Naming Your Digital Files

PWD labs has been posting some great tips on their blog recently covering a good variety of topics many surrounding some tips on shooting and pre-production that will help your editing. I’ll cover some of my ideas and tips soon on some pre production techniques so get great files but today wanted to have a quick post about something I think many of us can gloss over quickly. I was reminded of this when I saw of post on their blog which you can check out here:

They gave some great tips on certain characters to avoid in your files names like spaces and other types of characters like “&,@,#,$,*,’, ! “. For me I keep my file naming very simple and wanted to share it with everyone. The very first thing I do once I download my cards is to rename the files. For most of my shoots I use a very standard naming convention. If it’s a wedding I only shoot one per day so the weddings are named in the following manner:

so they generally look like this 08252011_0001.jpg
I do have an associate that will sometimes shoot weddings on the same as me and with those I append his initials to the end of the date so it will look like this 08252011ms_0001.jpg

This way I can always search for my files based on a date and it keeps things nice and organized. For my portraits I do shoot many portraits a day so in this case i’ll add the last name of the client to the file. These would be named like this:

This helps to make cataloging your images orderly, I also place all shoots in folders that first start with a year for the folder. Then I have subfolders with types of shoots, portraits, weddings, commercial and events. Within those are folders with the date of the shoot and then the files organized in there. This helps to make things very easy to find in the future.

A quick short and sweet tip today but hopefully one that can help a few of you keep your files a little more organized and help you to find things quicker when looking for a shoot in the future.

If you have any post production questions or really anything related to photography just let me know!

If you like our articles remember to share them on Facebook, Twitter or +1 them on Google:

Also if you need any help with your post production and are backed up like many people this time of year, check out the great color correcting services they offer.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

Share This Post On
Loading Facebook Comments ...


  1. Date+number is a good naming scheme; but if you put the date in the form yy/mm/dd or yyyy/mm/dd, the file names will sort correctly if you need to order them. So, for example, 110825-0001 or 20110825-0001

  2. Do you not use Lightroom?

  3. Yes, use lightroom for 90% of our work. Still good to have your files numbered in a easy to identify way though

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *