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What field is best to use when giving context to an image?

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hbwilliams22

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8.3.1
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"File Name"
"Title"
"Keywords"

These are fields that seem to make the most sense.

In the past, I used "File Name" to title an image in order to make it searchable. I would use a structure like 2019-08-24 atlanta ga katherine birthday.jpg. As you could imagine, this started to get very tedious and opened the door to typo errors. I now use the GPS metadata (assuming it's available) to search location and also Keywords to group photos here and there.

My question is: if I want to give more context to a photo (ie, "katherine birthday"), does it make the most sense to use do so with the "File Name", "Title", or something else?
 
Most would use keywords, then it's easily searchable.
 
I don't search for images outside of lightroom so there is no point to renaming images on import or later. It is important that I be able to locate the source copy in the "Make a Second Copy..." folder that ties to an original copy that is in Lightroom or might have been deleted from LR. On export, I name derivatives and always include the 4 number character string associated with the original file name as recorded by the camera.
I use multiple keywords to identify images Sometimes adding these on import where one keyword phrase applies t o all or nearly all image imported in that batch. My keywords describe who, what, or where. "When" is not needed as this is recorded by the camera in the CaptureDate field.
My workflow includes checking for and adding keywords, Title and Caption. Title is a short description of the contents of the image and Caption is a longer description of the contents of the image. No image in my catalog is marked complete unless it has at least one keyword, a Title, a Caption and has been through the Develop module. Online services like Lightroom Cloud, Facebook and Flickr display Title or Caption to Both.
I use SmartCollections to manage my inventory and to Publish using publish services.
The time you spend thinking up cute descriptive file names could be better spent organizing by (Smart) Collections and keywords.
 
I don't search for images outside of lightroom so there is no point to renaming images on import or later. It is important that I be able to locate the source copy in the "Make a Second Copy..." folder that ties to an original copy that is in Lightroom or might have been deleted from LR. On export, I name derivatives and always include the 4 number character string associated with the original file name as recorded by the camera.
I use multiple keywords to identify images Sometimes adding these on import where one keyword phrase applies t o all or nearly all image imported in that batch. My keywords describe who, what, or where. "When" is not needed as this is recorded by the camera in the CaptureDate field.
My workflow includes checking for and adding keywords, Title and Caption. Title is a short description of the contents of the image and Caption is a longer description of the contents of the image. No image in my catalog is marked complete unless it has at least one keyword, a Title, a Caption and has been through the Develop module. Online services like Lightroom Cloud, Facebook and Flickr display Title or Caption to Both.
I use SmartCollections to manage my inventory and to Publish using publish services.
The time you spend thinking up cute descriptive file names could be better spent organizing by (Smart) Collections and keywords.
A few questions:

1. Can you give some context to your keyword structure?
2. How do you ensure a photo has at least one keyword, a Title, a Caption and has been through the Develop module? Is there a way to identify when photos don’t have all of these checked off?
3. Can you give some detail on how you use smart collections?
 
And finally, given that Smart Collections can't be synced with mobile, how do you handle that?
 
A few questions:

1. Can you give some context to your keyword structure?
My Keyword are hierarchal.
They follow the form:
Genre
Nature​
Animal​
Insect​
Lepidoptera​
Butterfly​
Black Swallowtail​
Moth​
Spider​
I only need to add the keyword Black Swallowtail to also add the other parents in the Hierarchy.
2. How do you ensure a photo has at least one keyword, a Title, a Caption and has been through the Develop module? Is there a way to identify when photos don’t have all of these checked off?
I use a modified version of John Beardsworths' Workflow smart collections – Lightroom Solutions – John Beardsworth I also use it to develop Publish Services including those to the local Hard Drive managing all exports via Smart Collection
3. Can you give some detail on how you use smart collections?
I use a label set associated with one of the color labels so that I can quickly see what stage an image is in by it color label:

label Red = "To Be Worked",
label Yellow = "Work In Progress",
label Green = "Needs Further Review",
label Blue = "Not In a Published Collection - Complete",
label Purple = "In a Published Collection",
Workflow smart collections – Lightroom Solutions – John Beardsworth
I can find All images that do not have keywords Or images without a Title etc.

Images that go into a static Collection involves a manual process I create a Smart Collection to match the Sync'd collection then I add the contents of the Smart Collection to the Static Collection that is sync'd to the Cloud.
 
As Cletus has stated, trying to include image metadata as part of the file name probably not the best use of your time and resources.

For file name I follow the recommendations of Peter Kroug in his series of books on digital asset management (DAM) and keep the file name simple and unique across my entire catalog. I do this immediately as part of my import using the built in custom renaming template. I use the format lsherwin_YYYYMMDD_NNNN.ext where NNNN is the original sequence number provided by camera. I keep this unique name as the basis for all derivatives. That way I can always find the original source file even if it happens to end up in a different folder.

I also will put the imported images into date based folders using the YYYY/YYYY-MM/YYYY-MM-DD folder structure provided in the import dialog. I use the expanded folder naming so that I am absolutely clear where I am in the folder hierarchy. If you use the shortened names then a folder "03" for March or is it the 3rd of April. Once an image is imported into the correct date based folder I almost never rename it or move it. This comprises the physical organization of my image archive. This is all easily done automatically by setting up an Import preset.

From this point forward I do all the logical organization in the manner that Cletus has described.

-louie
 
No foolish questions here...

Make sure first that you are using "Copy" if coming from a memory card (Do not use Move or Add) If you have previously copied all the images one or more memory cards into a holding folder on your hard drive you can use "Move". "Add" will ignore the destination and use the existing path when importing images. This is a really bad idea when coming from a memory card.

These modes are selected at the top bar of the dialog.

It's in the right panel of the Import dialog under the Destination tab use the pull down menus.

Organize: By Date
Date Format: 2019/2019-08/2019-09-24

You can do this only during Import. If you have images already imported but in a different folder structure, you can reorganize them manually using the Folders panel in the Grid. However, this is not necessary to take advantage of any of the other logical organization tools in Lightroom. And definitely do not want to reimport just for this. That is almost always a not so good idea.

-louie
 
Thanks for the info. Final question I have for you is regarding mobile images. My mobile images are auto-imported to Lr and live in their own folder (image below). If I wanted them to be in the daily folder "2019-09-24" in the main catalog, would I need to manually add them to the appropriate day?
12954
 
There's an option in Preferences > LR Sync. With a bit of care, you can point new mobile images to arrive in the same folder as photos imported normally.
 
The ones that are already ing that "Imported Photos" folder need to be manually moved. As John has indicated you can set the preferences to import into date named folders
12955
 
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