How to Find Someone with a Picture 2024 Guide

How to Find Someone with a Picture 2024 Guide

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Can I search for a person by photo? Absolutely. Reasons for finding someone with a picture vary, leading to different needs and levels of search. Therefore, we’ll show you how to find a person by photo, from shallow to deeper information. You can choose where to stop according to your needs. What’s more, we will explore how to extract hidden information from images, giving you a clue about how to track someone with a picture.

Methods to find someone using a picture

There are free basic tools and advanced paid methods to help you find someone with a picture. You can follow these methods until you are satisfied with the results. If you’re unsure how much information you want to find about someone, you can use an all-in-one tool to search for someone using a photo and find further details.

Method 1: Quick face search (free)

No matter the situation, always start with a reverse image search using popular search engines like Google, Bing, and Yandex. These tools are easy to use and can provide immediate results. If you’re lucky, you can find what you want right away.

Running a reverse image search on Google, Bing, and Yandex is pretty much the same. Since Google is the most popular search engine in the world, we will use it as an example for reverse image searching a picture used by scammers:

  1. Go to Google and click the camera icon.
  2. Select “upload a file” and search.
  3. Check the result page.

Through the given links, you can see the person’s real name and his Facebook page. On Pinterest pages, comments say this person’s real name is Joe XXX and scammer using his picture. 

Comments on Pinterest
We suggest trying all three of them when running a reverse image search for two reasons: Google reverse image search results for people are limited, and the results returned may vary. 

This free method is useful for checking if you’re talking to a catfish online. Especially when the owner is an active netizen, a social media influencer, or a celebrity, you can find related photos and info easily through this method. However, it’s common to find nothing or wrong images from these search engines. Don’t worry, you can move to the next method.

Facial recognition engines are specifically designed to recognize and match faces, providing detailed matches from various sources, including social media, news websites, and other readable web pages.

Why facial recognition search tools are better than Google Lens?
  1. Targeted search: Normal reverse image searches like Google Lens are general picture searches, but facial recognition engines are built for faces. Google Lens sometimes searches for objects and views instead of faces. 
  2. Core search techniques: Face recognition engines use facial recognition technology to search similar photos, recognize people from different angles, and account for changes in appearance over time. This increases the chance of finding the right match. Google Lens only finds exact matches, which restricts its utility for personal identification.
  3. Lower photo requirements: Search engines like Google Lens need high-quality photos to find someone; if you use a side facial photo or a blurred photo, you may receive zero matches. Facial recognition engines tolerate a wider range of image quality, giving you a better chance to find clues.

Consider this situation, you’re looking for someone on Instagram by picture, but Instagram does not have a built-in feature for reverse image search. Therefore, you have to find other ways to run an Instagram reverse image search. According to our research, the tools in Method 1 rarely return Instagram results (despite rumors that Google doesn’t index images on IG, it does), and these tools often search for objects in the photo instead of faces.

It turns out that PimEyes and FaceCheck are effective tools that return similar faces with previews and are super easy to use. 

You can see related pictures on their result pages, but they require payment to access the source of the image. We suggest that those who only need related pictures and people who want to check if someone is a catfish can stop at the free part.

💡Tips:

  • You can take a screenshot and save the photo listed in PimEyes or FaceCheck, then go back and search with the tools in Method 1.
  • When someone’s profile image is degraded or pixelated, it’s pretty clear the image is from another source.

If there are zero matches on multiple tools, the possibility of a catfish or scammer is lower. However, since catfish are becoming more clever and avoiding images that appear on reverse image searches, you shouldn’t assume the person is an honest citizen. Always stay vigilant and be alert to suspicious signs.

Why you might not find someone with facial recognition search engines

Face recognition technology is powerful but not perfect, and no tool can guarantee a perfect match, even with a dedicated search engine. Therefore, there is a chance you might not find the person with a picture. Here are a few reasons why this might happen:

  • Image Quality: The quality of the photo you upload can significantly impact the results. Blurry, dark, or angled photos can make it difficult for the engine to accurately extract facial features.
  • Facial Variations: Facial recognition can struggle with significant changes in appearance, such as weight gain/loss, aging, or dramatic hairstyle alterations.
  • Database Coverage: The search engine’s database plays a big role. If the person isn’t present in the database, or their online presence is limited, the engine won’t find them. These databases might be restricted to publicly available photos or specific partnerships.
  • Privacy Settings: Many social media platforms and websites allow users to opt out of facial recognition. If the person has these settings enabled, their face might not be included in accessible databases.
  • Limited Scope: Not everyone has a significant online presence with readily available photos, which can limit the engine’s ability to find them.
Tips for improving your search results
  • Use a clear, high-quality photo.
  • Consider trying different tools.
  • If you have multiple photos of the person or object, try searching with each one. This can give you a broader picture. 
  • Consider a wider search – is there other information you can use to find the person, like their profession or habits?

If you want to view the source of the image, you need to pay for it. The URL of the image may reveal various information, such as the person’s name, social media accounts, or information about their friends or family. These tools provide clues to help you find the person, but they don’t guarantee that you will find their Instagram account or other specific information. With these clues, you have a better chance of finding and learning more about the person. Learn how in Method 3.

Comment
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Differences between PimEyes and FaceCheck
  • PimEyes allows uploading multiple images for one search.
  • FaceCheck can search blurred photos and low-res pics.
  • FaceCheck can search faces with covers.
  • FaceCheck can recognize exaggerated expressions.
  • FaceCheck warns you of potential risks associated with the image, such as if it’s an AI-generated face or a photo found on news or scam reporting sites (for paid users).

PimEyes and FaceCheck have quite similar steps: just upload the image and click search, then wait for the results. Both tools can return good results for clear and visible photos, but for those who only have low-quality photos, we recommend FaceCheck. Based on our test, PimEyes can’t find results for blurred images and faces with masks, while FaceCheck provides fairly good results. This indicates that FaceCheck has a higher tolerance for lower-quality images. However, it’s best to try both tools before making a paid decision. 

BrandPrice
PimEyes $14.99 for the current search;
$29.99 for one-month access (25 searches daily)
FaceCheck.ID$19 in Crypto for 150 credits (good for 50 searches)
Disclaimer: The prices listed are as of the date the article was updated.

Method 3: Gather additional information about someone (name/address/contacts)

Once you’ve identified the person in the picture using the previous methods, you might want to find more details about them, such as their real name, possible address, and contact details. With certain searching techniques and the right tools, you can find what you need. However, if you lack such knowledge, people search tools can help you access a lot of basic information quickly.

People search services aggregate a massive amount of data from different sources and process it to compile detailed individual reports. There are many people search services online, both free and paid. Most of them only support searches with names, phone numbers, and addresses. Therefore, we suggest trying BeenVerified, a powerful and reputable people search service. Its reverse username lookup helps you find out who is behind a social media profile. Supported platforms include Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, X, and much more.

  1. Go to BeenVerified.
  2. Enter a username and click Search.
  3. Wait for a few minutes for BeenVerified to find matches. Click the drop-down menu to check potential owners’ names, or click Search Person to run people search.

    Note: No results were found for Rihanna Fenty on BeenVerified. Her team may have removed her report from the service.

We noticed some people are looking for detailed information about someone with a picture due to self-protection. That’s very brave and clever. But don’t forget to seek help from the police, family, and friends. 

All-in-one search engine

If you’re unsure how deep you want to go and need a convenient tool that covers all your needs, consider Social Catfish. It’s an online dating investigation service offering both reverse image search and people search functions. This tool helps you a person using their picture, and the additional information can be used for further searches.
While it may not be the top choice for reverse image searches, Social Catfish stands out as the only tool I know that combines both reverse image and people search capabilities, making it a versatile option for finding someone using a picture.

  1. Go to Social Catfish.
  2. Click the Image tab to run a reverse image search.
  3. Upload image and click Search.
    Price: Unlimited image searches require $6.87 for 3 days then $28.97 per month. (The prices listed are as of the date the article was updated.)
  4. Social Catfish will generate a result page. You can use the information to run further searches. Social Catfish supports Name, Email, Phone, Address, and Username search.

This tool is handy for dating site users, saving you time and effort in using different tools.

People search tools can uncover a vast array of information. However, they cannot guarantee 100% accuracy due to incomplete public information or imperfect data matching algorithms. We suggest you use them as an easy way to gather more clues about someone.

Bonus tips for finding people with a picture :

  • Asking around in the place where you met the person might help.
  • Post a photo and tell the story of why you want to meet the person again on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and X. Kindhearted netizens may give you some clues or help you find the person. 

How face search engines find someone with a picture online:

A face search engine uses facial recognition technology to find someone using a picture online. Although many websites and brands have their unique ways of running a search, here’s a general overview of how these products work[1]:

  1. Spot the Face: The engine scans your uploaded image to find a face.
  2. Extract the Features: The engine identifies key facial features, such as the distance between the eyes, the shape of the jaw, and the size of the nose. These are like unique landmarks on a face[2].
  3. Create a Face Code: This information about the facial features gets turned into a special code, like a secret fingerprint for that face. This unique “face code” is made up of a string of numbers so that it can be easily compared and matched.
  4. Search the Database: The face code is compared against a large collection of other face codes stored in the database, which might contain faces from public photos on the internet and readily available websites.
  5. Show You Matches: The engine returns results from the database with face codes most similar to your photo.

What information can you get from a photo?

An image is a gold mine. It reveals a wealth of information beyond what’s visible at first glance. From the hidden text within the image to the specific location where it was captured, there’s a lot you can uncover. In this section, we’ll show you the secrets an image carries, including how to find out where a picture was taken.

What is Image Metadata?

Besides the visual elements, the image file contains valuable additional information called image metadata. It’s a set of text information that provides specific details about the photo itself and how it was taken.

Image metadata contains technical information like camera settings, date and time when the image was taken, file name; file size; image size(the length and width of the photo); camera model, and even GPS coordinates

Photographers and visual artists use it for cataloging and contextualizing visual information. It can also help protect intellectual property, though it is not adequate protection as it can easily be stripped away. Recently, there have been discussions about how image metadata could be used to verify if an image is generated by AI.

How to view Metadata

For common users, the most important information an image may contain is the GPS location, and it’s super easy to check. Various standardized formats are used for image metadata, with EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) being the most common type in digital photos. which is extensively used in digital cameras, smartphones, and other devices. In this guide, we will show you how to view and remove EXIF data from your photos.

  • For Windows users: Select the file, then right-click and choose “Properties” from the pop-up menu. Click the “Details” tab, then scroll down to check EXIF data.
  • For Mac users: Select the photo you want to remove and press Command+i together to open Inspector. Under the Info tab, choose GPS, and then you’ll see GPS coordinates.  
  • For iPhone users: Select an image in the Photos app, then tap the Info button (an “i” in a circle) under the image.
  • For Android users: Find the photo you want to view in Google Photo app, swipe up on the photo or tap the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner. You’ll see the photo’s EXIF data.

You can also use online services to extract EXIF data from images. There are many online tools for this, such as jimpl.com. This tool provides a clear visual for users to check EXIF data. You can also use the image URL to check without downloading the photo. If there are any GPS coordinates attached to the data, you can see them right there.

How to remove Metadata

If your photo has location information embedded, you can remove it.

  • For Windows users: Right-click on the file and choose “Properties” from the pop-up menu. Head to the “Details” tab and then click “Remove Properties and Personal Information”.
  • For Mac users: Open the photo you want to remove location info, then click Tools > Show Inspector. In the open window, click Info>GPS, then click “Remove Location Info”.  
  • For iPhone users:
    1. Select an image in the Photos app, then tap the Info button (an “i” in a circle) under the image.
    2. Tap “Adjust” in the right corner of the map.
    3. Then tap “No Location”.
  • For Android users: Google Photos doesn’t allow you to edit or remove the location if the location was automatically added by your camera[3]. You can only remove estimated locations in the photo. The steps are the same as how to view metadata on Android:
    1. Select the photo on Google Photos.
    2. Swipe up on the photo or tap the “three-dot” menu icon in the top right corner.
    3. Click the “Edit” icon beside Location.
    4. Tap “Remove location”.

There is an easier way to remove EXIF data from your photo for smartphone users. You can use a third-party photo editor app to edit your image; for example, Snapseed doesn’t preserve EXIF when exporting the photo.

Additionally, most popular social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and X automatically remove EXIF data and do not display this information to the general public. So you don’t need to worry about the pictures you’ve already shared on the internet.

Note: Some platforms, such as Flickr, allow users to decide whether to show or hide EXIF data. You can keep EXIF data secret for all photos uploaded to your Flickr account.
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mortimer/4740011092/in/photostream/

How to protect your privacy

The first important step is to set your phone’s camera Location Services to Never. Both iOS[4] and Android systems allow you to turn off location services. In this case, the photos taken with your camera will never contain GPS coordinates. Note that other information, such as camera settings and camera model will still be recorded in the metadata.

Second, check your photo’s metadata before sending original photos to others, especially those taken before turning off location services. These photos may contain GPS coordinates. I’ve tested several times and found that when sending the original image with the actual size to someone by email, the metadata could still be retained and unintentionally reveal your personal information, such as GPS coordinates. Remove metadata when needed. 

In short, to protect your privacy, disable location services on your camera and check the metadata before sending or removing metadata from existing photos. For those who want to find out where a photo was taken, you can try Google reverse image search. Google may provide valuable information about the place or other related details. 

Conclusion

There are numerous tools available in the market to find someone using a picture, and we recommend starting with free options, especially for those needing to verify identities or avoid scams. Advanced facial recognition tools can assist in identifying individuals and providing additional context. However, discovering someone’s photo online is just the initial step toward understanding their identity.

If you have specific needs, such as locating an Instagram account and facial recognition tools don’t yield results, consider using people search tools when you have additional information beyond just a photo. These tools can provide deeper insights into the person’s background.

Moreover, image metadata often goes unnoticed in today’s social media landscape. Being aware of this can help protect your privacy and encourage caution when sharing images online. By adopting the right approach, you can uncover hidden details within an image and make informed decisions based on your discoveries.

  1. Luxand.cloud. (n.d.). Photo Detective: Top Facial Recognition Engines That Can Identify Almost Anyone. Luxand.cloud. https://luxand.cloud/face-recognition-blog/photo-detective-top-facial-recognition-engines-that-can-identify-almost-anyone
  2. FaceCheck.ID. (n.d.). Frequently Asked Questions about Facial Recognition Search. FaceCheck. https://facecheck.id/Face-Search/FAQ
  3. Google Photos Help. (n.d.) Understand, find and edit your photos’ locations. Google. https://support.google.com/photos/answer/6153599?hl=en-GB&co=GENIE.Platform=Android
  4. Apple Support. (2023, September 18). Stop and remove location metadata in Photos. Apple. https://support.apple.com/en-sg/guide/personal-safety/ips0d7a5df82/web
exclamation-blueThere’s no guarantee you’ll find the information you’re looking for with the tools discussed in this article. They all source their information from publicly available data sources, such as county, state and federal courts, government departments, and police records, and those sources may contain incorrect or incomplete data. It’s illegal to use these tools to make decisions about employment, admission, consumer credit, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance. Read the Fair Credit Reporting Act to learn more....

About this article

Iris Zheng

Writer

I have worked as a content writer for years and have found great joy and meaning in this profession. As a member of a company's writing team, I have benefited from continuous training and learning opportunities. These experiences have not only improved my research skills and learning abilities but have also enabled me to quickly find valuable and accurate information in the vast sea of data.

My previous work in banking instilled meticulous work habits in me. I carefully inspect and verify information I collect with the aim of providing readers with authentic and reliable content. My skills and cautious nature not only allow me to offer robust support to readers in my professional life but also position me as a source of information and advice for my family and friends in my personal life.

I derive immense enjoyment and a profound sense of accomplishment from assisting others. If my articles are able to assist you in any way, it would be both an honor and a personal achievement. This motivation will continue to inspire me to pursue constant improvement and produce more valuable content.

About this article

Iris Zheng

Writer

I have worked as a content writer for years and have found great joy and meaning in this profession. As a member of a company's writing team, I have benefited from continuous training and learning opportunities. These experiences have not only improved my research skills and learning abilities but have also enabled me to quickly find valuable and accurate information in the vast sea of data. My previous work in ba [...]

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