Developing a file structure is one of the first steps in creating your workflow. Whether youre using Lightroom to manage your library or Bridge to view folders of photos, its much easier to find a specific photo if you use a descriptive filename.

In my personal workflow, I include the date, project name, and image number. So for example: 2014-09-16_ND_Scout_0001.nef

Most everything I shoot is on one day. However, if youre shooting for multiple days, with multiple cameras on larger shoots, then I recommend you include that information too. That would look like this:


Mac OS X Yosemite offers a really easy way to rename your photos right in the Finder.

Step 1

After your images are copied from the card, open the folder and select all photos. Right-click and choose Rename Items.

Step 2

On the renaming window, we have the option to Replace Text, Add Text or Format the entire filename. You can use Replace Text if you wanted to keep the image numbers coming out of your camera, but I want to create new numbers. Choose Format.

Step 3

Click on the Name Format dropdown menu and choose Name and Counter.

Step 4

The Custom Format field is where you can add your new file name. I like to add a reverse date (2014-09-16 or 20140916) and then the name of my photo shoot. Adding a hypen or underscore helps to separate the file name, without putting spaces in the name.

Step 5

Now we need to add the image numbers. Click the Where dropdown and choose to put the numbers after name. Then make sure youre starting at number 1.

Step 6

Click Rename. Depending on how many photos youre renaming, this process should be nearly instant.

With renamed and organized files, I can easily search and find anything I need from my library in just a few minutes.