A target-oriented strategy can be applied to estimate a wave-equation least-squares inverse (LSI) image. By explicitly computing the wave-equation Hessian, the LSI image is obtained as the solution of a nonstationary least-squares inverse filtering problem. The rows of the Hessian are the nonstationary filters containing information about the acquisition geometry, the velocity model, and the band-limited characteristics of the seismic data. By exploiting the sparsity and the structure of the Hessian matrix, a large number of iterations, necessary to achieve convergence, can be computed cheaply. The results on a structurally complex model show the improvements of the LSI image versus the migrated image.