Do you want your name to appear on someone else’s photo—the wrong photo—the next time you’re mentioned in a publication? If so, simply use an automatically-generated file name, such as IMG1313. Such an uninformative file name raises the odds that your photo won’t be matched to right name in the publication.
However, most people want their name to appear on their photo—not someone else’s photo. That’s why you should put your name in the file name.
I thought about this recently when I received two headshot photos with uninformative names. My first move after downloading the photos? I changed the files to name the person in the photo.
Identifying the subject in your photo file name is especially important when you send the photos to someone who doesn’t know what you look like. But you’re not safe even if the recipient knows you. Why? Because that person may forward your photo to someone else to publish in a magazine or on a website. That other person can easily confuse your photo file with another poorly named photo file.
The professional photographer of my headshot photos named them “Susan Weiner for print” and “Susan Weiner for web.” That makes it easy for me to pull the right photo for the right purpose.
Name your photos clearly. It’ll make your life easier.