Filtering by Camera

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Today’s Question: I like your recommendation to use only one catalog for Lightroom. I just have one question before I combine my two catalogs. Is there a way to find photos based on the photographer? When I shoot weddings I have a second photographer. If I put the photos from both photographers into the same catalog, is there a way to see only the photos from one photographer at a time for a wedding we photographed?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you could very easily filter the images based on the camera serial number, which in turn would typically mean you were filtering photos based on the photographer. You could also assign keywords or other metadata updates during the import process, identifying the photographer for each batch of photos.

More Detail: Lightroom actually provides a wide range of options for filtering your photos, which can be helpful for locating photos based on various different criteria.

One option that generally works well for identifying which photos were captured by which photographers is to filter the photos based on the specific camera that was used. This assumes, of course, that each camera was only used by a single photographer. But in that situation, you can use the unique serial number for each camera to filter the photos based on which photographer captured them.

Within the Library module, make sure you are in the grid view (you can press the “G” key on the keyboard to switch to the grid view). Then, if you don’t see the Library Filter bar above the grid view thumbnail display, press the backslash key (“\”) on the keyboard to display the filter bar.

Navigate to the folder you want to search in, and on the Library Filter bar choose the Metadata tab. Make sure there aren’t any other filter criteria selected, assuming you only want to filter based on the camera serial number. Then click the heading bar for one of the filter columns and choose “Camera Serial Number” from the popup menu. That column will then list all camera serial numbers reflected in metadata for all of the photos in the current location. Click on the applicable serial number, and the photos will be filtered to display only those captured with the camera having the serial number you selected.

As noted above, you could also add metadata with the photographer’s name, ideally during the import process. You could create a metadata preset for each of the photographers, and select the appropriate preset when importing each batch of photos.