The presence of increased memory and computational power in imaging sensor networks is attracting researchers to exploit existing image processing algorithms on distributed memory and computational power. In this paper, a typical perimeter is investigated with a number of sensors placed to form an image sensor network for the purpose of image acquisition, transmission, and search. Image search algorithm is described to enable distributed image processing and search within each sensor. Then energy model is presented to calculate energy efficiency for various cases of imaging to determine trade off between network traffic and sensor life time. The simulations are carried out based on consideration of continuous monitoring or event driven activity on the perimeter and gateway initiated query for image search. Simulation results show that energy saving is significant if camera is active during motion only, and uses distributed local image search resulting in reduced network traffic.