Lightroom 6 Facial Recognition Tips

First off, while Lightroom 6’s new facial recognition feature is pretty cool, you’ll be surprised at how good and how bad it is at guessing faces including seeing faces on things that are not even human! LOL. It’s got a long way to go to catch up with, say, Google’s Picasa. Anyways, enough with the bellyaching.

If you have a lot of photos, tagging names to faces may seem like a daunting herculean task and it definitely is. However, here are some tips to make the process a little easier:

  1. First, let Lightroom run for a while so it can scan through all/most of your photos and detect faces. I let mine sit for  a day.
  2. Don’t go crazy naming everyone–resist the temptation. Stick with family members, close friends and famous people. You will probably have many more photos of your family and close friends and the fewer names you have at the beginning the better. Lightroom gives you suggestions as you type in a name and your odds that the first name will be the one you want will be higher reducing keystrokes. You can always take another pass at unnamed people later if you feel the need. Besides, the odds that you will someday need to find pictures of people outside of this group are probably low.
  3. Break of the process into chunks of your photos. Lightroom is extremely slow and the screen updates will drive you crazy. My photos are organized by year/date and if I select the top year folder, I was getting around a thousand pictures which worked pretty well.
  4. Start at the bottom and work backwards right to left. As you add names, the photos will be removed from the unnamed section and re-sort. I found it less confusing to work in this direction. Plus, the screen updates are slow so by working in this direction, generally, the order of the photos you’ve already gone thorough will be updating, not the ones ahead. It’s easy to accidentally accept the wrong name because the display wasn’t updated yet.
  5. Scroll up by grabbing the scrollbar. The Page Up key doesn’t work unfortunately and clicking above the handle doesn’t usually work as you would expect and you can skip groups of photos.
  6. Before scrolling, click the grab handle and pause for a moment. Often, photos will be updating in the background and the order may change a bit. I think what’s happening is that Lightroom is finding similar people based on new information you’ve just entered and stacking photos above.
  7. Use shift+click or control+click to select a group of faces for the same person. If Lightroom has already guessed the correct name, just click the checkmark on one of the selected names to accept them all. If there is no name guessed or some are and some aren’t, press shift+O to manually enter a name.
  8. Remember approximately where the scrollbar is before you double-click on a face to see the full image. If you add a name on a full picture, you will return to the top of the list when you go back to the Unnamed People list.

Note that Lightroom is constantly trying to find faces so you may need to revisit folders later and see if there are any new faces you need to name.

I hope these tips help you.

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