Magnetic resonance imaging is a commonly used diagnostic method in medicinal practice as well as in biological and preclinical research. Contrast agents (CAs), which are often applied are mostly based on Gd(III) complexes. In this paper, the ligand types and structures of their complexes on one side and a set of the physico-chemical parameters governing properties of the CAs on the other side are discussed. The solid-state structures of lanthanide(III) complexes of open-chain and macrocyclic ligands and their structural features are compared. Examples of tuning of ligand structures to alter the relaxometric properties of gadolinium(III) complexes as a number of coordinated water molecules, their residence time (exchange rate) or reorientation time of the complexes are given. Influence of the structural changes of the ligands on thermodynamic stability and kinetic inertness/lability of their lanthanide(III) complexes is discussed.