Renaming Trail Camera Photos

We all have hundreds, if not thousands, of trail camera photos each year from the same cameras. Sure, we sort through them and delete some to keep the files down, but what do you do when you end up with photos that have the same file names? Do you spend lots of time to manually change each picture name one by one? No! There is a way to rename thousands of photos at one time in less than 30 seconds!

What to name your photos
Each camera, depending on the brand, numbers photos taken in numerical order. This means we have thousands of pictures with names like PRMS002. This gives me no information, no way of identifying particular photos and no organizational means. So I prefer to rename my photos by location the pictures where taken (ex. “Home,” “BackForty,” “RiverBottom,” etc). These location folders are sub-folders of the year the picture was taken. This lets me easily find photos of a particular buck, such as “Ugly” from 2010, because I know his pictures were taken at the location “Home.” This system has worked great for me and I recommend this instead of just leaving your photos as numbers or dates alone.

Getting started
First off, to rename a bunch of photos simply and quickly, you will need the computer program IrfanView, available FREE at This is a safe program that will not download any bugs or viruses on your computer and is an awesome tool that is easy to use. It is not only great for renaming large group of photos, but also re-sizing them as well (perfect for making photos smaller for Internet and social media uses). You will love it, TRUST ME!

Once InfanView is downloaded, you will need to follow the following simple step-by-step instructions and your trail camera pictures will be renamed and organized in no time!

Renaming Photos Steps
1.) Open IrfranView

2.) Click on “File” in the upper left corner

3.) Scroll down and click on “Batch Conversion/Rename…” A “Batch conversion” menu window will pop up.

4.) In the upper left corner, under “Work as:”, select “Batch rename”

5.) Next, find to the folder containing the photos you are looking to rename by clicking the arrow next to “Look in:” on the top center of the window and finding your photos’ location (it is easiest to rename trail camera pictures right off the SD card).

6.) Organize your photos by “Date taken” before renaming a batch, simply by right clicking in the folder (not an individual photo or it won’t come up) and selecting “Sort by” and then “Date taken” (if “Date taken” in not in the menu, click “More…” and select it from the menu). This will keep them all in order by date. You will also want to make sure you are sorting in “Ascending” order (option also under “Sort by”). This will sort the pictures from first to last.

7.) Near the bottom of the window in a group of buttons, you’ll see “Sort files.” Click on “Sort files” and a small window will pop up. Select “no Sort” and then click OK.

8.) Next, you can either click “Add all” (found in the same group of buttons) to rename all photos or you can pick individual photos instead by highlighting and dragging them to the large “Input files:” box below to add to your renaming list. Once added, the photos will show up in the “Input files:” box and you may also organize them here.

9.) Now that all your photos have been added to the “Input files:” conversion list, make sure they are in the order you would like them to be (you can preview photos in the small screen on the left side by clicking on each file photo). You can move the pictures by pressing the “Move up” or “Move down” buttons.

10.) Now pick a name for your selections and type it in “Name pattern:,” which you can find on the left side under “Batch rename settings:.” In this example, I named mine “Buckeye” since these photos are from the location I call “Buckeye Bottom.”

You will also need to add “#” behind the name for the numbers. I usually add four “#” (ex. Buckeye####), which means the photo count can go up to 9,999.

11.) Next, click on the “Options” button right of “Name pattern:” to open the options menu.

Here we want to set “Starting counter:” to 1 and “Increment:” to 1. If you did a second batch of photos under the same name, this is where you would change the starting number to the next number in line (ex. last batch ended at Buckeye0041, new batch would need “Starting counter” set at 42).

In the same popup menu, select “Copy original/input files to output directory (recommended)” (this makes sure none of your files are lost!) and then click OK.

12.) Right under the “Batch rename settings:” is “Output directory for result files:.” Click “Browse” and choose where you want to save your renamed files (for this, I create a “Trail Camera temp” folder on my desktop to send all my renamed pictures to this location for the time being). Once chosen, click OK.

13.) The next step is simply to hit the “Start Batch” button found on the bottom left corner of the window.

14.) Once the batch is complete, you will see a “Batch conversion done” menu showing all the files were renamed or if there was an error (I’ve never had an error, but if an error happens, click on “Exit batch” and try “Start Batch” again). You can now close out of IrfranView.

15.) Navigate to the folder holding your newly named pictures. Double check that all your pictures are there.

If you created a temporary folder, like I do, next you want to select all the photos and “Cut.” Then navigate to the folder where you would like to permanently place your newly renamed photos and click “Paste.”

16.) You are now done and can delete the unnamed files from your original folder and your temporary folder (if used).

Although it seems like a lot of steps right now, once you’ve done it a time or two, you’ll be a pro at it and not need to look at these instructions. It will take only seconds for you to organize hundreds or thousands of your trail camera photos and this makes it so much easier to find a particular photo in the future!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or leave a comment and we’d be happy to help you out!

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