Renaming Your Image Files in Lightroom

As your library grows, it will become harder to keep track of your images if there are no unique identifiers in the actual file name (for example, a small abbreviation for the location the image was taken in). When you have thousands of images, it’s not helpful to simply use the standard file name that the camera came up with.

Here’s what we’ll discuss in the following lesson:

  • Creating a smart file renaming template that you can use to keep your images organized and tidy.
  • Easily renaming image file names in bulk, allowing you to quickly search and segment your source files outside of Lightroom.

Why Should You Rename Image Files in the First Place?

The File Renaming Template and Workflow

0:00Selecting Images to Rename
1:11Standard Templates
3:07The Custom Text Field
3:35Building Your Own Template
4:10Variables vs. Non-Variables
5:31Adding Custom Text Directly to the Renaming Template
6:23Changing Fields
10:30Saving a Template
13:19Using A Template


ASSIGNMENT: Rename Your Image Files With a Template

1. Plan your renaming template and create it with the template builder.

Renaming your images files to add at least one variable (i.e. image number) and one non-variable (i.e. location or camera model) will greatly help you stay organized outside of Lightroom.

  • Browse through your catalog and decide on a non-variable that makes sense for your portfolio. Personally, I like adding the camera model to the file name as I use subfolders to segment my image by location.
  • Create a custom template using the template builder. You can create more than one template if needed.
  • Keep your eye on the example, which gives you direct feedback on how your template will look once applied.
  • Save your template, which can now also be used at import or export.

2. Gather images for renaming and apply the new template.

  • Choose a folder of images to rename, and select all of the images in that folder.
  • Go to Library > Rename Photos and apply the template.
  • Apply a color label to the folder to indicate the images have been renamed so you can keep track of your progress.

1 thought on “Renaming Your Image Files in Lightroom”

  1. At the start of this lesson you renamed the files in that folder by the name of a state Park yet when you finished your template there was no mention of the park in it. would the name you assigned earlier stay on the file. I couldn’t see it at the end of the demonstration of the template.

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