Is there a way to perform metadata filtering in Lightroom (version 6) that allows finding images that contain multiple faces? For example, I would like to see image where BOTH of my kids are in them (i.e. 'AND' condition). I know you can use the metadata filtering but it seems to allow only for 'OR' combination - i.e. where either of my kids is in the image but not both.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I have found similar questions after I have answered this one. But IMHO my answer here is better ;) photo.stackexchange.com/questions/5251/… photo.stackexchange.com/questions/81997/… \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 21:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AndrzejMartyna If this is closed as a duplicate, it would be acceptable to delete your answer here and re-post it on the target question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PhilipKendall, thanks! But you've wrote "if". I guess I have not enough points to see/set duplication status on questions. I think I should wait for what happens or paste my answer ALSO to the other question... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 9:57

3 Answers 3


Lightroom search does have its weaknesses, but finding the intersection between multiple keywords is definitely something it can do. My favourite way to do this is using the "Library Filter" menu. Select all Photographs, then activate "Metadata" filter, change the first column to "Keyword" and select your first keyword. Then change the second column to "Keyword" again and select your second keyword from the list. The results below will match the intersection of your selected keywords.

Keyword search

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is by far the easiest way to find an intersection for up to 4 keywords. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – Mensur
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 15:56

Lightroom has a nice feature for this. It might look complicated but it is really easy and powerful! After getting accustomed it becomes 'piece of cake'.

  1. [optional] Clear Quick Collection
  2. Filter photos with the first of your kids (by clicking on apropriate keyword)
  3. Select all of them (Ctrl-A or Command-A)
  4. Filter photos with the second of your kids (by clicking on apropriate keyword) - important! it must be a single click change
  5. Now only photos that BOTH of your kids are on will stay selected
  6. [optional] If the selection alone is not enough for you - add the selection to Quick Collection by pressing "B"
  7. [optional] Display Quick Collection

BTW1. You can continue to filter the third of your kids ;) and so on.

BTW2. This is a common way to find the intersection of two sets of photos. For example you can select all photos in one of your collection and then change collection to another one - now you have selected all photos that are in BOTH collection. This can be used to find the intersection between any sets filtered by keywords, collections, folders or an arbitrary selection of your choice.

UPDATE 2016-10-14: Unfortunately I have noticed important bug in LR 6 - when the intersection is an empty set LR selects a first photo!!! I guess it a new bug in version 6 that means my method is not reliable as it was.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the advice. The instructions do not work if you don't add photos to a collection. I have also discovered that you can create a smart collection where you can filter by keywords (and faces are just another type of a keyword) and compose them with AND or OR operators. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mensur
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 11:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean by "do not work" that you have to make all seven points and 2-5 is not enough? BTW. Indeed Smart collection is much better if you plan to use this filter often but to "ad hoc" needs my solution is better. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 13:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ What I mean is that after I select the first keyword and then select all pictures, once I click on another keyword (step 4), first keyword filter is lost. I made sure it was a single click. Maybe I'm doing something wrong though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mensur
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 14:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, you are right, the first keyword is lost but it is not a problem because two things happen: (1) LR displays all photos with the second keyword, (2) among all of them only these are selected that also has the first keyword. So the original goal to find photos that has BOTH keywords is achieved. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 21:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Example - I have 607 photos with the first keyword and 49 photos with second keyword and 5 photos with both keywords. At point 3 I have selected all 607 photos. At point 4 I see 49 photos but only 5 are selected - this is the intersection of two sets. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 21:56

To my knowledge Lightroom's search is pretty limited and you can not do that. What I did was use the Any Filter Lightroom Plugin by John Rellis. I do not remember the exact syntax to perform the search you are trying to do but I believe it will do what you need once you figure it out.


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