Shutterstock launches Spectrum – an innovative search option

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Shutterstock has done it again, added more innovation to their already popular stock photo agency. Search is one the most important part of any stock photo agency. Each agency is looking for new and innovative ways to help stock photo users find the perfect photo and Shutterstock seems to be leading the way.

Spectrum search combines color and keyword for effective search results

If you are looking for something a bit different and a search option that will pull up images that will inspire you, Spectrum does the trick. After using this new Shutterstock tool and reveiwing the search results, the resulting images were impressive. We quickly did a search using the keywork ocean but changing the color option from green to blue to red and then to yellow. The search results were so very different, the images creative and for us, inspiring.


The image results got our test group excited about using Shutterstock images. When we reverted back to the main Shutterstock website and searched ocean, the results were interesting and relevant but not as inspiring!

The challenge with Spectrum

As much as we love this option when conducting a Shutterstock search, we did discover a flaw or two. One, you can not search using actual pantone or html colors, so if you are looking for an exact color match, this is not an option as of today. The second flaw, or challenge comes with a very specific keyword search. We searched the destination Tulum, Mexico and did the same testing procedure as we did above, maintain the same keyword and changed the color option. The same stock photo options remained. Spectrum is limited to the image colors submitted by photographers. Tulum, Mexico photos are dominated by the color blue, and though we requested red based photos in the search, the only photos that came up were photos that had small images with red, they were not the striking innovation we experienced when a generic search was conducted.

Spectrum may inspire new image submissions on Shutterstock

Now that Shutterstock has released the color search option, photographers may be inspired to submit more creative, color enhanced photos that will meet the needs of buyers. Spectrum does not change the content that uploaded, but the use of it may inspire photographers to look at color differently.

Check the new spectrum search option at Shutterstock and see if you become as inspired as we did when testing this new search tool.


Amos Struck
Amos Struck

I am a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. I focus on providing knowledge and solutions for buyers, contributors and agencies, aiming at contributing to the growth and development of the industry. I am the founder and editor of Stock Photo Press, one of the largest networks of online magazines in the industry. I am the founder of Microstock Expo, the only conference dedicated to the microstock segment. I created several software solutions in stock photography like WordPress plugins. Plus I am a recurrent speaker at Photokina Official Stage, and an industry consultant at StockPhotoInsight. I am passionate about technology, marketing and visual imagery.

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