KISS your digital photo files to keep them organized.
I have read multiple articles on how to be better organized with your genealogy information and especially your photo files. These are most often very informative and tend to reach multiple pages. But as I have said before, if I had that much time to get organized, I would BE better organized! Plus if I have to keep referring back to a log or register or article to see how I am organizing information, then I am doomed! When I am working between mulitiple software packages, two computers, often on the road, and dealing with many sources, my brain yells at me to Keep It Simple Stupid! So I try and KISS all I can (in lots of ways actually)!

One of the biggest challenges is my digital photo files. I have tried by year, by place name, by subject type, surname, surname and location, and on and on. All that got me was dozens and dozens of weird files that I would forget the name of and so when I was rushing to download a photo, it was easier to put it somewhere else or create a new file. Not good!

Now I have adopted a simple, bland, and universal system for keeping my digital photo files organized for all my genealogy.

I use a very simple naming convention and I keep to it.

I keep all my photos in the top level file “Photographs”. Easy to remember.
Then I name each file for the surname of the family involved in the photo and add the first name.
Then I end each of those files with Info.

SO each of my files are under” Photographs, surname, first name, Info”. For instance I have a photo file “Phillips Scott Info”.

In the case of a photo of a document like a census sheet, I always use the head-of-household for the name.

I added the Info word so if someone who comes after me is looking for famliy documents, they will be enticed to look there and not think it is only pictures.

This has really helped me with not adding new, extraneous named files, and REALLY helped when I am looking for a photo or file later on.

I hope this helps someone. Have a great day!

Now get out there, KISS, and get

Onward To Our Past,


  1. Ama Reply

    Great tip again Scott!

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