Choosing an appropriate file name for the photos in our digital photo collection is something we all have to deal with. And not being able to come up with a consistent system that we are happy with turns out to be one of the biggest reasons we put off starting the entire project.
To help you get past this hurdle, I created a 3-part post series called “What Everybody Ought to Know When Naming Your Scanned Photos” that walks you through the system I came up with and use to name my own photos.
Dan Keiper had already been working his own naming method when he came upon my 3-part series. After a bit of thought, he wrote me to see if he should make changes to what he had already been doing, and to seek answers to further questions that he had.
I’ve read the average family photo collection, made up of prints, slides and negatives, is about 3,000 photos. And of all of those photographs, there’s a good chance a portion of them are duplicates.
Back when we created paper prints from our developed rolls of film, it was common to pay a little bit more to have some extra copies, or at least a duplicate set. These were either stored away as a backup, or most likely, shared with someone else in the family.
And now, as you are going through your collection of prints, getting them ready to scan or send off to be scanned, you will find yourself faced with this important question.
Q&A: A couple of years ago, I started organizing my digital photos the way you showed in your naming scanned photos post, instead of by subject, etc.
I’m just now starting to archive all the photos my Mom has. As we are taking them out of the albums (which, by the way, I hate those old “magnetic” albums–the photos stick to the pages), she is telling me who is in the pictures, etc.
Most of the ones we are doing now are the real old ones–her family photos and my Dad’s family photos. Some are dated and/or have captions to help identify them, but several don’t.
The problem is she can’t always narrow down the date enough to come up with a year. So that’s causing me to have a lot of photos with ’19xx-xx-xx’ as the date. There aren’t really any other family members who will know the answer so I doubt if the dates will ever be completed.
Any suggestions as to how to handle situations like this so I don’t have a long list of ’19xx’ photos?