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Tip for ANYONE using images - CATALOG, name and tag your images the RIGHT way... - wedologie.com

As I sit her about to embark on the massive task of going through my photo archives – I am letting out a huge sigh…

There are a lot of things I did right:

  • I renamed my images appropriately for the website/blog (venue_name_city_state_etc.jpg) – great for SEO (more on that later)
  • I backed up my files in multiple locations – both in-house and off-site/cloud (credit to my husband & business partner Paul on that one)
  • I organized my events by year, month & client name – so I can find what I need….

EXCEPT when I need an image of a “purple bouquet” or “funky centerpiece.” I was great at renaming for specifics, not so much so for colors and concepts.

To my credit, most of my archived images are pre-Pinterest madness, so maybe I get a pass on this… but it doesn’t help me as I now sit here with thousands upon thousands of files – trying to create a searchable catalog of images I can use on for this site (the perk of being a photog! I already have many of the images I need,  I just have to be able to find them).


So here are my recommendations for naming images the “right” way. I’m sure this isn’t the end-all-be-all list, as technology and social media changes, these rules will likely have to be tweaked and changed, but just for your own sanity of finding images….

Name of the client (always your most important reason to search)
Location (if the venue ever needs them) – venue & city/state
Date – any format you like, just keep it consistent
Part of the day – Getting Ready, Processional, Cake, Details (this is helpful for when magazines and blogs are looking for specific images)
Color – The color that is most prominent in the image – “purple centerpiece” – “white decor”
Subject matter – You can keep it simple with “Bride” – “Bride and Groom” – “ring bearer” – “head table” – “shoes” – “letterpress invitation” – you get the idea
THEME (this for me is a big one in terms of cataloging for this site): “beach wedding” – “outdoor ceremony” – “vintage” – “modern” and on and on…

You can either rename your images this way, or add this to the meta data – any way you like, as long as its searchable on your computer.  If a magazine editor calls and wants a “vintage beach theme wedding” – you are just a few keystrokes away from finding what you need.

Do this, going forward for everything you shoot or publish.  Even if you don’t have time to go through your previous images – just start doing this now and keep at it.  It will save you tons of time in the future (trust me on this one, I know first hand).

And let me know what I missed!  What other names or tags would you recommend including?  Feel free to share you experience and ideas in the comments below!  And thanks for reading, share and contributing to the Wedologie community!