Top tips for searching for stock imagery

If you’re prone to picking the first image you come across when looking through stock photography, you might be missing out on some hidden gems. Well, the good news is that Adobe Stock includes some pretty handy filtering tools that make it easier to find imagery that’s right for your project and that hasn’t been used by every single other campaign out there. To give you an idea of the functions available, here are a few tips…

Option 1: Searching on the site

If you’re already using a stock service, chances are this is the search method you’re most familiar with.

As you’d expect, the home page on gives you the standard search functionality, with the option to type in your topic and the ability to filter down by type of asset – in this case, photos, videos, illustrations and vectors. I’m going to get things started by having a look for some nice photos of the Jigsaw24 mascot, the zebra.

Searching in Adobe Stock step 1

Once your results are in, it’s all about the filters, and first up is your option to sort images into a more meaningful list. Recency, relevance and popularity are all as expected, but Adobe Stock also includes the ability to prioritise the images that you have previously downloaded (handy if you need to refer back to photos you have used to find similar options) or by Undiscovered, which bumps up those images that you’ve not looked at before to help keep your work fresh.

Searching in Adobe Stock step 2

If you have specific dimensions you’re working to, or need an image that is specifically geared to span a page or fit into a tight square box, then use the dimension filter. While portrait, landscape and square are now standard in most stock providers’ searches, panoramic is relatively unique to Adobe Stock.

Searching in Adobe Stock step 3

The next option you have is to either include or exclude people from your images. While I don’t think we’ll be having that problem with our preview below, if you’ve ever experienced stock photography of an office environment you’ll be hitting the ‘Exclude’ button plenty.

Searching in Adobe Stock step 4


Another one of the great features within Adobe Stock’s search is the ability to filter by colour. While some searches typically include a few select preset colours to filter images by the primary colour within them, this includes a colour picker tool with full HTML colour options. For this preview I’m going to select standard Jigsaw24 orange…

Searching in Adobe Stock step 5

The final filter available in Adobe Stock is the ability to filter by category. While it’s not so handy when searching for zebras, it is great if you’ve originally searched for quite a broad term. All your standard categories are present and correct – Buildings, Transport, Travel – as well as a few that are less common, including Social Issues and Drinks. Here, I’m going to pick Animals just to make sure I get rid of the random images of cakes and tree trunks.

Searching in Adobe Stock step 6

Option 2: Searching in your app

Your second option for searching is to do it directly within the Creative Cloud app. While you won’t get the functionality you do on the website, you will be able to search for key terms and see the top results without having to leave the app. Within the app you can buy there and then, download a preview, and there’s a button to “Find similar” that will open up your browser and have all the search results ready and waiting.

Searching in Adobe Stock - in app searches

Want to find out more about Adobe Stock? Head on over to our Adobe Stock page to take a look at the full feature-set. You can also give us a call on 03332 409 259, email or pop your details in the form below.

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