Help / Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ area. You will find relevant information and assistance about this website and our content here.

We always try to offer you the best possible service. The FAQ area is continuously being extended and developed. If you have any further questions, suggestions or wishes, do not hesitate to contact us. Please contact our sales team or send your feedback directly to our developers: Send feedback by e-mail.

Register, log in, change data

It’s simple and worthwhile to register. After registering, you get a login. This allows you to access all of Keystone-SDA’s images and offers you full functionality of the search options. You can also manage your project-related images in specific Lightboxes and download high-res images without watermarks.


Please note: Basically, only business clients, b2b business to business, get full access to the Keystone-SDA content database. Private persons do not get access.

Start by registering here. Fill in the corresponding form.


Business clients, b2b (business to business), receive their credentials within one working day. Private persons do not get access.

Log in and navigate to My Account > Account > Change password and enter a new password.


If your account is used by more than one user in your organization, the process may fail. In this case, contact our sales team.

Under My Account > Account you can update your address details, change your password or manage your personal settings. If the process fails, please contact our sales team.

Keystone-SDA verkauft Bilder grundsätzlich nur an Geschäftskunden, b2b (business to business). Klicken Sie beim gewünschten Bild auf "Anfrage"  und geben Sie uns Ihren beabsichtigten Verwendungszweck und ihre Kontaktdaten an.

You may click on "Inquiry" in the detail screen of an image you are interested in and indicate what you would like to use the image for. Keystone-SDA is a b2b company and therefore usually only sells to other businesses.

Search and Find

  • Check your input for typos.
  • Check the search options. Did you select too many restrictions?
  • Remove active search templates by clicking 'Remove search template'.
  • Use AND or a space to search for several keywords (e.g. dog AND cat or dog cat).
  • Use OR to search for only one of the entered keywords (e.g. dog OR cat).
  • Use NOT to exclude keywords (e.g. dog NOT poodle).
  • Don't start your search with the words: AND, OR, NOT.
  • Use uppercase for the AND, OR, and NOT operators.


Do you have questions about the search or should we research for you? Our sales team will be happy to help you find the right content. Contact us

In the Creative section you find images on subjects such as food & drink, lifestyle & free time, geography & travel, flora & fauna, concepts & emotions. These images are primarily used in advertising and marketing. Here you find images which are subject to licensing (Rights Managed, RM) and images for which rights issues have already been settled (Royalty Free, RF).

In the Editorial section you find pictures on news and events, sports and entertainment as well as portraits of important persons, historical images or reportages (see respective domain). Here you also find edited collections on current topics for your journalistic background information. To access all Editorial images you need a login.

In the advanced search you can search for certain time periods. Predefined periods such as "today" or "yesterday" are available, or you can search for a specific period using "Manually".



Note that a date search only displays content that has the appropriate metadata. Metadata may be missing or incorrect.

We process more than 20’000 pictures a day. Around one quarter of these are archived every day. The rest is no longer available after 60 days. If there is a picture you cannot find anymore, please contact us and describe the image you are looking for. Our sales team will be happy to help you.

Search templates are saved searches that you can retrieve at a later time. Only the filter settings or the entire search including the search term can be saved. When you log in for the first time, you will already find some of our predefined search templates.

My lightboxes

"My Lightboxes" are your personal collections of pictures. In a lightbox, you can save, edit, copy, or delete pictures for a specific project. If you are involved in a number of projects or starting out on a new one, simply set up a new Lightbox along with a name for the new project. These Lightboxes will then be available for an unlimited time.

To put content into a personal lightbox, you must be logged in. Then, for each content in a search result or in a lightbox curated by us, an icon will appear marked with a +. A click on the icon adds the image to the last active lightbox.



If you want to change the lightbox or create a new one, then click on the name of the lightbox and a dialog window opens in which you can create a new lightbox or change to an existing one. When you close the dialog, the image will be added to the corresponding lightbox.



Rights and conditions

We distinguish Rights managed images (RM), being subject to licensing, from Royalty Free images (RF), for which rights issues have already been settled. RM images as well as RF images are copyrighted, differ however regarding the extent of the rights of use acquired.


In case of rights managed images (RM), a licence fee is being charged depending on kind and number of use.


Royalty free images (RF) can be used unlimited in time and in different contexts for a one-time fee.

When using images in advertising, the rights of the depicted persons or objects, graphics and logos protected by trademark law are very important. For such images, special clearance for usage in advertising is required.


Please note the information in the "Instructions" field of the content. Model Released images can be used without any problems. To be sure, contact our sales team.

Model Released images are those for which personal rights of the persons depicted have been cleared, including for commercial usage.

Property Released are images of buildings, landmarks, trademarks and logos, which have been given clearance for commercial use by the owner.

If an image contains the note "Clearance Required" in the field "Instructions", a clearance must be requested from the rights holder for each use. You will be informed by e-mail as soon as the clearance has been granted. You will then find the cleared image ready for download under My Account > Requests > Clearances.

Handouts are made available by third parties (e.g. companies, public authorities) for free editorial use, quoting the source.


Handout images may explicitly only be used in the context of editorial reporting and in connection with the event, product or company presented. These images may only be used for commercial purposes in agreement with the source.

The "Instructions" field contains specific and binding information on usage rights or restrictions. Please note these and ask our sales team if there are any ambiguities.

The SPECIAL FEES note in the "Instructions" field indicates a surcharge on the fee charged for a particular use. The additional usage costs usually amount to +100%. Special fees are charged for aerial or underwater photography, for example. For price inquiries please click on "Inquiry" next to the corresponding picture.

Some images are noted with the information COPYRIGHTPFLICHTIG, resp. (C). This information is intended for subscribers as a reminder that usage of the particular image is subject to a fee outside of their subscription agreement.

Correspondingly designated Content is part of a subscription. Usage for the purpose specified in the subscription contract is already covered by the subscription fee and will not be invoiced.