Almost every day millions of photographs are uploaded by people and pages on Facebook. If these photos are publicly visible, then search engines (Google and Bing) crawls them, but do not show most of them in their image search results unless you use a site operator with your query (Example here and here).

The best way to search for a Facebook photo of a person or a celebrity is to use Facebook’s own search (aka graph search). Let’s check out in this post how to do so?

1. Log in to your Facebook account and type the name of person in the search box whose photos you want to view:

facebook search

Once you start typing, Facebook will show you suggestions about various pages, profiles and groups. Ignore all of them and click on See more results for “Person’s name” written at the very bottom.

2. The next page will show you a list of Facebook profiles, pages and groups matching your search query. You will also see Photos of <Person’s Name> OR Photos of people named <Person’s Name> in the right hand side of search results:

facebook photos

3. When you click on Photos of <Person’s Name>, graph search will show you a list of photos on the immediate next page:

zarine khan facebook

How Facebook generates a list of such photos?

Following are some of the ways by which graph search generates a list of photos for you:

1. It determines if there’s any existing Facebook profile, page or group name that matches your search query. It then tries to include publicly visible photos from those in the search result.

2. It determines if someone is present in your friend list or mutual friend list whose name matches with your search query. It then tries to show public photos from their account.

3. The person is tagged in a photo and the hyperlink on that tag points to either the person’s Facebook profile or page:

facebook tags

4. Name of the person is present in the title of a photo uploaded by someone else:

facebook photo title

Sorting the search results

You can also refine the search results by:

  • Photos of: Name of the person you searched for.
  • Location: A list of city/state will be displayed if the photos also have location data in them.
  • Time: You can sort the photos by their upload date which can be this year, this month, last month, 2014, 2013 etc.
  • Commented on, liked and photos by: me, my friends, friends of friends, my relatives, not my friends, pages I like and a list of some random friends from your friend list.

Notes and Limitations

  • Graph search will only show you those photos whose privacy is set to public. Photos that are private or shared with a limited number of people will not be included in the search results.
  • Thousands of people have same name and photos from their account might get included in your search results.
  • You may see lots of utterly useless (that don’t make any sense) photos in your search results, as there are many people (especially kids and teenagers) who tags lots of random people and pages in a single photo.
  • You can directly search for all recently uploaded photos of a person by typing Recent photos of <Person’s name> in the search box (Example).