The Outsourcing Blog


How to Correctly Name your Editing and Culling Jobs

30 August 2018

We use the same job naming format for all of our outsourcing clients and jobs. This helps us keep track of each job in our system; as well as prioritise jobs when clients submit multiple jobs in a short period of time. The format incorporates your ‘PMC Client Number’ that we assign to you when you sign up with us, as well as the ‘Shoot Date’ and ‘ClientNames’ to make identification easy.

Below you will find a real world example, followed by step-by-step written guides for correctly naming your editing and culling jobs.

The Format

The naming format we use for all editing and culling jobs is;

YourClientNumber-ShootDate -ClientNames (or Job Identifier)

An example for this would be for client 1002-Jack Chauvel. He is preparing an editing job from the 1st of January 2018. His clients names are Kate & James. When preparing the job file he would name the catalogĀ 1002-01-01-2018-Kate&James

If Jack had another catalog to upload from the 2nd of January 2018 with clients Teresa&Patrick he would name the catalogĀ 1002-02-01-2018-Teresa&Patrick

In this scenario Jack would have two unique jobs that are being worked on at the same time, that are clearly identifiable. If Teresa & Patrick requested a rush delivery, he could then request we prioritize Teresa & Patrick over Kate & James. If there is no request, we will work on the date priority within the job name.

The ClientNames or Job Identifier need to be unique, but can be decided by you. In the examples above, Jack may simply decide to use the brides name to identify each job. As long as the jobs do not have identical names, we can work with your choice of job identifier.

Step by Step

There are two ways that you can name your editing and culling jobs. You can create a new Lightroom Catalog and use the naming format at the time of creation; or you can rename an existing Lightroom Catalog so that it uses our naming format.

Naming a New Catalog

  1. Open the version of Lightroom that you prefer to use (keeping in mind it must be Lightroom 5 or newer so we can utilize Smart Previews).
  2. Select ‘New Catalog’ from the ‘File’ drop down in the ‘Top Menu’
  3. In the pop up box, type the name of the new job using the ‘Naming Format’
  4. Select the location where you would like to create the ‘New Catalog’
  5. Leave the ‘Save as Type’ set to default
  6. Click ‘Create’ and wait for Lightroom to create the ‘New Catalog’ and re-launch the application
  7. When ready, import the photos you would like in your new editing or culling job and create the ‘Smart Previews’ for these files upon import.

Rename an Exisiting Catalog

  1. Open the directory where the Lightroom Catalog is current located
  2. Make sure Lightroom is closed (and that the catalog you wish to rename is not open in Lightroom)
  3. You will need to rename either one or two files within this catalog folder. These one or two files are the ‘Lightroom Catalog’ file and the ‘Smart Previews’ folder. If ‘Smart Previews’ have not yet been created for this catalog, you will not need to rename this file (as it does not exist yet).
  4. Select the ‘Lightroom Catalog’ file by right clicking the file and select ‘Rename’
  5. Simply type in the new name for the catalog, using the ‘Naming Format’ above.
  6. Once completed, select the new name and ‘Right Click’ and select ‘Copy’.
  7. Press enter/return or simply click on the folder to save the changes.
  8. If you have a Smart Previews folder to rename, you only need to partially change the name of this folder. Do so by right clicking the ‘Smart Previews’ folder and selecting ‘Rename’
  9. Select the first part of the catalog name (the part you wish to change) and ‘Right Click’ and select ‘Paste’. This should replace the original name with the newly assigned catalog name.
  10. The ‘Smart Previews’ folder should now read ‘NewCatalogName Smart Previews’. In this example the ‘NewCatalogName’ is the only part that needs to change. A common mistake is that people replace the whole name (including the words Smart Previews) and this causes the ‘Smart Previews’ to no longer work.
  11. Once done, open the newly named Lightroom Catalog (with the correct version of Lightroom) and make sure it loads correctly. You should not have to ‘Build Smart Previews’ again if you have named it correctly.
  12. If you have not yet ‘Built Smart Previews’ then building them now is a good time to do it!

Tip #1 – We create a ‘New Catalog’ for each and every shoot we do. We find it easier to track and manage, especially when outsourcing any culling or editing.

Tip #2 – We use the ‘Naming Format’ for each and every shoot we do. This makes it easier to track and saves renaming catalogs on a regular basis.

Tip #3 – Renaming a catalog is very quick, just make sure you correctly rename the Smart Previews folder to avoid any issues loading them.

If you have any issues with the naming of catalogs or lightroom catalogs in general then please email us at

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