Photo libraries are growing in quantity and size, requiring better support for locating desired photographs. MediaGLOW is an interactive visual workspace designed to address this concern. It uses attributes such as visual appearance, GPS locations, user-assigned tags, and dates to filter and group photos. An automatic layout algorithm positions photos with similar attributes near each other to support users in serendipitously finding multiple relevant photos. In addition, the system can explicitly select photos similar to specified photos. We conducted a user evaluation to determine the benefit provided by similarity layout and the relative advantages offered by the different layout similarity criteria and attribute filters. Study participants had to locate photos matching probe statements. In some tasks, participants were restricted to a single layout similarity criterion and filter option. Participants used multiple attributes to filter photos. Layout by similarity without additional filters turned out to be one of the most used strategies and was especially beneficial for geographical similarity. Lastly, the relative appropriateness of the single similarity criterion to the probe significantly affected retrieval performance.