Workflow for beginner

For those just getting into photography, or for those wishing to take their skills to the next level, can some of you that are more experienced talk a little bit about your naming standards for photos and how you organize from the beginner, perhaps before a shoot?

Do you apply naming standards within your camera or afterwards with RPD?

What is your naming standard, or how does one getting started with a naming standard? I’m not working for hire, just a hobby and I may shoot different subjects during the day. I can always learn the hard way, but I don’t want to start with something that I will have to change later into a workflow. Since I’m just getting started, help me start off correctly.

I just installed RPD and Darktable.

I’m not completely new to photography, but I’ve never really had a workflow before. I used Apple’s Aperture back in the day. I used, and still have, a Lumix G6 micro four-thirds mirror-less camera. I’ve decided that I want to get back into photography and just bought a Nikon d7500, which so far seems to be a decent camera.

I have a naming standard I use for just about everything. I break it down like this:
Who - What - When

So, for example, when I was managing LOTS of people, I would name things like this

But I made some modifications to that standard depending on if it is personal or something to share, not saying this is a GOOD idea but this is what I do. Lets say I get a document from an organization and I want to file it.

I don’t do much with photography, but I generally do similar with my files, with the only hard constant being the 8-digit date. When I do make modifications do a photo or image, I will start saving it off with -c0 -c1 -c2 because in my mind they are “change 0” for the original, c1 = “change 1” and so forth. I reserve “version” for other things.


I am not going to say this is a good method, but my method. Maybe someone else has a better solution. I do know that I can search my file system with just about any tool to find what I want if I mis-file something.


At what point to you apply this naming standard, in the camera before you shoot, during the upload with something RPD, or some time after?

Usually after. I leave whatever the camera default is initially because it has a date and a sequence number. Whenever I am ready to scan through and use the pictures is when I start naming them. I largely leave the original photos in an unmodified state.

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I just shoot pictures for fun so just use the standard rapid photo downloader settings. Each date it’s own folder.
Then I import the folder in darktable.

Structure looks like this for me:


I let Rapid Photo Downloader handle image naming. Under the “Rename” tab I’ve chosen Date-Time and Image number, which is the information I find most useful. I also shoot RAW+JPEG (since this is a hobby for me, and if the out-of-camera JPEG is fine, then the out-of-camera JPEG is fine) and I’ll create a “JPEG” folder and move the JPEGs there, ending up with this kind of setup:


The files will stay there for weeks or months, until I get time to sit down and go through the photos I’ve taken, after which edited files and JPEGS I deem good enough get moved to my primary photo library on another drive that gets managed by Digikam. I keep the filenames, and organise them into collections, some based on the date for particular events, and others based on the subject or type of photo.

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Then by date it is.

Thanks for the feedback.

The date format looks beautiful. Such a nice, clean, easy to read format!

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I also put “tags” in the file name and a long-ish description to facilitate search:

[YYYYMMDD](Tag1)(Tag2)(Tag3)...(TagN) - Precise filename

Also, God Bless ISO 8601. That format should be used more often.

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