Search tips

We have an amazing collection that's filled to the brim with every image you'll ever need (and more). But we know it's important to find the right image quickly.

Here are some useful tricks of the trade which might help:

  • Use quotation marks to group a phrase or words together e.g. ‘Golden Gate Bridge’
  • Use ’or’, ‘and’, ‘not’ in your search to include or exclude keywords. E.g. Dog NOT puppy
  • Use brackets to create search strings e.g. if you’re looking for two people hiking, use (2 or two or pair) (man or male) (woman or female) (hiking or trekking or rambling)

Search buttons

We've provided three sort buttons which will shuffle your search results:

New– Images sorted by date of upload so you can easily see all our new content.

Relevant– Images sorted by relevancy to your keywords. We would recommend this sort for editorial researchers.

Creative– Images sorted by creativity. This sort includes images handpicked for their wow factor and those we know our customers like - selected through an analysis of customer data.


You can find lots of useful filters at the top of the search results page. You can filter your results based on a range of criteria, including size, number of people, image type and orientation.

Advanced Search

Use the ‘advanced search’ tool at the top of the search results page if you want to be even more specific about what you’re looking for or search by photographer name.

All the images on Alamy are keyworded by our photographers so you’ll need to consider spellings and slang words. Use brackets to include as many relevant search words as you can. Some examples;

If you’re looking for a classroom shot with a female teacher try, (Classroom or school or lesson or demonstration) (Science or experiment or practical) (Teacher or tutor or professor or seminar or lecture) (Not man not male not boy).

If what you’re looking for has a variety of names, use them all, (‘burglar alarm’ or ‘security alarm’ or ‘alarm system’).

Getting help with research

There might be times when you need extra help or don't have the time to carry out your own research. For key accounts we provide a free super fast picture research service - talk to your account manager if this applies to you.

For others we've put together a list of some well-known freelancers and organizations who can do your research for you. You will need to contact them directly to discuss your brief and organise payment.

Companies providing picture research services

United States of America

Editorial Image, LLC

Feldman & Associates, Inc.

Lemon Snap Image Services

Photoquick Research

Robin Sand Photo Research

United Kingdom

Alison Prior


Sally Cole

Susi Paz

Zooid Pictures Ltd