Tips for buyers...

I usually write blogs for the benefit of other photographers, but here is one for the buyers :) Basically, in trying to find my own images and how they rank in the results I've learned a few tricks to find things.

1. Advanced search, aka the 'Dreamfinder' ! In case you missed it, there is a little magenta text and arrow to the right of the search area that opens up a bunch of search features...

2. Categories. The admins have stated that lots of searches start from a category search, and why not - it gets rid of a lot of images that don't apply but happen to have matching keywords (i.e. get rid of the 'big apple' when searching for fruit!). To use this first click on the 'Categories' tab, if it isn't already selected. Next, choose one of the major category selections, like 'Nature'. That will immediately give you the results for 'Nature' as a category. Next, you can further refine it with a subcategory like 'fruits and vegetables', or type a keyword like 'apple' in the search box and be sure to also check the 'within category' option. As contributors we get pretty familiar with what subcategories are where, but you may want to acquaint yourself with what falls under what major heading so you don't miss anything.

3. Content filter. The content filter controls whether or not you see mature subject matter like nudes. Just don't forget you have it on if you suddenly need something that doesn't pass the filter.

4. Searching within a portfolio. If you first select a particular photographer's profile page, or are looking at a particular image there is an option (in the same place as the within category option) for 'within portfolio'. This allows you to start a new search with a new keyword and limit it to the photographer/illustrator whose work you are currently looking at. Seems obvious when you are on the person's profile page, but it is nice that you can use it when looking at any image.

5. Among favorites. A close cousin to #4 is the ability to search within those people whom you have added as a favorite. This one requires expanding the advanced search features, and is called 'among my favorites'. I'd love it if buyers would pick me, of course, but it is a great option if you find there are certain people whose work you enjoy or have bought from before. I use it to find images among other contributors before I look everywhere in hopes I'll find what I need from people I know, but I see buyers using it to get quality images from people they've used before. To add someone as a favorite you'll need to click on their name to get to their profile page, or mark a blog from them as useful (pick me, pick me!).

6. RF/Editorial. You may not even have realized it, but by default you search both commercial and editorial images at once. If you can't use editorial for your commercial project it is wise to uncheck that option before you even get started. Or vice verse for a newspaper buyer. A blogger has the option to use either, I suppose.

7. Exclude. This is a great option in a any search engine I use. When you do a search and realize that you hit upon one of the many words in English that have double meaning, you can usually come up with a way to get rid of one of them. Say you are looking for 'apple' and get New York (the big apple) as well. Just jump into the advanced search options and add 'York' as an excluded keyword.

8. Exclusive. I'm exclusive, as are many here. The Exclusive option is a great way to filter down to images you'll only see here. Especially useful, in my opinion, for someone who uses two sites or has already searched elsewhere in vain.

9. Image price. Obviously this is useful if you have a max budget, but it is also a great way to really change up the results. If you uncheck the Level 5 options and sort by descending downloads you'll get a very different picture that the defaults. As well, if you are looking for a deal or undiscovered work uncheck all but level 1 (soon to be level 0 as well?). Finally, I think that for some who wants a proven image, unchecking the lowest level will give you images that have already been found by other buyers.

10. Image properties. There are a lot more features, like the ability to search on color, megapixel, or format of the image (square, panoramic, etc.)

11. The model properties advanced feature is handy to search for images with more than one person, a certain ethnicity, or age.

12. The last point is an interesting one I found accidentally. If you are on a page where the search is empty, or have just reset the search, the search area will read 'enter keyword or file ID'. If you put your cursor there and hit backspace it will delete that text, but leave it blank. Then you can do some advanced search refinement WITHOUT specifying a keyword. Handy to bring up all the Editorial images from one photographer, etc. I use it to see how many images i have with RAW files, or in certain age categories, etc.

Well, that is all I have for now :) Happy searching!

Photo credits: Brad Calkins.

Your article must be written in English



Very helpful article!!




Very nice and instructive blog, congrats!


@Calyxx22 - thanks for the comment and congrats :) I hope buyers get the most out of the search engine as well. I've played around on other sites, and frankly DT has a very good search engine which becomes amazingly powerful if you make use of any additional features in your searches.


Brad, what a great article. I wasn't aware of some of these search capabilities. I hope buyers read your article as well. By the way, belated congratulations on reaching 10K sales. Amazing, and inspiring!


@Alvera - it is a good question. I've stopped putting ethnicity as a keyword. I've never had anyone use them to search, and they are already available as a handy filter.


Didn't know about the "Among favorites" search option. Now I understand why somebody would want to tag one as a favorite photographer...


"11. The model properties advanced feature is handy to search for images with more than one person, a certain ethnicity, or age."
Wonder why we still put "caucasian" in keywords :)


Blog very interesting!!!


Great one!! :-)


Great blog, even very illustrative for photographers.


Good blog!


Great little article


Wonderfully written. Didn't realise you can do so much with the search button. Thanks for the info.


That is true, Joe, but nothing says images have good keywords, either :)


searching by that category method may not be fruitful as the contributor may not have selected the approriate category while uploading.


nice pics


Great blog!

Related image searches
Searching related image searches
To provide you with additional information about how we collect and use your personal data, we've recently updated our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Please review these pages now, as they apply to your continued use of our website.