A Script to Reorganise Shotwell’s Photo Library

I am a patient guy. But since the developers of the photo organising software Shotwell apparently can’t get this feature done, after postponing it for the fourth time, I’m fed up.

When importing photos from my camera, Shotwell puts them in a directory based on the date the photo was taken. In the software itself, you can define so-called „events“, containing multiple photos, possibly taken on different days. Their location on the hard disk however is never changed. You can’t use the event’s name to organise the files on your hard disk. This is not a problem if you want to browse your photos only from Shotwell, but as soon as you’d like to view them on your TV using XBMC, browsing becomes unbearable.

Additionally, merging events, creating events and even changing the date of photos takes ages, while uploading cropped and straightened photos to Picasaweb from Shotwell sometimes yields funny results. At some point I decided to search for another way of organising my photos. However, they were all hidden in a confusing directory structure, plus it took me quite a long time to name all those events. Hence, I decided to stick with Shotwell for some time. At least, until they implement the aforementioned feature. Well, I guess they never will…

That’s why I decided to do it on my own, and created a python script that reads Shotwell’s database and restructures the directories the way I want them to be. If you suffer from the same problem, you can download it from my github:


Beware of bugs, you could possibly destroy all your photos, I am not responsible for any of this, the code is ugly but I don’t care … you know the rules. Back up your photos before using it.

That said, the script worked from me, but is far from feature-complete. Maybe it might help someone who has the same problem I had before writing it.

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