Preserving Capture Date


Today’s Question: One of my biggest issues is file naming and organizing in such a way that I will be able to recover the actual date of capture in case the actual original shooting date is lost. How do recommend accomplishing this with Lightroom [Classic]?

Tim’s Quick Answer: While it is not likely that you would lose all capture date and time information from the metadata for your photos, you can preserve that information in Lightroom Classic by renaming your photos with a structure that includes the date of capture.

More Detail: There are a wide variety of options available for renaming your photos in Lightroom Classic. One of the more flexible options is to use a template for batch-renaming photos, either during import or later in your workflow.

It can be a good idea to retain the original filename from the camera, especially if there is any chance you have referenced or shared (such as with a client) the original filename. Therefore, in the context of today’s question, I would recommend adding the capture date to the beginning of the filename, while retaining the original filename as part of the overall name.

Lightroom Classic includes a file renaming template that consists of the capture data along with the original filename. So, to get started you could select the photos you want to rename. Then, in the Library module, go to the menu and choose Library > Rename Photos. In the dialog that appears, you can choose “Date – Filename” from the File Naming popup menu. Note that you can also choose “Edit” from this popup if you want to make changes to the file naming template.

After selecting the desired template, you can click the OK button to have the selected photos renamed based on the selected template. Note that the “Date” option in this case relates to the date of capture for each individual photo, which Lightroom will extract from the metadata for each image.