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Why register with KEYSTONE?

It’s simple and worthwhile to register with KEYSTONE. After registering, you get a login. This allows you to access all of KEYSTONE’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 Image Portal. Private persons do not get a login.

How do I get login data?

Start by registering in Sign In. Fill in the corresponding form. Business clients, b2b (business to business), receive login data within one working day. Private persons do not get a login.

How do I change my password?

Please write to us at sales@keystone.ch indicating your current login data (user name and password). We will send you new login data within one working day.

How can I subscribe to the KEYSTONE Newsletter?

Go to My Profile in My Account to subscribe to the KEYSTONE Newsletter. You need to be signd in order to do this. You can unsubscribe from the KEYSTONE Newsletter at any time, simply write us to sales@keystone.ch

How do I update my account information?

Go to My Profile in My Account to edit your personal information and configuration at any time. You can also subscribe to the KEYSTONE newsletter here.

I cannot find the pictures I am looking for. Why not?

Reset the search options with Clear and launch a fresh search. Check your input (spelling) and try again with different Search Options. Enter a new term for searching in another language (in French, German or English). Check the Search Area (Creative, Editorial, Archives, Stories or Sports).

What search options are available to me in the search field?

Two terms are automatically linked with AND. The search result shows therefore images which contain both terms (resp. all terms). Max Frisch finds images containing Max as well as Frisch.
If you link two terms with OR, the search result shows images containing either one term or the other. Max Frisch finds images which contain Max or Frisch.
If you want to exclude a term link both terms with NOT. The search result shows therefore images containing only the first term and excluding the second one. Max Frisch finds images containing only Max.
If you put a term in quotation marks, the search result shows only images containing those terms in consecutive order. "Max Frisch" finds only Max Frisch.
If you are searching for a partial term, put an asterisk in front and back of the term. *frisch* leads to search results such as Auffrischen. Taufrisch, Frischhaltefolie ...

You can show or hide further search options in the search result. This allows you to search inherently and therefore narrow down your search result.

What kind of images do I find in the Creative section?

In KEYSTONE’s 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 (RM) and images for which rights issues have already been settled (RF).

What kind of images do I find in the Editorial section?

In KEYSTONE's 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 dossiers on current topics for your journalistic background information. To access all Editorial images you need a login.  

What kind of images do I find in the News section?

News images are only accessible for subscribers.

What kind of images do I find in the Archives section?

In KEYSTONE’s Archives section you find images taken before 2000. If you possess a login, you can use the Calendar here.
With over 11 million images, KEYSTONE disposes of the most important photo archive in Switzerland including an extensive manual repository with photographs, slides and photographic plates: a seemingly inexhaustible collection on the social history of our country. Since it will still take some time until the entire Archives collection will be available via our KEYSTONE image portal, we are happy to search the complete stock for you upon request. KEYSTONE is the exclusive and worldwide representative of other prestigious photo collections of Switzerland.

What kind of images do I find in the Stories section?

In KEYSTONE’s Stories section you find image series, reportages and photo essays. Reportages visualize stories clearly defined in time and space from the perspective of an eyewitness. In contrast, essays are about a photographer’s individual engagement with a specific subject.

What kind of images do I find in the Sports section?

In KEYSTONE’s Sports section you find sports images. This section is divided into News, a focus on important Events as well as Dossiers. Here you also find subpages with the sports highlights of the year such as football matches or Olympic Games.

When should I combine search areas?

The combination of search areas is usually not necessary. However, if you combine the two search areas Creative and Editorial, you can be sure that all the images containing your search term are found.

Where do I find the Daily Outlook?

You find the Daily Outlook in the News section. It is updated daily and only accessible for subscribers.

Is there a weekly Outlook?

You find the weekly Outlook in the Editorial section. You need a login in order to access the Outlook which is continually updated.

What is the difference between Rights managed (RM) and Royalty free (RF)?

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.

Which pictures can I use for advertising purposes?

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 Special Instructions field of the captions. Model Released images can be used without any problems. To be sure, contact our Sales department sales@keystone.ch.

What are MODEL RELEASED images?

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

What are PROPERTY RELEASED images?

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


If an image is marked with Clearance Required (see Special Instructions), the use of the image must be clarified. If you would like to buy such an image, you will be automatically asked to indicate what you would like to use the image for. You will be notified shortly, as soon as clearance for the image has been given. You will then find the image in your inbox ready for download.

What are HANDOUT images?

Handout images must only be used for editorial purposes and in connection with the event, product or company depicted.

Which kinds of entries are listed in the SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS field?

The field Special Instructions lists certain rights of use or obligations.

What does SPECIAL FEES mean? 

Special Fees marked in the Special Instructions field indicates surcharges are imposed on picture fees. Those surcharges normally amount to +100%. For example, underwater pictures and aerial pictures carry surcharges. For more information, click on Request Price Offer in the respective image.


Every image is protected by copyrights meaning every use of an image requires a charged licencing. Some images are additionally noted with the information COPYRIGHTPFLICHTIG, resp. Image ID (c). This information is intended for subscribers as a reminder that usage of the particular image is subject to a fee. 

How can I search for a date?

As all of the information relating to the picture is searched through in the search field, it is also possible to enter specific dates in this field. The format for the date is not standardized and you have to use different forms. However, the date under which a picture is saved in the database does have the standardized format YYYYMMDD.

I found a picture yesterday, but it is no longer available today. What is happening here?

We process more than 10’000 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 at sales@keystone.ch and describe the image you are looking for. Our Sales Team will be happy to help you.


My Lightboxes contain your personal collections of pictures. In a Lightbox, you can edit, copy, relocate 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.

What does the quality label “K” stand for?

An image selections marked with a "K" has been edited and reviewed in form and content by professional KEYSTONE picture editors. This image selection is a "best of" and gives an overview on the important images matching the respective topic.

Image selections marked with "K" are to be found in all search areas. They are part of the current KEYSTONE offer. Additionally, you find such selections in your search result below Context (right column). They contain at least one image matching your search term.

Does it work with any browser?

At present it has been tested with the current versions of Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. In its current version, any other browser is sure to work properly, however the display may well suffer. Browsers without CSS support do not work.

Do I need Cookies and JavaScript?

You can manage without cookies. However, certain of the convenience functions will not work. It is better to switch cookies on. JavaScript is required. Without it our page does not work.

What is there saved in a Cookie?

Login data for the automatic login process, information for our load balancer, and status reports for page displays. These information are exclusively used for this purpose.

I do not have login rights and am not (yet) a member. Can I still receive pictures?

KEYSTONE is a b2b company and therefore usually only sells to other businesses. However, you may click on Request Price Offer in the view file of the image you are interested in and indicate what you would like to use the image for.

Can I purchase pictures for my own private use?

KEYSTONE is a b2b company and therefore usually only sells to other businesses. However, you may click on Request Price Offer in the image you are interested in and indicate to which private purpose you would like to use the image for.

What is MY INBOX?

My Inbox tells you the status of those images which you ordered because they are not available via our image portal. These may be Royalty free images or images marked with the label Clearance Required.

Your inbox also contains the Royalty free images for which you acquired long-term rights of usage.

Are there also analog pictures available at KEYSTONE? 

Yes, KEYSTONE has a stock of pictures running to around 11 million negatives, slides, prints and photographic plates. Not all of these have been digitalized as yet. You may send a request for a search to our Sales Team.


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