The rapid growth of image digitization and collections in recent years makes it challenging and burdensome to organize, categorize, and retrieve similar images from voluminous collections. Content-based image retrieval (CBIR) is immensely convenient in this context. A considerable number of local feature detectors and descriptors are present in the literature of CBIR. We propose a model to anticipate the best feature combinations for image retrieval-related applications. Several spatial complementarity criteria of local feature detectors are analyzed and then engaged in a regression framework to find the optimal combination of detectors for a given dataset and are better adapted for each given image; the proposed model is also useful to optimally fix some other parameters, such as the in -nearest neighbor retrieval. Three public datasets of various contents and sizes are employed to evaluate the proposal, which is legitimized by improving the quality of retrieval notably facing classical approaches. Finally, the proposed image search engine is applied to the cultural photographic collections of a French museum, where it demonstrates its added value for the exploration and promotion of these contents at different levels from their archiving up to their exhibition in or ex situ.