How to Curate Collections Efficiently from Shutterstock’s Expert Curator

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How to Curate Collections Efficiently from Shutterstock’s Expert Curator

To help you create collections quickly, we spoke to one of our in-house curators for her best curation strategies honed over the last 15 years.

Robyn Lange spends most of her days submerged in over 200 million Shutterstock assets to unearth the best content for our featured collections. With 15 years of experience as a curator and photo editor, she has developed a sophisticated curatorial approach that complements her eye for design.

Here, she shares the five ways businesses can speed up their curation process. Additionally, all Shutterstock search tools mentioned are available for anyone to use for free.

1. Pre-Curated Collections
How to Curate Collections Efficiently from Shutterstock’s Expert Curator — Pre-Curated CollectionsImage by (from the Shutterstock Modern Portraits collection).

One of the easiest ways for businesses to offer collections is to use existing Shutterstock collections. You can see several collections featured at any given time on the Shutterstock website. Some of Robyn’s favorites include Modern Portraits, Christmas, Diwali, Botanicals, and Workplace.

To offer pre-curated Shutterstock collections, companies need to first integrate the Shutterstock image API. After integrating, existing Shutterstock collections can be passed to end users for immediate use. Additionally, with more than one million new images added per week, partners can freely expand collections with fresh assets.

2. Advanced Search Filters
How to Curate Collections Efficiently from Shutterstock’s Expert Curator — Advanced Search FeaturesImage by VA_Art (from the Shutterstock Green collection).

“One of my favorite filters for search is Shutterstock’s search by color option,” Lange explains. “Color is an easy way to create a consistent visual story. It is also an intuitive way for humans to perceive themes.”

In addition to using color to search, Shutterstock offers filters for the size, layout, the number, race, and gender of people in a photo, image size, and more.

“These filters help sift out what you don’t want so the assets that you do want are brought to the surface,” says Lange. “Every collection is going to be unique but using filters is a universal tactic to get really specific with what you’re looking for without adding time to your search.”

Moreover, all filters are available through the Shutterstock API to help you customize the search experience for end users as well.

3. Reverse Image Search
How to Curate Collections Efficiently from Shutterstock’s Expert Curator — Reverse Image Search

Reverse image search lets you upload any image and receive results that match the original image in composition and feel. Our reverse image search technology uses computer vision to analyze images by pixels instead of keywords.

According to Denisse Soto Cervantes, the Head of Design at Teeblox (a Shutterstock API partner),

“All of our designers use Shutterstock’s reverse image search for at least an hour every day. We have tried Google’s reverse image search, but it’s faster to use Shutterstock’s reverse image search since the images are licensable. We also saw that the results from Shutterstock are more accurate. Now, if we find a design somewhere that we like, we can quickly find similar images that we can use and license.”

4. Shutterstock Computer Vision Tools
How to Curate Collections Efficiently from Shutterstock’s Expert Curator — Computer Vision Tools

Optimizing the search experience for how people naturally process visual information continues to be a priority for Shutterstock. In addition to reverse image search, we offer four search tools using computer vision technology: Refine, Reveal, Composition Search, and Copyspace.

Refine allows users to choose multiple images and allow Shutterstock to further curate images with a similar look and feel. Reveal is a Chrome extension that allows people to use reverse image search on any image found on the internet. Composition Search enables users to drag keywords to the desired location on a canvas and surface images with objects in those specific positions. Copy space returns only images that set aside white space in user-selected locations on the canvas to allow room for copy.

“Computer vision is exciting because most designers are visual people,” said Lange. “It’s a major advantage for many of us to have access to innovative search tools that have a visual input.”

5. Custom Curation
How to Curate Collections Efficiently from Shutterstock’s Expert Curator — Custom CurationImage by Evgeniya Porechenskaya (from the Best of Wall Art collection).

For companies that want to avoid the process of curation completely, we offer partners the option to access our curation team for custom curation. The process begins with your creative brief and ends with exclusive collections tailored for your company delivered via the Shutterstock API.

“Curated collections are exactly that, curated. So we always think about the client and the end usage of the imagery because each collection has to be representative of each client’s brand — to look like they created the collection for themselves,” said Lange.

“And since the curation team spends all day, every day, digging through the Shutterstock collection and new additions, custom curation it’s a great opportunity for businesses to stay up to date with our offerings without doing all the legwork.”


Shutterstock’s asset library of over 200 million stock images, video clips, and music tracks is supported by best-in-class search, so users can find the perfect asset in the least amount of time. You can find our advanced search tools at Shutterstock Showcase.

If you’re interested in custom curation or using Shutterstock’s existing collections, please contact us for more information.

Cover image by Super Prin.

Looking for more information about our platform solutions? Check out these articles.

How Shutterstock Creates API Partnerships that Last
Future Proof Your Tech Company with the Shutterstock API
How Shutterstock’s Workflow Solutions Can Enhance Your Product
4 Ways to Improve User Search with the Shutterstock API
5 Reasons Print Companies are Integrating the Shutterstock API

The post How to Curate Collections Efficiently from Shutterstock’s Expert Curator appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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