Every time you send your digital images to a fellow artist, writer, editor, customer, store, gallery, or museum, the "name" of your digital image files can help the recipient organize your images for easy use and possibly more exposure for your art or craft.
Effectively "named" digital images will assure that your files stay together on another computer and not get lost or mixed up with other images.
A document in the Professional Guidelines titled Working with Digital Images Effectively offers solid information for the arts community. I suggest that you take the time to review this document for more comprehensive information about digital images.
Names for digital image files should include (in this order):
- last name
- abbreviated title (of object, artwork, etc.)
- KEYWORDS describing the image
- hyphens between words
- image suffix such as .jpg, .tif, or .png (Read the previous blog for information about types of digital file extensions.)
Use your last name at the beginning of your image file names and adopt this as a consistent method when you send your images.
Here is an example of my image file names. I added my first initial because my last name is common.
- berman-h-aol-earring.tif (all lowercase example)
- Berman-h-identity-chair.tif. (lower and uppercase)
Do not add spaces or an underscore (_) in the file name.
Try to make sure that your image names actually identify the photo and relate to your image description. Generic names like "Earring1" or "earring2" make it difficult to remember which item is in each file. Instead use a descriptive name such as:
Capital letters are discouraged in web images. If your images are for a website, use lower case letters only.
My web images are saved at 72dpi. So I add "72" to the image file name to easily distinguish which are my web images.
This post is part of a series on improving your digital images and photography. Stay tuned for more practical and proactive tips for professional success in the coming weeks.
This post was updated on December 22, 2021.