Conventional relevance feedback schemes may not be suitable to all practical applications of content-based image retrieval (CBIR), since most ordinary users would like to complete their search in a single interaction, especially on the web search. In this paper, we explore a new approach to improve the retrieval performance based on a new concept, bag of images, rather than relevance feedback. We consider that image collection comprises of image bags instead of independent individual images. Each image bag includes some relevant images with the same perceptual meaning. A theoretical case study demonstrates that image retrieval can benefit from the new concept. A number of experimental results show that the CBIR scheme based on bag of images can improve the retrieval performance dramatically.