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Thursday, 24 August 2017


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Gordon - I can relate, even though I don't have nearly that many photographs in Lightroom. But I have become determined to tag each person by name in every photo.

One day, I hope to be able to pass along my archive to family and want them to be able to find people by name - especially for family pictures. To that end, I use proper names for people instead of tagging them 'me' or 'dad.'

I haven't been tagging stuff, but I have a hierarchy. All the raws that aren't erased at birth are saved, compressed. Each month I save all jpegs that survived a first editing (about a tenth of the shots) in a folder for that month. Stuff I like and want others to see goes in small "galleries" (PBase) or albums (Flickr), reducing things by about another factor of ten. Galleries and albums have names. (Like Mom's birthday), which helps to home in on things when I can at least remember the setting or occasion. But there are negatives and contact sheets from 1966-1986 that I have to deal with someday...

I have it organized the same way. In addition I upload all monthly folders to Google Photos in "optimized" 16Mp quality. That way I can easily share, plus Google gets better and better at finding photos based on content. It's really gotten very good lately.

I commiserate. My first problem is to recall which camera I used to get the shot.

I looked at PhotoMechanic more than once but always put off the decision.


One obvious suggestion that would work when searching for the first photo is face recognition.

The day is not far off when your computer will "look at" each image, identify all the people, places and things therein and apply tags. You, of course, will query using the system's speech recognition.

Not far off? It's probably here already. Just ask Alexa, Siri or Cortana.

I feel you. I tried Lightroom but gave up on it thanks to its complicated interface. I tend to dump all non-failure photos to Flickr anyway, which does an okay job of autotagging. I tend to just go there when I need to find a photo and can't immediately put my finger on it in my folder structure on my hard drive. I sure hope Verizon doesn't mess with Flickr. I'd never find some photos again!


I file my digital pictures more or less like you do, but my labels are nexYYMMDDtag where "nex" indicates a digital file (my first digital camera was a Sony Nex5n) and "tag" is a reminder of the contents.

Using YYMMDD rather than DDMMYY makes sorting and searching easier, at least for me.

To avoid having too many folders with little content I file snapshots et al in a folder called nexYYMM33.

My solution to this problem is two-fold:

Lately at least, what I've been doing is any time I download a batch of shots into Lightroom, I immediately go through them and flag any "passable" shots. Once that's done, filter it to show just the flagged shots. Then go through and add a star rating to the passable shots. These are then automatically added to a smart collection within Lightroom that looks for anything with a rating of 4 or 5 stars. I've got a smart collection for every year that does this, so I can immediately look at that smart collection and quickly find the best shots from a particular year. I've run into the exact same dilemma as you many times and this approach seems to help.

And, as far as tags go, my approach is to shoot (more, at least) in the spring, summer, fall, and tag in the winter. As it's a tedious and less rewarding job, I tend to do this starting with the new stuff so that at least I'm not creating a larger pile every year. I then pick away at older stuff when I can, and will in theory someday get that all done and only have new stuff to keep on top of. And don't be shy with the tags - putting a single generic tag on a photo is almost pointless.

My catalogue currently stands at ~130k photos (digital and scanned film), which is a tad excessive, so my approach going forward may be to give the non-flagged photos a one year grace period and a second review before they get dumped.

Maybe you could tag the good ones as "keeper" and then search for that tag. Would save exporting jpgs

I have 30 or 40 film cameras but I'm down to one Strat, one Walker acoustic, one small practice amp, and I'm good with that.

Now to liquidate most of those cameras.

I have folders named [number][event][date] and I tag every picture with a key word that's on an Excel spreadsheet database that has some of the EXIF info.
If I have to find anything, quick search in Lightroom or Excel to find out where/when it was taken, among other things.

Anyone wants some OCD? I have plenty to spare.

I am with you on this. My partial solution is that, when I tag in Imatch, I always put "place" in even if I add no other tags. Places are organised in an hierarchy, starting with countries and, in the case of often photographed places, through region, county, down to village, hill or whatever.

I can usually remember roughly where I took a photo so at least get a good start.

I use:

1) In LR, a unique catalog for each year.

2) On my hard drive:

-An annual directory "YYYY" for each year.

-A daily subdirectory "YYYY\YYYYMMDD" for each day of the year for which there are images.

-A camera-specific subdirectory "YYYY\YYYYMMDD\camera_name" containing the image files of any of my cameras for which there are images for a specific day.

-A text file with a constant name, e.g., "photonotes.txt", in each daily subdirectory.

I wrote a simple BASIC utility that creates the day-specific subdirectories and "photonotes.txt" text file for any date that I specify. When I need to transfer image files from my camera I create the day-specific subdirectories for the photo date, then import the images into that day's camera-specific subdirectory using LR. Then, the most important step, I open the day's text file "photonotes.txt" in Notepad and save as many keywords as I think are relevant. For the lovely photo of your niece I would have saved the terms "Mom's birthday", "Maya", "family", "portraits".

The precise directory structure and workflow used aren't very important. What is important is to save a searchable keywords file in the same area of my hard drive where I save the image files related to those keywords.

When I want to find a specific image I open a utility program such as Agent Ransack, specify "photonotes.txt" in the filename field, specify the hard drive and perhaps year to search, and type the relevant keywords into the "Containing text:" field. Doing this generally narrows the search down to at most a small number of daily image subdirectories which I can then quickly look through in LR.

Doing things in this way makes it very easy to search, so I can be relaxed about which files I keep. HDs are cheap but time spent selecting best images to improve searchability is expensive. Also, today's marginal image of someone dear or a place you visited might be more valuable to you in the future.

Oh my goodness, trying to find a single photo in my Aperture database of 192,000 images I've kept since 2002 would be almost literally impossible if I didn't tag each of them with keywords.

Keywording is a tiresome chore, but I've forced myself into a routine: I always, always, always keyword photos when I dump them from card to Aperture. Always. I don't quit Aperture until I've keyworded each image. If keywording is tedious, it's infinitely more tedious when I've left several days worth of photos to be keyworded later, not to mention the fact that the longer I wait, the more likely I am to completely forget that step entirely - at which point the images may as well have been dumped in the trash since I'll never be able to find them.

I don't have any particular method of choosing keywords, I just figure I should add every relevant word that pops into my head.

I do follow one rule: no caps. Aperture distinguishes between capitalized keywords and non-caps, so when I'm searching for a particular keyword, I don't want to have to search for both Robert and robert.

Luckily, exported images retain the keywords, so when Aperture no longer works under some future OS, I'll be able to keep all those keywords in whatever new cataloging application I choose.

You certainly have my commiseration, Gordon. As far as suggestions, I'd just point out that Lightroom has a number of organizing tools. The trick is finding the one(s) that work(s) for you.

For example, you can set up your "keeper" folder in Lightroom as a "collection" rather than exporting anything. Or you can use the 5 star rating system. You can even set up a "smart" keeper collection so that Lightroom will automatically add any photo with, say, more than three stars or tagged with "kids" to that collection, or multiple collections.

I like the collections tool, so much so that I now have too many collections cluttering up my Lightroom and I really should clean them up... ;)

Often, I remember the camera and lens I probably used to take a photo I'm trying to find, and can narrow it down that way. Lightroom saves that info automatically if you shoot digital with a non-adapted lens (those who shoot film or adapted lenses will likely manually tag such info).

For retroactive tagging, which I force myself to do sometimes, Lightroom makes it easy to select and tag many photos at once.


Similar to how I store my slides, I file my digital images in one big folder. While I can never find the image I'm looking for, I always re-discover an image I'd forgotten about:)

The best answer, as Joe already said, is proper Keywording.
I am very bad at doing that. In spare time I've been going back and adding them. The Guru is Seth Resnick.
The problem with calendar based file systems when used alone is that you have to remember When you took the image, or when you scanned it. I am hopeless at that.
Because I am a ' tough grader' of my own pictures, even with a 69,000 picture library of personal work (work for pay does get a new folder for each year and then by client) I have relatively few 5* images and a manageable number of 4*, so when I'm desperate I can search all5* or All 4* and usually find what I am looking for.

Seth teaches a specific method that really works, but as has already been noted, will never be confused with an enjoyable activity.
The key is doing it by rote as part of the ingestion process, when some keywords can be added in batches.

Anyone who worked on a newspaper before computers will recall the photo library staff who could recall any picture from the vaguest of descriptions and locate it in the vault within moments.

David Bennett mentioned PhotoMechanic and he really shouldn't hesitate. No piece of software was ever better supported than by the Camera Bits team.

My "Mom's Birthday" photograph would have been filed in a directory labeled "People." I have sub-directories by name or event, so "Mom's Birthday" would be either in a sub-directory "Maya" or "Mom" -- or event (family get together + date, etc). So even if I didn't remember the tag, I would quickly find her photograph somewhere in my "People" directory.

This has been an easier solution for me rather then depending on remembering "tags."

I do the same with a directory "Trips" with sub-directories by place, eg, "Sierras". The sub-directories may also have sub-directories, eg, sub-directory "Sierras" under directory "Trips" has sub-directories by date of trip (quite a few, since it is a popular destination for me.

As a nature photographer primarily, I have directories by category, such as "Birds," with sub-directories by name (Robin, Blue Jay, etc) and a subdirectory for "Unidentified."


Whew! What a palaver.

I import everything into the old Apple iPhoto - which can instantly tag all faces anyway, or places ..or anything which looks (to it) like a face! - and the program automatically makes thumbnails of 'Events' (photos shot or imported around the same date), which one can then skim through -w-h-e-e-e- just like that.

It can also index photos by your 'Flagging' them, by Keywords, or by the number of stars (1 to 5) which you give them, or by description or a 'title' (instead of a filename). You can search on anything that's in an EXIF file, so - for example - "Olympus", or "7-14mm" lens, or "ISO 3200" or "WX350" (a type of camera).

You can drop any assortment of photos into as many themed 'Albums' as you want ..the program just does all the work for you.

(Er, not to be confused with the more recent 'Photos' program.)

Well this is a subject that’s likely to keep the readership busy for a while! I’m not proud to admit that I have just over 70,000 images in my main Lightroom catalog which now spans thirteen years. (“Culling” has become a idle pastime for me, as you might imagine.) Being able to quickly relocate a particular image is usually some degree of a challenge in such an inventory. But I am glad to claim that I’m nearly always able to do so relatively quickly and with relative ease. The trick, as any librarian would tell you, is to adopt a system that works for you and stick to it with complete devotion. Here’s mine, for what it’s worth to others.

First, the atom of my system is the image file name, the format of which has not changed in thirteen years and is extremely simple, albeit sometimes lengthy.

It is cccc-yyyymmdd-hhmm-nnnn
where “cccc” is the camera model, “yyyymmdd” is the capture date, “hmmm” is the 24-hour capture time, and “nnnn” is the image serial number taken from the original camera file’s name. I use a very old utility called “Exif Renamer” to rename image files as soon as they’re read from the memory card.

For example this image’s file name is: "G7X2-20170502-2000-0508”

Next comes the physical folder organization on my hard drive. That’s also extremely simple:

YYYY --> MM --> "DD - (description)"

where YYYY is the year, MM is the 2-digit month, and DD is the 2-digit day of the month followed by a description of the images in that folder. So, for example, that image referenced above lives in the folder: 2017 / 05 / "02 - NY Street Night" on my hard disc. I can have any number of DD date folders in a MM, titled and filled topically.

Right away, this simple structure makes for an extremely durable organization system not dependent on any application software or external cataloging system. Anyone who could read my disc drive could quickly grasp the organization. And that was exactly my goal, knowing that software is wonderful but software becomes outdated and unsupported quickly (ex: Apple’s Aperture).

Next comes Lightroom. The folder structure in my Lightroom catalog is exactly the same as the physical structure shown above. I always apply keywords upon an image’s import and, at this point, rarely have to apply any new keywords. I also try to keep the keywords simple and few. For example, the keywords on that image are “street”, “night”, “New York”, and “traffic”. I’ve found that greater specificity doesn’t better serve me. I also initially rate each image to make it even easier to segregate later.

Lightroom also provides wonderful facilities for creating and using “Collections”, something I don’t think most users understand or use well. And now that I’ve moved onto PhotoShelter, PhotoShelter’s publishing service for Lightroom makes managing my online image collections a real breeze!

This simple system has served me incredibly well for many years. But I again emphasize that I support it religiously (it’s just become second nature). I also emphasize that it fits me and the way I work. If I was a full-time vocational photographer I might have to add a layer or two of segregation. (I’ve actually created separate catalogs for such jobs.)

Common sense, discipline and consistency are the keys to success with cataloging.!

Oh dear. I have two cameras on the go. In the past year I've taken 103 *folders* of pictures with one and 23 with the other. In film days I probably wouldn't have taken 103 pictures in a year. Memo to self 'How about taking less pictures' :).

Because all my digital files are named and dated I mostly seem to be able to find what I want amongst them. Unfortunately the same can't be said of my shoe boxes full of 35mm slides, or a cupboard shelf groaning under the weight of film era prints.

But my main challenge today is editing what I'm taking - how to proceed, and how to find the time - so I hope you're going to open up that perennial topic again too ...

My transition to digital in 2000 (scans from film, made by my go-to camera store), then to "real" digital images from cameras, forced me to think about a usable indexing method. My mental model was my photo shoe-box, where the envelopes of negs and prints were stored chronologically, with notes to tell me what content they contained. With some trial and error, I ended up with the following, which has proved workable for me:
-IMAGES folder
--YYYY folder

"cam" is a 3 or 4 letter abbreviation for the camera I used, because (somehow) I seem to recall that better. I can usually find something without too much poking around. With over 143,000 images in around 24,000 folders, that's not too bad. (143,000 sounds impressive, but all it means is that I haven't thrown away the crap. I think maybe if I took my computer with me, and spent about a month in Husavik, Iceland, in January, it would be enough of a distraction/interruption-free environment that I could get the job done. Meanwhile, I just plod along.)

Re Photo Mechanic, I find it really convenient for key-wording. I also use Lightroom, but mostly for the develop and print parts.

Re: Aperture (iPhoto) and face recognition. Aperture has face recognition and for exporting one can select all photos with one person and then keyword the photos. Of course, Aperture is no longer supported (although still works with High Sierra with minor clean up) and the face recognition requires manually going through the photos, but that's easier than key wording. The latter versions of iPhoto and Aperture could share the same libraries.

Way back when I was gainfully employed as senior instructional materials technologist with a small school board, it was decided to go with the YYYYMMDD method for dates, if only to be able to track documents and the like. We were using Commodore Personal Computers for teaching then as well as the PET
series of computers.
Had thought of using a similar formula for dating my numerous colour slides however at that point in time (mid-1970's) had been photographing for some years and saw no viable reason
to change. Beside most people then had no idea of computer date systems, like today.
Jump ahead to 2017. Am slowly selling/donating my some 30,000 colour slides to various groups and institutions. As mentioned in a previous posting the joy of photography for me has left the building. And as most of my mages are railway in subject, best the images go somewhere they maybe appreciated and perhaps digitized. None of us know our own personal expiry date, however best our shelves be bare.
Maybe the dates written on the remaining colour slides will evoke good memories of my past, maybe not. Very few family photos remain; was booted from the strict Christian household family enclave early on due to my personal activities with other men. As a loner, now take images if any, only for me, nobody else. Your experience may differ.

When I've really lost a digital photo in Lightroom, usually I can still find it on Smugmug, where I keep all my keepers better organized. I copy the file number and then search the library and there it is...

I'm not so good about keywording, and likely never will be. Eventually Lightroom or Apple will have some kind of extra smart AI feature to do it automatically, so I'll wait for that.

I've learned from frustrating searches to use keywords in Lightroom which indeed helps. But the tough part, as you suggest, is pruning. Honestly, I don't believe I have more than 1,500 meaningful digital photographs, and that's being generous. So I'm spending this summer reducing the catalog, a sobering but also refreshing thing.

Be aware that tagging photos is not a complete solution for a failing memory. I keep looking at one photo and can not understand why I tagged it "rickshaw".

Where do I get an intern to keyword all my images? \;~)>

A couple of ideas I haven't seen in the comments so far, both using the power of the LR catalog system*:

Geocoding - I have been religiously geocoding shots taken away from home for years**. The Maps tab in LR may then be used to find and select all the images taken in any place.

I suppose if I were a portrait photographer . . . But most of my work is outside, and moving. This has been a life saver.

Metadata - LR allows selecting images based on EXIF data, date (including ranges), camera, lens, focal length, and so on. That often allows finding that elusive image I didn't keyword.

Combining the two functions, I can, for example, select all the shots from one small part of a particular botanic garden, in all different visits, then use metadata to select from those by date.

* No, I don't like or use LR for editing; I'm a PS guy. That doesn't mean I can't use it for other things.

** I used an i-gotU for years, then mostly iPhone apps, now Garmin Trex 401, for the greater sensitivity, for accuracy under tree cover, etc. LR will do the tagging from GPX file, but I prefer GeoSetter (free).

The "Keepers" folder idea is one of those things that is totally obvious once someone suggests it. Thanks! I named mine "000KEEPERS" so it is at the top of the list.

The picture you included in your article, of "Jesus " consoling the homeless girl, is one of the best street photos I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot, starting in the late 1930's.

There are several possible back stories - ranging from their working this together to a random encounter between two street people, but it doesn't matter.

Really, really good picture.

Burton Randol

I pretty much do what you do (i.e. folders by year, month and shoot, keywords in LR). I've got four catalogs (pro work, fine art work, family photos and travel photos). This system works pretty well for me.

However, my wife wants to find family photographs to use on social media and she can't find them in my complicated file system. I do export JPEGS, but store them as a sub-folder of the shoot.

Now, I'm contemplating a "finished photos" folder where I'll store all my "developed" work by year and type of work. After I'm long gone, I'm hopeful that my family will be able to locate my family photos and portfolios without having to learn Lightroom.

a) editing aka culling is bad. If I had gotten rid of what was uninteresting 30-40 years ago, all the photo's I think are interesting now would be gone.

b) Organizing by subject matter only makes sense when you are doing the organizing. A member of my family removed thousands of family slides from their labeled and dated trays, and sorted them out by who was in the photo. The International Dairy Queen , or the US Secretary of Agriculture visiting the farm. (we are the sort of family that has snapshots of Nixon and the king of Saudi Arabia in little frames at my grandparents house)
So this one is listed under cows
Cow on a cable car ! These days it would have to be a 'service cow' I'm sure there is a really excellent story about why my grandfather took a cow to San Francisco and got them to let him take a photo of it on a cable car, but I know about as much as that lady passenger in the photo who seems like this happens ALL THE TIME in San Francisco.

This is in a box of photos of my grandmother, although it too could be listed under cows. Where and when and why would be a lot more useful.
My grandmother always wore pink when traveling.

C) Organizing by date is about the only thing that works for me, but I wish there were a way to figure out the dates on all my old B&W negatives.

Ahhh, the joys of digital - being able to have so much content stored in such a small physical space has generally resulted in digital bloat (music, movies, images, books etc) - we have it because we have the space to keep it.

Having been stung by the digital photo bug once (1500 photos from a 10 day holiday), I'm learning to be more selective / film-like in what I shoot with my DSLRs in the first place. For the iPhone I may take many shots of something, but then I quickly purge down to 1 keeper (more if justified).

While I too have date & event-based file structures, I'm contemplating an overarching approach to organising final images. Start with a simple binary split: images that document an event (family, friends, gatherings, trips etc), and then photography for my own pleasure (perhaps split into keepers & practice/mistakes/learners). The particular event & date structure can happily sit under that. It doesn't preclude overlap, but it means I should be able to search sub-sets, not the whole pile. Now, to start tagging the last 10 years worth of images... :)

Folders by Year/Month/Shoot.

Quality by star rating 1 for anything worth more than a cursory look, 2, 3, 4 depending on potential at the time. I'm constantly surprised by how often I'll go back into a folder and reassess a no star up to a three, or vice versa as time changes the picture.

I've taken to Ashley Gilbertson's captioning advice: Caption everything with a broad description that covers the context or events of the day (remember, captions can be searched just like keywords).

Then do a second pass, adding more specific context to each series or scene.

Then a third, noting specific things to this photograph, people in frame etc.

You can do the same with keywords via keyword sets.

I try to do this at upload time a) to get it out of the way, and b) to do it before I've forgotten the nuances.

There are standard meta-data fields for "rating", and for "keywords"; use them! Then more software will understand what you're doing, and hence you will be less captive to any one software package and company.

At a higher level -- I frequently find that the reason I need a photo later is *not* the reason I took it. For people photos, it's sadly frequent lately that it's because they've died. Thus anything based just on filing "what the photos are" is inadequate for me. I file chronologically since it's as good as anything, often useful, and how I started out when I started organizing my negatives around 1968, but I tag people if I notice I have a decent shot of them. One thing I started doing but haven't followed through on is tagging group size -- so I can distinguish "Gordon R. Dickson in a crowd" from "candid portrait of Gordon R. Dickson", for example.

I do find Photo Mechanic to be completely without competition for quickly sorting a large pile of photos. It's also very good for applying metadata -- perhaps not utterly without competition, but very good, and I'm using it already :-) .

The thing I hate most about Lightroom is that it bundles a quite useful photo editing package with a fairly decent photo database (or "digital asset management") package -- which you can't avoid using. I like software that is brilliant at one thing, and editing and indexing are *very* different jobs.

Use EXIF & IPTC meta data, then it will always be available regardless of later software.

I'm curious as to why you don't use more than one tag. Lightroom is clumsy to use as a cataloguing tool, but I use it anyway. I used iView MediaPro before; I think it's way superior in every way, but Microsoft bought it and put it to pasture.

In the film era I really believe the basic difference between pros/advanced amateurs and everybody else (aside from actual skill with the tools) is that they knew where their negatives were.

I recently started organizing "events", "trips" or "shoots" into separate catalogs each inside a folder labeled by date (YYYMMDD) and whatever it is that unifies the images inside. I keep these folders on an external hard drive and back them up to a another external drive. I usually have a few odd, unrelated images that don't warrant separate catalogs but still seem worth keeping. I open catalogs by double-clicking the catalog file as opposed to from within Lightroom. I create separate sub-folders for processed image files including web-resolution jpegs. I learned this approach from a video tutorial my girlfriend shared with me and I'm pretty happy with it so far. I do need to develop the discipline to start tagging the actual image. I wonder if anyone else has trouble picking tags that they will actually remember when when the time comes to search for a particular image.

My folder structure isn't as complicated as many folks here are using! In Lightroom, I import photos into a dated folder in the fomat yyyy-mm-dd Event Name or Place or Person. I key word the family photos as "family" at the same time. Usually I can find whatever I want by searching all fields in the text search feature.

After I import the photos I go through and flag the "good" ones and then I only work with flagged photos. I code the files I deliver or publish with a red flag.
So far, so good...

Here is a brief overview of Seth Resnick's approach to Keywording
Not for the faint of heart

In the open source world there used to be a feature in Digikam where you could make a rough sketch and the program would find the images that match. This feature seems to have disappeared, but I thought it was the smartest thing ever.
I wish Adobe would pick up on something like that...

- I use PhotoSupreme (PSU) from Idimager.
- I use a date based folder structure (using PSU import folder options to do this - it's easy and automatic).
- I have the PSU import option "prompt for event before import starts" checked; so each import prompts me for an "event" name; I give each import a short meaningful event name; I have PSU set to use this event name in the automatic folder name, to make the folder name even more meaningful. The event name comes after the date in the folder name: e.g. 2017-06-29 Val Gardena, Italy (where "Val Gardena, Italy" is what I entered when prompted).
- The full folder structure I use is hierarchical eg: "X:\Pictures\Albums\2017\2017-06\2017-06-29 Val Gardena, Italy"
- My filename rule in PSU is set to include the date, time, camera model and the original name: 20170629_105535_DMC-G3_P1150711.JPG. Again it's all automatic once set up. This enables me to, in isolation, immediately know when the picture was taken, where I can find it within the folder structure, what camera I took it with, and the original filename. It also means filenames are unique even if you have multiple camera bodies of the same model. And finally it lets me correlate back to the original name on the card in case something goes wrong with the import.
- I have the import option "create catalog label from folder names" set. In this way, because the foldername contains the event name, the images are all labelled with the event name right from the start so I can then always find them easily in the catalog.
- PSU uses hierarchical labels - it has flexible and powerful options for handling these. I have learnt, as has the author, to keep it simple with the numbers of labels and not to have too complex a structure. Even if your search returns a few hundred pics, it does not take very long to scan few those thumbnails. Only make your label structure as complex as it needs to be, and no more, to make your result set narrow enough that your searches are not impossibly long. E.g. if you take lots of family pics then label each person by name, but if you don't, then just use "family" (in my case I label my own rellies, of whom I have lots of pics, by name, but group pics of my various inlaws only by family). NB This is good advice for ANY filing system - paper, emails, etc.
- I generally process a day at a time when I am importing and/or working on pictures, this works well for various reasons.

This system works well for me and has withstood the test of time; and has been a great help in sorting out the mess on the odd occasion when things have gone wrong.

This is an interesting thread... I personally don't use Lightroom's metadata tagging feature (but I should), to add in location, people, and event information. What I do is I export JPEGs of finished photos to an export album with a name of YYYY_MM_DD_DESCRIPTION, then upload it my online sharing location (in my case, google photos).

This way, I can browse through the dates and search for the description (normally a place or event). Generally, with this approach I can find what i want pretty quickly.

I then share the link with friends and family via email. This gives me a second chance to find valuable photos.

Finally, for my keeper photos, that's a little harder, since they have no friends nor family associated with them. So I refer the red tag in LR for these.

Hope this gives you (and the readership) some ideas!

Cheers, Pak

Personally I don't see the need to include the camera model at all. My cataloging almost always starts and ends with the date, event, place or description, as it uploads using Windows Media Wizard. Now that titles can be long, I can apply them to every image in batch uploads to folders of same name, keeping to what is essential on every image. Example: May 1-2016, High Park Toronto autumn scenery. If I happen to access certain images for a particular reason and need to alter or add something, at that point I will add it. Such as, trees, ICM (intentional camera movement), multiple exposure, etc, right in the title. And because I have learned form one search, I will always add those extra word descriptions in the future. Works for the vast majority of images. It is like making the tag system your title system.

I will grant that adding too many variables, such as names of family members, can be problematic. But you can add words or names in titles of specific images as you access them. No need to do it otherwise.

Frankly, I get overwhelmed by too many images at once. I have been paring my stock to one hard drive. Who is going to look at these when I am gone? Enjoy taking and sharing while you can.

John R

I agree with Hugh Crawford, above. That is, I don't cull anything.

I see no point in organising photos into folders based upon date. Lightroom provides this functionality in a virtual way. I do import photo's into a folder for each camera. This is simply to reduce the potential for files with the same name from different imports (I have and use several Fuji camera's). However, even this requirement could be removed with a good file renaming strategy.

After importing, I create a collection that is my virtual folder for the event. Sometimes I tag, but I do find this an onerous chore. The only tags that are of interest to me are people related. This is something that could be automated with facial recognition software. Maybe Lightroom can already do it.

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