The standard output for search results with images is a thumbnail with text matches on the same line.
For Commons, depending on the search, the text match is secondary. It would be interesting if there was an optional layout that just displays a gallery of thumbnails as category pages do.
The output would be similar to one of the "file search" function of Commons Commander ( http://toolserver.org/~magnus/commcomm/ ).
Larger thumbnails would help sometimes.