My wife and I both like to go out photographing. We usually have only one DSLR/MILC with us, so we take turns in taking pictures. (Rarely, if we have multiple cameras at hand, they usually have different lenses on them and we also swap when we like it)

Recently a friend of us asked who took some of our photos and we realized a lot of the times we don't really know. Sometimes we can figure it out, like if one of us is in the picture then we know it was taken by the other, or we can check whether we took photos using our mobile phones - as that usually means the other had a go with the DSLR.

I'm wondering if there are any easy to use mechanisms to track who is using the camera somehow. We have a fairly similar shooting style, and use most of the features of the camera. The best I could think of is using the C1 and C2 dials, which is a fairly simple switch, doesn't need too much extra book-keeping, and hopefully we can get the data out of the EXIF afterwards while post-processing. However we do use the C1/C2 presets occasionally, so this would limit us a bit. Also this doesn't work for Video mode which we're also using frequently.

The camera in question is a Sony A7-II, but I'm happy to hear about methods that (only) work on other cameras. I'm also wondering if there are any cameras out that might support this out of the box.

  • 10
    Take only selfies. Aug 30, 2019 at 15:31
  • What if the other person takes a picture of your face while your hands are cupped on their cheeks?
    – MonkeyZeus
    Aug 30, 2019 at 15:59
  • 1
    If you want to determine post fact who took some of your pictures you could do some elaborate image analysis to determine the height the pictures were taken from. In any series of photos you might have the median taking height differ and suggest if it was you of your wife.
    – KalleMP
    Aug 30, 2019 at 17:43
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    The ones with the thumb in the corner of the lens are taken by me.
    – spuck
    Aug 30, 2019 at 23:37
  • Do you have a significant wedding anniversary coming up? Or does your other half have a birthday approaching ? Sounds like an EXCELLENT excuse to go shopping for a new camera for one of you. Downside, doesn't address the underlying question of who took which photo should you swap.
    – Criggie
    Aug 31, 2019 at 6:06

14 Answers 14


There isn't really any surefire way, other than meticulous bookkeeping, or following consistent habits.

Some ideas:

  1. Use your mobile phone to take images of the rear LCD info page showing the file name for the first and last image each of you take each time you operate the camera. For instance, if you take a dozen pictures, when you're done shooting for a bit or if you handoff the camera to your wife, before it leaves your hands, take a picture of the info page for DSC12345, and another for DSC12357.
  2. Use the notes or dictation feature on your phone to take a quick memo of the first and last filenames you shot in a sequence. (This is just a variation on the first suggestion).
  3. Whenever you start to shoot anything, first take a picture of your left hand. Similarly, your wife would do the same. Presumably you can the difference between your and her hands. Then when you're organizing the images later, you'll just know that every picture following your hand was taken by you, until there's a picture of her hand. Etc. ...
  4. Probably the easiest is for you to each carry your own memory cards, and just swap cards in and out when you hand over the camera. This has the potential to add a bit of wear-and-tear to the card slot, but professional photographers usually do a lot of card swapping themselves, and things usually work fine. Since the Sony a7-II has an SD card slot, you could use MicroSD cards, and keep the MicroSD-to-SD adapter in the camera as a "prophylactic" for the camera's card slot.
  5. Finally, and this goes along with the previous point: I don't know about Sony cameras, but I know Nikons can save and restore custom settings from the memory card(s). One of the custom settings is Copyright, which gets written to each image's EXIF data. So you and your wife could each set the Copyright custom setting (assuming Sonys allow that) with your respective names, and restore the settings each time you put your own card in the slot. That way, if you're consistent, each image would have the correct Copyright field, which you can use to identify who took the shot.
  • 1
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – AJ Henderson
    Sep 2, 2019 at 1:59
  • 1
    I use similar to the hand thing for making out panorama shots. When I take a picture of a panorama to be composited of many shots, I take pic if my feet before I start shooting the series and after. Aug 16, 2020 at 11:59

Nikon D3400 (and, I assume, other models) lets you select the active folder to store files in. Just change folders when you change photographers.

More generally, you can use two memory cards and change cards when you change photographers.


One solution that might work if you don't switch too frequently:

  • Take a selfie whenever you take the camera.

Then you know all following pictures have been made by the person of the most recent selfie. (Maybe you should think about a "sign" if you do frequently take pictures of eachother.)

I did this at a previous job, where we first also used to keep a small notepad with the camera to document who took the photos, but we then switched to this system. (Instead of selfies we just used our badges/nametags or whatever was available.) This worked well because we just used this camera for documenting certain things, and usually the person who operated the camera switched only about four times a day.

  • 4
    Or perhaps the inverse, take a photo with the other person as soon as you change who has the camera, as taking a selfie with a DSLR can be a bit challenging Aug 30, 2019 at 11:02
  • 1
    This answer works better than @user2813274's comment because it doesn't require the other person to be physically present
    – Chris H
    Sep 1, 2019 at 19:21

Take a picture of your hand or shoe prior to the shoot. Easier than a selfie.


Change the date, shifting by 5 years in the future for one of the two users (add 5 years for each additional user).

You can easily mass-change the date later via several EXIF tools.

  • 7
    It's also destroying the validity of your EXIF data. You might say it's easy to undo (or script undoing it), but not so easy for photos taken on Feb 29. Aug 30, 2019 at 13:20
  • 4
    @R.. You can shift by 4 years if you prefer and you won't have issues for another 380 years or so, when Feb 29 year 2400 will be skipped again as it was on year 2000.
    – FarO
    Aug 30, 2019 at 13:52
  • 4
    @FarO: 80 years not 380. Feb 29 was not skipped in 2000. It's skipped in all multiples of 100 that aren't multiples of 400. Aug 30, 2019 at 13:53
  • True, I remembered the rule wrong.
    – FarO
    Aug 30, 2019 at 13:54

You've been offered some ingenious methods, but you're not really going to go to the trouble of any of them, are you! Either buy two cameras, or convince yourself it doesn't matter which one of you pressed the button.


Add value to your data.

Attach a tiny clap board to the camera strap with a white board marker. Write the lighting conditions, location (including studio, expo stand or office details that are not available from GPS), event if you moved back and forth between more than one on a given day, photographer and photo model details on the little white board and take a macro shot. Useful information that is not automatically in the EXIF data but would be stored in the digital record in the right place for future personal of historian use.

Instead of an erasable message board you could possibly profit from using a tiny notebook or a wallet of of Post-It notes (transferred into your log book later) that provides a paper record that you can keep as a reference if a roll of dilm is lost and you want to go back and retake the location shots again.

  • 1
    I like this since it's a method that would also work if you're shooting film :-) Sep 2, 2019 at 0:15

Just have multiple SD cards, one per person. You're using the camera? Put in your card.


A Canon-based answer: You can add a 1-5 star EXIF compatible rating to each photo (there is also an option to set it „star“ or „no star“) with a button. One of you could set such a rating after each photo.


Many cameras can add Author and Copyright to the Exif. When switching cameras, you can edit the Author. This would be cumbersome without a touchscreen.

Consider taking selfies or pictures of ID badges, as flawr suggests.


Only a passive or natural solution will beat taking a selfie/picture of your hand first. It's a shame the NFC feature can't be used to identify the hand holding the camera. It can still do some good.

Tapping the camera with an NFC-enabled smartphone after shooting would work by getting the picture onto the photographers phone (according to the manual; comments say it's not very reliable). If the EXIF data stores whether it was externally triggered or not, one of you using the NFC (or WiFi) trigger at all times would record who used it.


Take a quick photo of your feet before taking your photos. If it's quick and easy, make it low res, low quality to save space in memory, of course switching immediately back to high res high quality.

"Those aren't my shoes!"


Pick different favorite portrait orientations (90° or 270°). Stick with them. This will be a loose indication for some photographs in a series. The problem with most other suggestions is that you need to cater explicitly for them. Training different habits works even when you forget.


The easiest way, this is guessing you have a digital camera, I caught something about an SD card. THE EASY WAY IS TO RESET PICTURE COUNT BACK TO OOO!; each time you finnish, asking the next user to do the same and show them how. So all pictures are in blocks of numbers, starting from the fist user, ending with the last user. You will find the option in the menu of the camera.

  • 1
    What happens when you reset the picture count and the card is not empty?
    – MrWhite
    Aug 31, 2019 at 12:58
  • 2
    @MrWhite It usually starts a new folder, so that the first images, say images 0001-0043 are in folder 100. After the file numbers are reset to 0, the next image will be placed in folder 101, and so on.
    – Michael C
    Sep 1, 2019 at 9:09

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