Keyword Search Tips


Keyword structure

Use only nouns, verbs, and adjectives

Using conjunctions such as "to", "with", "and", "at", "that is", and so on, will interfer with efficient image retrival from the database, so leave them out.

Use singular instead of plural noun

Since our search engine is designed with the "contains" criteria, most often you will want to use the singular form of your keyword (home instead of homes, light instead of lighting). This is especially important when the spelling of the plural form is different from the singular form (family versus families). You may want multiple images of a single family to review, but using the keyword "families" may produce only images that have two or more families in the same photo.

Use a present tense verb

When we are looking at a photo, we see the action happening now, not in the past or future. For example, use the keywords "run" or "running" instead of "ran".

Spell out keywords completely

Do not use abbreviations - use "physical therapy" instead of "PT", or "information technology" instead of "IT".

Correct spelling

Search engine criteria is a precise science - one letter error in a keyword and the images will not be seen. For mutual success, we need to keyword the our images with correct spelling, and you need to search with correct keyword spelling.

No punctuation

Do not use commas, colons, hyphens, etc. Simply leave a space where these symbols normally would be.

Think like a thesaurus

Our keyword experts, like you, are only human, so there may be room for interpretation about what people see and describe in a photo. Therefore, you can greatly increase the odds of finding your perfect stock photo in our database by using various keywords that describe the basic concept you are working on. How would someone else describe what you need? If you get a "0 photos found" response for certain keywords, or if you are not satisfied with the scope of images presented for you, browse our searchable keyword list to get ideas of other words that describe what you need. If you still have little success in finding images in our database, please call us so that we may arrange a custom "Scan-a-Search" for you. Let our vision and creativity work for you!

Gibson Stock Photography
112 N. Washington Dr., Mt. Shasta, CA  96067
© 2000 Mark and Audrey Gibson. All Rights Reserved.
800-664-5507Fax 530-926-5968
E-mail: gibson@snowcrest.net