Lightroom exporting with custom title

I totally manage my workflow with Lightroom.  Unlike many however, I create a new catalog for each shoot.  My reason is fairly simple.  I want everything about that shoot to be in a single folder.  That includes the lightroom catalog files so anything I did to those files in Lightroom is still there in that catalog folder.  Of course, any edited files in Photoshop are saved in this folder too.  I don't have to worry about files that have been moved, drives filling up, or anything that might facilitate moving my files in something smaller than the folder the catalog is in.

I've never had that pesky 'original file missing' problem.  And when I go off site, like a trip or visit to our forest retreat, I can copy any shoot folders I want to edit and everything is together and good to go.

So, with that said, here's a solution to a problem I've had for years.  File names that tell me who and when the shoot was so I can ID the owner of the butt in a body scape.  Or know who the makeup or hair people were.

A few years ago Adobe was kind enough to add something in their 'custom file name' options of placing the name of the folder into the file name.  It worked great when the files imported into the root of the folder.  Since then they seem to have made it impossible to load a shoot into the root of the folder so the file name is simply the year.  Worthless feature now. (see last image on page)  So, the problem remained that I had all of these shoots I wanted to be able to export files from that didn't have any ID to tell me the who and when of a file.


I'd never given keywords much notice because it was a lot of work to put keywords on each file and I rarely searched my files anyhow.  

I noticed however, that in the custom file naming option on exporting that it could include a keyword of any file exported in the file name.  That, my friends, sounded like my answer.  So off I went investigating keywords.  Most important, being able to issue the same keywords to every file in mass.  Because I sure didn't want to do one at a time.

It turns out there are some quirky things about doing that in Lightroom.  To keyword all of them at once, or selected ones if that's what you need, is to put them in the 'grid view' first.  Then, select everything by doing the Command-A on a Mac or Command-A on a PC.  Once they are all selected you can select 'Keywording' in the Library menu.

Lightroom CC 2017

In this case you'll see I entered Ellie1117.  Since I selected all of them they all now have that keyword associated with them.

Now, we start our export and make some customization to the file names.  

Export screen

Find the area for 'File Naming' and check the box for 'Rename to:' and select Edit at the bottom.  This will let you determine what other items to place in your file name other than just the img1234.jpg.  When you select edit you'll get this...

Screenshot 2017-11-25 18.44.32.png

In the Metadata area select the first selection box and find Keywords and select it.  When you do, press 'Insert' and you'll see it adds it to the Example in the box above.  You can see a sample of the file name as well as blue boxes saying Keywords and Filename.  If they are not in this order just pick them up and move them around.  You can poke around and see other things you can add to the file name if you'd like.  Even camera settings are options here.

And that's it.  From this point forward Lightroom will default to including your keyword(s) in the file name.  All I have to do now after importing a shoot into a new catalog is set a single keyword named the same naming convention I named the catalog.  Even some days long shoots that end up in a bunch of dated folders will all export with the catalog name for that shoot.

If you keep all of your work in one catalog (mind boggling option to me) you can still select the images you want in the grid display and keyword them for each shoot in your catalog and get the same export feature of detailed names.  Might even be more helpful in some ways.

Enjoy and let me know how it works for you.

As for Adobe making it work and then breaking it....

Neener neener

Neener neener