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When you are working against a deadline, you simply can’t afford to spend 3 hours looking for the one shot you need. Finding the perfect shot when bazillions are available is not easy…
Even for experienced image researchers.

So today we thought we’d give you a few tips on how to optimise the way you search on any stock site. Follow these tips to find the shot you need faster than green grass through a goose and become the studio or office Search Speed Demon.

Image of a Funnel. Credit: Photocuisine


If you do not have a precise idea of the image you are looking for, the best option for you is to start your search using broad keywords. Then, gradually add keywords to narrow down the search results. For instance:

  • Woman
  • Woman 60’s
  • Woman 60’s dog
  • Woman 60’s dog running
  • Woman 60’s dog running beach

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Getting too many irrelevant search results with a keyword? Try using Boolean operators. A Boolean search allows you to combine or exclude keywords using terms such as AND, OR, NOT.
For example:

  • New Zealand AND beach will show you all the images which include both keywords.
  • beach OR lake will show you all the images which include either beach or lake in their associated keywords
  • grass NOT flowers will show you all the images which include grass and will exclude all the images which have also flowers in their keywords.

Schreibtisch, Mann, Arbeit, Computer, Detail, Hand, Computer-Mouse, kabellos, Mau_Set, Mann, Benutzer, Anwender, Hand, Funkmaus, Funkmouse, Mouse, schnurlos, wireless, Eingabegerät, Peripheriegerät, Datenverarbeitung, Dateneingabe, Mouseklick, Mausklick, klicken, anklicken, Symbol, Hardware, Technologie, Konzept, Weiterentwicklung, Benutzerfreundlich, ergodynamisch,


Most stock sites offer the possibility to use filters. On One Shot you will find the Search Filters Panel on the left-hand side of the page. Select the different filters available to narrow down your search:

– Select “New Search” if you’d like to start a fresh search.
– Select “Search Within” results if you found some results but there are too many images.

– Select this option to display only images that have been taken in New Zealand.

– Select “New Zealand Collections” to view images from our photonewzealand and The Shutter Club collections only.
– Select “International Collections” to include images from some of the best international collections, specifically curated for the New Zealand market.
Click here to learn more about each collection.

– Select “Model Released” when you need to see images of people that you’d like to use in an advertising or other commercial use.
– Select “Property Released” when you need to see images of property (including intellectual property and physical property) that you’d like to use in an advertising or other commercial use. Important: If an image features people and/or property and does not have a model and/or property release, then it is only available for Editorial Use. Editorial Use means magazine and newspaper articles.

Only want to see images from a specific photographer? You can select his/her name from this drop down menu.
Note: this list only shows One Shot contributing photographers (photonewzealand and The Shutter Club collections only).

Our Nudity Filter is activated by default to NOT display images including nudity. Images displaying nudity may include beauty, news, historical, medical, sexual health, fine-art and glamour images. If you’d like to include all images available, including images that display nudity, select “Display Nudity Images”.
Disclaimer: We do not supply any images that we consider to be pornographic. The nudity filter is triggered to exclude images based on keywords compared to the terms you have searched. We do not have control over the keywords for images supplied to us by international collections. Therefore we cannot guarantee that 100% of the images are going to be filtered out from the search results.

– Select “Rights Managed” to view RM images only.
– Select “Royalty-Free” to view RF images only.
Not sure what RM and RF mean? Click here.

– Select “Creative” if you’d like to see images that are available for Advertising and Design Uses.
– Select “Editorial” if you only want to see images available for “Editorial Use Only”.
– Select both “Creative” and “Editorial” to see all images.
Click here to learn more about Creative Use versus Editorial Use.

– Select the orientation of the image: vertical (portrait), horizontal (landscape), square or panorama.

– You can select a period of time to only display images that have been published within specific time periods (in the last 3 months, in the past year etc.).
Please note that this filter cannot be used for images that have been created at a specific date (e.g. 26 October 2010)


We’re the search experts! Rather than spending hours searching, give us a call on 0800 746 866 and we’ll either help by pointing you in the right direction or, if you’re under time constraints or need someone to do this research for you, our team will be happy to search and send you a selection of images to choose from. Note: fees may apply but they will be deducted from the licensing fees paid if you go ahead with licensing images. To know more about our service fees, click here.

Signing off,
The One Shot team.