Google Search Guideline

I turned to Google for advice. They suggested to make your filename a good description of the subject matter of the image. This descriptive filename can give Google clues about the subject matter of the image. For example, Valley-of-Fire-0806.jpg is a lot more informative than DSC0806.JPG. This solution gave me the best of both worlds. By giving my images a descriptive name, I could find them outside of Lightroom on my local computer plus find them on the net.

Keeping the four numbering sequence

I’ve heard photographers suggest to always start the numbering sequence at zero when importing your images into Lightroom. Example: Valley-of-Fire-0001.NEF. This option could create duplicate filenames if you photograph a person or the same location on a regular basis. I prefer to keep my cameras default numbering sequence. I have about 197,000 photos in my Lightroom Catalog and have yet to have a duplicate name.

Exporting images

Now that I have my naming structure set, I keep the same structure when I export my images. The only difference is the file extension. Example: Jaci Schreckengost-6117.NEF becomes Jaci Schreckengost-6117.jpg when exported. If I make multiple edits to an image, I add a version number after the sequence number plus added information if I need it. Example: Jaci Schreckengost-6117-2-BW.jpg. This tells me I edited the original file Jaci Schreckengost-6117.NEF twice plus I made this copy Black and White.


Portraits: Full Name-sequence number
Delaney Goff-3497.NEF

Events: Year_Month_Day-sequence number_Team name_vs_Team name

Location: Year_City_State-sequence number
2015_Saint Augustine_FL-1030.NEF

Artwork: Name of the art piece-original sequence number
The Aviator-0806.jpg

Wildlife: Name-sequence number