Image Naming – DAM

In this installment I will guide you through naming your image files.  First for the convention, I prefer the following for my image files.  Please remember this is my recommendation.

My convention is as follows:



I use a MAC and use the Aperture.  Aperture is a pro application that assists me with DAM.  But that’s not the whole story.  I Shoot with a Nikon D700, which allows me the name my MASTER Image files with INITIALS_SEQUENTIALNUMBER.  When I import images into APERTURE I have a custom setting that looks into the EXIF information and appends to the beginning of the file YYYYMMDD_

This gives the end result of: 20090604_JST_0234.jpg

You may be asking yourself, who cares?  What is the benefit of this?  Well, first off, computer sort numbers from left to right so if you put the month first, you would end up with all the 06’s for every year next to each other.  This is frustrating.  The other issue is if you lead with the image sequential number, you will end up with all the 0234’s next to each other.  I think you get the point.

If you have more than one shooter at an event it is also beneficial because you always know who took the pictures.  Shooting with two people and assuring the images are displayed in sequence is a different challenge.  Before you begin shooting the event you have to sync the camera’s internal clocks.  After you dump the images, you have to sort by date/time.

Look for steps to set up this naming convention in APERTURE and other image editing applications in future posts.