import. I use Month/Date/Year, with maybe a short location or event description after the date. I also opt to have a new folder created at the same time, with the folder name the same as the files. I store my original RAWs by year (main folder) and month (subfolder), and Month/Date/Year/short description (sub-subfolder)
  6. The only compelling reason I've ever heard for uninterrupted sequence numbers is when you hand 200 proofs to the client, and they ask "Where's #36?"
    (One more: You want the files to display in your chosen order by some software that sorts by filename.)
    There are two good solutions to this that I know of:
    (1) Explain to the client that you only showed them the files that were great, and that's part of why they're paying you. This is my usual approach.
    (2) Renumber on *export* using a sequence number. If you do this, you need to have some way to match up the sequence numbers to the files in Lightroom. I do this for more difficult clients using Jeffrey's Snapshot on Export plug-in to store the exported filename in a snapshot, then use Jeffrey's Extended Search plug-in to match them up when the client tells me they like #94.
  7. I pick the keepers and then rename. I do this for both my professional and personal work. I want the same workflow for everything. Keep it simple. I don't want to get into an explanation as to why there are photos missing. That's why I rename after I know what photos I'm keeping.
  8. Look, even in Bridge you can always do a batch rename of all the files and renumber them when you're done, so you never need to give the client any missing number sequences.
  9. I organize the same way Charles does: no re-naming, but files go into folders with date and event/location id.
    I sometimes rename on export, but mostly not. I'm lucky in that I don't have any problems with "where are the missing photos" questions because it's rare that I'll have two "keepers" that are even remotely close to each other and my clients know that.
  10. I hardly ever delete a camera file but keep them in my 'camera file folders' as back-up for when I may want them again. Making a duplicate copy for the 'editing' part of the computer
    I rename a file, usually including the camera number for added reference when finished editing.
    But then I don't shoot RAW or use Lightroom and file with Windows Explorer etc.
    Neither do I have clients asking for 'missing' photos :)
  11. When you rename raw files in Lightroom, the catalog keep track of the original file name in case you ever need to access it. You can rename the file at any time, even multiple times, because LR is very flexible. You can rename them again during the export process depending on the requirements of a particular project or customer.
    You just should remember to copy the renamed files to your backup hard drive after renaming. I create a copy with the original names, first, so I need to go back and refresh that copy after renaming. Not a big deal, plus by then I generally have some .xmp sidecar files to back up as well.
  12. For that matter in Adobe Bridge, you can turn on or off the remembering of original (earlier) names, too.
  13. I personally get the names into some kind of meaningful form directly on importing them from the memory card.​
    Agreed 100%! I use Aperture, not Lightroom, but it will import my photos and save a separate copy. Changing the name on import keeps all the names the same, avoiding any confusion if I did have to re-import something.
    Not only is "IMG_1234.CR2" a pretty non-informative name, you will get another image with that number every 10,000 shots you take! The camera goes from 9999 to 0000 or 0001...
  14. I use DIM (Digital Image Mover -- freeware -- to drag my photos off of the cards and organize them neatly into year/month/date folders from the very beginning. DIM is very flexible in how it organizes and renames files. My file names look somewhat like this: Canon_EOS_5D-12-17-135806-02.CR2 (Taken with my 5D on 12/17/2012 at 13:58:06 or 1:58:06 PM. This was the second image taken in that one-second period.) It's all very automatic.
    Sometimes I will give a year/month/day folder a name corresponding to what the shoot was about.
  15. I copy my images into a folder called UPLOAD on my laptop HDD. I then use RENAMER to use the EXIF data to rename the files yyyy-mm-dd hh-mm-ss xxxx nnnnn where xxxx is the camera used and nnnnn is the file number (the leading n being increased per 9999 images). The renamed files then are copied over to two external HDD before then reformatting the memory card.
  16. I download the files with the camera generated file numbers and then add a prefix or suffix when they are altered.
    Files will go IMG_nnnn.jpg (after processing the .CR2 files and then get _a,b,c for each save step. Files with _T are
    thumbnails used for posting to say, Flickr. If I need to email files, they get a "E_" prefix.
    The files are all stored in shot date folders.
    The system works for me.

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