As iStockphoto had announced a few month ago (in the Illustration forum, so photographers probably were not really aware), raster drawings are now being re-categorized as Illustrations
Here is a sample result searching for “Illustrations” on iStockphoto – have a look at the school bus image on the right:
If you click on the file detail page, you will see this image is a rastered image – most likely a photo taken from the hand drawn image on the black board:
A feature like this has been requested for quite some time since some search results were leaving customer confused when “photos only” were selected but still some drawings were showing up on top places.
The potential impact of this is obviously that those images will no longer show when a client searches for photos only – and on the other hand it might leave other clients confused who are explicitly looking for vector images but will find images in JPG format in the future. I am not really convinced if the change make sense in the way it was executed as I am sure some people explicitly are looking for EPS files, and there is not clear way to do that – if I was a vector illustrator, I would go back to all my files and add keywords like “vector” to it now.
My guess is, in a next step, iStock might consider re-categorisation of 3D renderings into a different (probably new) category in the long term to avoid confusion of potential customers. However, this might be thinking years ahead knowing iStock’s usual project timelines.