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When shooting people, I often select my favourites of a photoset and have the subject(s) do the same, then compare the selections. However, I haven't found a good workflow for that process yet. When it's only one subject, I use pick/reject flags for my own selection and color labels for their selection, but even that is awkward as there's not even a way to show all photos from a folder that are EITHER flagged OR have a specific color label (if you know of a way to do this, be my guest). For two or more subjects, the only thing that comes to mind are keywords, but that's even more annoying since it's not that fast to apply them and to filter by keywords. So I'm looking for a more streamlined process that will allow me to quickly create multiple selection sets of a photoset and compare them (i.e. show all photos that are selected by at least one person, show all photos that were selected by all people et c.). Any suggestions?

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Keywords are likely to be your only option, but they are actually easier to use and much more efficient than colour labels, collections and pick/reject flags (the latter also have a drawback of not being visible in other software besides Lightroom).

Let's say you use keywords red, green and blue for selecting different sets of photos. You then have some photos that have only one keyword - red, some that have two - red and blue, and some that have all three.

You can now filter them using Metadata library filter panel in Lightroom: set first column to Keyword and ctrl+select (command+select on mac) all the keywords you want to filter. This acts as logical OR, i.e. selecting green and blue will show you photos that have either green or blue keywords assigned to them.

Now let's take it one step further. Let's say you want to see only photos that have blue and red keywords in them. To do this you need to set the second column in Metadata panel to Keyword as well. This acts as logical AND, so when you now select blue in the first column and red in the second column you will get only photos containing both keywords.

If you want to see only photos with different pairs of keywords assigned to them, let's say green+blue and red+blue, you then select red and green in the first column and blue in the second. You can go even deeper by adding third and fourth Keyword columns, but that's it.

If you want to use colour labels for your own selection (as I do myself, because colour labels are much easier to see at glance), then just synchronise your keyword with a colour label.

  • Thanks! I'm accepting this answer as it's the only one in a long time and it's at least a solid workflow. How do I synchronise a keyword with a colour label though? Is there an automated way, or did you mean to do it manually? – MoritzLost May 14 at 15:04
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    @MoritzLost, I don't know of a way to automate it (Lightroom, unfortunately, is not that type of software), but it's just a couple of clicks to do it manually: first display all the photos that match the keyword, then select them all, and then assign a colour label to them. – lightproof May 14 at 15:15

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