Last week I wrote about how to find people in your photographs with Excire Search 2 Pro’s Search for Faces feature. This gave me a great and easy way to find any people that were in my food photographs, so the magazine I work with could generate some lifestyle spreads.
But what if I had a more specific request, to find a specific face? That’s where Excire’s Search for People feature comes in handy.
I recently had a time where I had to gather photos for our local school superintendent’s retirement party. I had shot a TON of events with her — for the schools and in the community. That meant they weren’t all under one collection set in Lightroom Classic, and instead were spread out throughout my catalog. If you’ve got a huge catalog, manually looking through each collection can be cumbersome … and you’ll no doubt miss a few.
Instead of the manual process, I can speed it up with Excire Search, getting accurate results that I can send to my clients within minutes. Here’s how.
Choose your reference photo
This process is pretty simple. If you’re looking for a specific person, I’d recommend choosing one that has a clear view of them. Choose a photo like the one above, where the person’s face is straight-on and in clear view, instead of at an angle.
Let the search begin
The great thing is that if your reference photo is one with multiple people in it, you can tell Excire Search to drill down and only pay attention to one of the faces it recognizes (or multiple faces, if you choose). To get started with your search, in the Library module, go to Library > Plug-In Extras > Search for People …
Because I didn’t want to find faces 1 or 3, I went with face 2. Notice how the superintendent is clear in the lead photograph above, which is what I used as my reference photo. You can see her entire face, even though she’s on a slight angle.
You can also add additional requirements here, like making sure that your subject is smiling in the photographs.
Once I clicked Start, it took Excire Search a matter of seconds to present me with 288 photos in my Lightroom Classic where the superintendent was present. From there, I was able to filter down the results and only show those that I had edited, by using Lightroom Classic’s built-in filtering tools (View > Show Filtering Tools). Once I filtered the photos, I was presented with 50 photos that were already edited.
A few notes
In my testing, I did find some minor limitations. First and foremost, Search for People only really works if your subject is front-facing, or if his or her face is fully visible. If they’re on a harsh angle, it won’t find that photo because the software can’t fully “see” the face.
Secondly, objects like sunglasses can cause issues, as again, the software can’t fully “see” the face.
Even with those two limitations, Search for People certainly does a much better and more accurate job than I’d be able to do manually. It’s super fast and just works in almost every situation.