I manage a growing collection of jpeg photos (27k so far) for my partner. Aside from the time it takes to accurately tag them all (I only have about 7k of them tagged :( ), everything is fine.
The one other major problem I have is when she comes to me with a print and says, "I want another copy of this one." I usually have a general idea of where to look because the photos are stored in batches in folders by date, but that only narrows it down so far and there may be many similar photos taken while trying to get just the right one.
Is there some way (preferably not visible in the print) to add information like the file name to the picture? Since this is a print, AFAIK, no metadata will be available.
I have no idea how I could print the file info on the back of the picture like photo shops often do. That would take care of it - if I could run the photo paper through the printer twice without damaging the picture side.
Even if this would work, she still prints a lot of her photos at a photo shop and I can't control what they do or don't print on the back.
I wonder if anybody has a way to embed the info in the picture itself (not in the metadata) - kind of like steganography - so the print could be run through a scanner and then through a program to extract the data.
I seem to recall that all color printers in the US print some kind of serial number in each picture using pale yellow pixels to help track counterfeiters.
Picture files are so huge, that embedding a tiny amount of info in them would probably not affect image quality at all.
I currently manage the pictures on Linux using KPhotoAlbum, but if there's a really good solution on another OS, I'd be open to considering it. Just for reference, I have a couple of HP Photosmart printers for color printing at home.
The closest I've come to a solution so far is to use a program called feh which can (among other things) create an index print of a number of photos with the file names as captions. That's at least a start, but it still involves a lot of staring at tiny thumbnails.
I'm sure this is a common issue which someone has already solved.