How to Date Scanned Photos

Recorded on November 27th, 2016

Today, I sat down at our film scanner, determined to scan some negatives and save them in a sane manner. I did some searches and ran across this totally brilliant post about How to Date Photos When Even Your Family Can’t Remember Them!

Here’s the important part:

The basics of it are that you start off the filename of a photo with the date it was taken. If there is any part of the date you don’t know, you replace it with an “x”, keeping the length of the date consistent with all of the other images in your collection.

So, something taken in December of 1978 (but on an unknown day) would start with:


If you didn’t even know the month, it would be:


And something in the great expanse of the 1970s would start with:


If it was Christmas Day in the 1980s, but you weren’t sure of the year, then:


It helps your photos line up with each other properly, and also helps remind you and others who encounter your work later that some piece of the data is unknown while the rest is known. I love this system!

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