Apple Photos App - Naming Files

Perhaps very late but better than never I have just gone through the Photos Field Guide. I must admit, and I suspect there are a few like me with pressure of time etc I have rather neglected my digital photos and what can be done via Apple Photos. I didn’t realise I could use iCloud Storage without blowing apart my storage allocation. My photos are now in much better shape and I have got rid of a lot of duplicates, but probably a chunk of time is still required to delete the rubbish. I do wonder what people do regarding renaming photo files. The ease of taking photos mean even a modest photographer can accumulate a lot of photos and for someone picking these up later they might be meaningless without better descriptors, but the enormity of the task sees us sticking with imgXXXXX.
Any inovative best practice ideas out there - especially tackling legacy photo files?

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Hazel is your friend here.

I have a process where I download all new photos from our iPhones and cull/rate them via a DAM (my preferred choice is On1 Photo Raw 2018)

I then place required photos into a Sort folder and it will change the name to the date captured. It then determines if Geocoding is required. Once Geocoding is confirmed I then sort the photos into folders based on my requirements, ie Events,Xmas,2017 Or Family,Name1,Name2,Name 3 etc (I sort into folders with the names of family members present in the images as it is ultimately more accurate than Face searches)

Hazel uses the sort folder name to add Keywords to the metadata plus add the words to the file name then files them into a structure based on the folder name.

I then import the folder into the Photos Apps using the folder name as an Album name. This allows me to search for images via Album name, File name and Keywords.

The final folder location for images is stored in my iCloud Documents folder so the images are accessible in the Photos & Files app in iOS. I also upload the Documents image folders to Google Photos as an alternative backup plus store another copy on my Synology NAS.

It may sound a convoluted process but I was recently able to classify over 6000 images from my Wife’s iPhone in only a few hours.

Happy to share the Hazel rules if anyone is interested.


Thanks for that. I have an existing Photos library - so if I understand you correctly you are saying I probably need to export these - sort them out - then re import.

That is the workflow I follow.
I use a smart album to identify photos that I have not curated and reimported back into it’s final location.

iPhone Photos Managing favourites

We have 2 iPhones and 2 iPads in our home and we take photos all the time (like we all do) however my wife likes to keep favourites on her iPhone so she can see them in the Photos app whenever she wants without having to login to an app like dropbox etc.

Is there a way to export the photos from a device but keep certain photos on her phone? What workflows or processes would you guys use to achieve this? If any…

Wow, very nice! I have a very similar workflow but I just use Google Photos to store my curated pictures. I have given up on assigning keywords and names, Google Photos is not perfect but the effectiveness/effort ratio is almost infinite in my opinion. I struggle with geotagged and non-geotagged photos. I have a mix of those because I usually use 2 different cameras. I would love to see you Hazel rules! I have a mindmap of my workfow but it is not up to date and nowhere near as tidy as yours.

Hi @lmmalouin,

Sorry took so long but I have posted a description of my workflow on Medium with links to the Hazel Rules.

Any questions please give me a shout.

Automated Photo Workflow using Hazel Rules and ExifTool


No worries. Thank you so much!