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Maximizing the Use of Your Printer: Printing High Quality Photos

Your memories are worth preserving. It’s not too late to make sure your photos will last a lifetime and beyond, with professional-looking prints that you can be proud of displaying on your walls or in albums. In this post, we’ll cover the basics of what makes for high quality photo prints at home as well as some tips and tricks for getting more from your printer. Let’s dive right in!

1. Get the Right Printer

Photo prints are prints, and as such, need to be printed on paper. At the bare minimum, it needs to be a heavyweight stock that gives you full-color print. If it’s an 8×10 or any other large size, you’ll need a heavyweight stock as well. If you’re trying to do a smaller-sized print, it doesn’t need to be any more than a standard heavyweight stock. You can always go back and get a larger photo print later on, but for now, you don’t need to worry about it. 


2. Print in High Quality Color

You probably bought your printer with the expectation of using it for sending out all your hard copies of those professional pictures you’re always taking, right? But you can also use it to print photos and do it well. No worries about whether they’ll be blemished or the paper won’t be paper-thin – you can take better photos using this printer, and it will make sure your photos don’t slide through your printer like a wet marble, leaving you with a dismal looking, out-of-focus print. But if you’re on the fence, take a look at how this review works. Remember that prints that are printed at high resolution will look sharp even if they’re on somewhat blurry paper. To make sure your pictures print well, start by printing your photos in color and using the auto-clean feature.


3. Choose a Paper Type that Matches Your Needs

Photo printers can handle a lot of different paper sizes, and there’s no set rule that dictates how big the photo prints must be. However, most photo printers require images to be on photo paper with a paper density ranging from 200 – 300 dpi, and many of these brands can print up to six or more colors. This is not only the case for professional-grade photo printers, but also for entry-level photo printers on the market that rely on photo paper. Photo Paper vs. Print Paper One of the biggest differences between photo paper and print paper is price. While many photo paper vendors offer affordable paper in either black and white or color, these aren’t all the same paper. Print Paper: Many printers will offer photo paper of various sizes in either portrait or landscape orientation.


4. Use the Best Settings for Your Printer and Paper Type

Depending on your printer and what kind of paper you have, it might be possible to take advantage of a few more settings to boost the quality of your prints. To make the best of your printer and your paper, it helps to understand your printer’s main print settings. 

Here are the best values for the three major paper types: Regular or white paper (like Kodak Brown) standard paper (like 7.5″ x 5″), or dark-colored (like cardstock) ultra-smooth paper (like photo paper), which is easier to print on, but takes longer to print on and creates less contrast. To test which paper setting you should use for your printer, go through the various ink profiles the printer offers. Be sure to adjust the settings to match your paper type. 


5. Understand When to Use Glossy or Matte Photo Papers

It may seem obvious, but it’s important to get the right kind of photo paper for your printer. You don’t want glossy paper if you’re trying to print black and white photos or if you just want an inexpensive printer. If you want the best color accuracy and the best price, matte photo paper is what you want. A matte photo paper image contains no grain, no texture and no shine. Most matte photo paper comes in prints at 3″ x 6″ or 8″ x 10″ depending on the brand. Glossy photo papers have a reflective gloss and usually come in 8″ x 10″ or 12″ x 16″ sizes. If you like the look of glossy photo papers, then there’s no need to get matte paper. As long as your photos have enough contrast and detail, then matte paper prints look great too. 

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