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Searching for your works over the internet

Regarding recent Shutterstock’s article “Shutterstock in the wild” I wrote  this article about principal methods of finding your works on the internet.

Find out how to search for your  work on-line!

Whatever you are: a microstock , portrait or a wedding photographer it will be useful for you to know where and how your work is used  to be proud of, or to find a potential copyright infringement.


Following these methods, I found over 500 samples of my stock image usage. A small collection of  the most interesting ones can be seen in the Publication section. 

The methods are given in order of their effectiveness:


1. Google “search by image” functionLink to google instructions directly

Introduced in 2011, it’s a very powerful tool. Using an enormous Google database and this highly advanced search engine you can find many of your images online. I found the majority of my sample’s collection using this method. Moreover, it even found images that were manipulated!

For example: a sky in the creation of Audi advertising or the same sky image in Case agricultural vehicles poster. The sky was taken from the photo of a lake landscape.

To begin with, I resize the photos I want to search with a batch process to a 1200-1500 pixels on the longest side. These resized images have minimal upload time, which greatly saves your time spent on searching for every image.

After that, it is all up to you and your patience as you will need to search every single image you want. Do not get discouraged, if you won’t find any samples at once – give it a try with other images!This is how the search results look like:

This image search finds your photos on various web pages, Facebook, on-line books, catalogues and all other kinds of digital media. Now let’s move to the alternatives…


2. Nickname google search.

With this option you can find interesting samples with text referring to you (and usually the agency). This requires surfing and scanning through pages in google as well, but multiple images can be found at once, using this method. Even though this option finds a fewer amount of samples, it has good scanning ability for PDF files (compared to the previously described “search by image”). So you can find a good trophy like print advertisement.The result looks like this:


3. Nickname image search.

Similar like the above, but in “picture” section with a different result. Just keep in mind that you need to scroll down till you pass your Shutterstock or your website previews. And look carefully among the grid of images.Example:


4. Occasional findings. 

You can find all visual advertisements that you have not confirmed yourself, using this method. Just keep your eyes around.Two samples were the big surpise for me! One from local mobile operator in Riga, Latvia. Another from Saint-Petesburg, Russia – the advertising of newspapper.

Plus,  occasional findings over the internet. Like my first experience of finding my work in the commercial use. Some years ago I received a promotional e-mail from a local Baltic bus operator with an offer to visit Tallinn, Estonia. And that large cover photo of the city was mine. The funniest thing is that I have travelled there with their bus from Riga one year before that to take that particular picture.


That said, all you need is patience and some time investment and you can find a lot of spectacular, creative and serious projects with your works involved. A good thing to be proud of and a way to boost your motivation! Good luck!

If you know or use other methods of searching for your works, please let us know!

Thank you for your attention and share if you find this useful.

By Aleksey Stemmer –

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