How To Choose The Best Paper For Photo Prints | Shutterfly

When decorating your dwelling, it ’ south common to include enough of memorable photograph of class, friends and favored vacation spots. But the task of decorate is easier said than done. With so many print options available, it can be hard to know what photograph newspaper and finish to use to properly enhance the smasher of each photograph. And depending on where you choose to place the photos in your home, or how you choose to frame them, some sizes and finishes just won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate work. To help even the most novice decorator get a handle on the best size, materials, and finishes to use for their favored portraits and landscapes, we ’ ve put together an in-depth steer for choosing the best paper for photo prints. From syndicate portraits printed on pearlized lightweight photograph paper to fine artwork reproductions on load analyze, our guide covers options for every expressive style and taste. Photos add sol much personality and affectionateness to a room, and no matter what memory you are looking to print, customs movie impression options give you the creative exemption to bring these digital images to life. Whether you ’ re printing images for frames, for a photograph wall, or for a individualized gift, you can easily bring your most care for memories to liveliness with photograph prints. Choose felt, glossy, or pearl ending photograph paper to customize your high-quality prints. jump to :

What Is A Photo Print?

Framed prints hanging above table. A photograph photographic print is a physical copy of a photograph, printed on newspaper ( although some are chemically treated, about 80 % of what ’ second sold is acid-free and lignin-free newspaper ) or other materials of varying sizes. photograph prints are used in frames, collages, and invitations and can help add a personal component to your home or mailed invitation. To make sure that the photograph paper you choose fits the project you ’ re planning to use it for, there are several things you ’ ll need to consider, including photograph composition sizes. If you ’ re printing photos to put in frames, they will need to be the same size as the skeleton ( by and large, frames come in 8×10 and 11×14 edge sizes ). otherwise, you ’ ll run the risk of having to cut the photograph down to size which can reduce a parcel of the beautiful photography you want to display. Framed prints hanging over chairs. In summation to size, it ’ south besides important to take into report how you want the end photograph to look. Different types of finishes and materials can greatly change the style of your photos, so doing your research before print can help make certain you get the concluding product you want .

How To Choose Photo Paper Finishes

The finish of the newspaper you choose to print your photograph on can make a huge difference in its ocular appeal. The finish can besides determine how retentive the photograph holds up over time, how easily it shows blemishes, and the type of matting or frame that will work best. Below, we break down the most democratic print finishes and the types of frames you should use to show them off .


A flatness finish means that the photograph doesn ’ metric ton have any shine, making it a big choice for photos you want to display in a glass frame or in bright areas. Because light doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate bounce off this complete, there international relations and security network ’ t as much of a glare, which can be beneficial in calm areas like life rooms or doctors ’ offices. Framed gallery wall over entryway table. Without this final reflective glossary, flat photograph paper can often come across as dark and less structured than their slick counterparts. They besides show fingerprints more well than other finishes, meaning you need to be careful when handling and framing your premium flatness photos .


glossy photograph paper is a big manner to add extra shine, dimension and coloring material to your photos. Before printing your photograph with this shininess, it ’ south significant to decide which category of polish you want : high-shine or semi-shine. Although all glossy finishes add a bright and reflective layer to your photos, a semi-shine eat up is slightly more matte while distillery highlighting the beautiful colors in your photograph. alternatively, high-shine provides a more intense glossary and gives your photograph prints an overall crispness with a legato surface. Square photo prints pinned on wooden post. This mod coating is beautiful on holiday cards or wedding invitations, or photograph prints on all right art paper that will be hung without a glass frame. It ’ second important not to use a glass frame of reference with this type of finish for respective reasons. First, the photograph newspaper itself will already be highly reflective, so adding methamphetamine around it can cause an unpleasant glare. glistening paper is besides kind of sticky, and can get stuck on glaze frames and ruin the photograph during removal. Photos with this complete are much recommended to be matted and hung without a inning, or used in a collage without glass .


A bone polish, sometimes referred to as luster, is a good balance of both flatness and semi-shine. Known for having an about changeable quality, pearl finishes allow for some radiance and contrast but don ’ thymine testify blemishes adenine easily as glossy options. Pearl is often used for high-quality prints and photograph ( such as wedding portraits or framed professional photography ) as it has a singular texture that feels much more upscale than early similar finishes .


Metallic photograph finishes look identical exchangeable to their appoint : they have a metallic, about three-dimensional quality to them that helps them stand out in comparison to other popular finishes like pearl and glossy. Metallic end photograph paper is hardy, insubordinate to fingerprints and has a pearl-like shininess. It ’ south well suited for photograph with a set of colors as the finish helps to bring out the contrast between light and dark. Because of its glitter, much like with glistening finishes, it pairs well with agrestic frame prints .


similar to pearl, a satin coating is a combination of felt and glistening. With only a slender shimmer, it ’ s a bang-up choice for a photograph you wish to display behind glass or in a bright space as there won ’ metric ton be much glower. This stopping point besides allows for better see of the photograph from all angles, making it the criterion option for event and marry photography. A spot more durable than slick finishes, satin can stand being handled by multiple people and will last a long time. Some experts say that a satin finish is bang-up for highlighting bright whites, yellows, and oranges, as it provides an lend component of brightness. Because of this, printing photograph with dark colors and adding a satin coating is not often recommended.

Photo Printing Options

In addition to newspaper finishes, you will besides need to decide the size and fabric for your printing newspaper. Depending on how you plan to display your photos throughout your home, you may need a variety of smaller and larger prints to create a collage, or only a few analyze prints to hang above your bed. Below, we break down all the available photographic print sizes and materials to suit your ocular goals. Canvas prints hanging over bench in kitchen.

Print Sizes

No matter your printing job, there are many sizes available to meet your needs. From 4×6 glossy photos for collages to panoramas on flatness paper, our on-line portal has a wide scope of standard and alone print sizes. early sizes available for on-line ordering include 5×7, 5×15, 8×24 and 20×30. Each option allows for flat, glossy, and bone finishes ampere well as cardstock and traditional paper prints. Below is a full list of sizes available for purchase, some of which qualify for one-hour pickup :

  • 4×4
  • 4×6
  • 5×7
  • 8×8
  • Wallet (4)
  • 11×14
  • 12×12
  • 8×10
  • 5×15
  • 12×36
  • 8×24
  • 16×20
  • 20×30

Square photo prints on wall.

Large Format Prints

large format prints, while they may seem alike to poster prints, are a morsel more customizable and upscale than posters. Printed on Fuji Crystal Archive professional-grade paper, these prints provide a crisp color contrast. And because of their size, they can not be printed using traditional-sized inkjet printers. When considering this type of printing for your home or project, size and finish options need to be taken into report. While other larger prints such as posters are home to slick finishes, large format prints can be finished with gloss, flatness or bone overlays. Unframed prints could benefit from the shininess that matte and pearl overlays provide, while glass-enclosed prints should be matte to prevent any glare. large format prints come in the following sizes :

  • 11×14
  • 12×12
  • 5×15
  • 12×36
  • 8×24
  • 16×20
  • 20×30

Art Prints

traditionally, an artwork photographic print is a reproduction of a long-familiar piece of art. Printed on giant and higher quality newspaper, art prints can help bring popular works into homes across the state without the goodly price rag. But fine art printing doesn ’ triiodothyronine just stop at reproduction of celebrated works. These days, very well art print is a popular option for families wanting to display their favorite vacation photos or family portraits. Poster prints hanging on wall. many of our art prints are matted, adding an extra level of sophism to an already beautiful print. other options for printing ticket art include overlie graphics, frames, and watercolor paper for a alone surface texture perfect for copies of paint artwork. But no count which choice you choose, fine artwork wallpaper is a capital way to add elegance to your home or small business .

Poster Prints

When you think of posters you may recall the glistening prints you tore out of magazines and plastered around your room as a adolescent. But today, bill poster prints are much more complex than that, offering multiple ways to make your favorite photograph appear larger than animation. With collage posters, you can combine all of your favorite family or vacation photos into one seamless print. The format of collages are endless, offering you batch of singular shapes and overlays to create a one-of-a-kind piece for your home. Some democratic options include cordate collages for wedding photograph or a grid format to highlight a kind of unrelated photos in one cohesive display. Canvas and framed prints. premium posters have similar customization abilities as collages, but are generally printed on higher choice newspaper and have more impregnate colors. They are good suited for professional photos you want to highlight, as the larger size of bill poster prints offers a more detail opinion than standard prints. If your photograph international relations and security network ’ t high-quality or begins to look bad when blown up, you may want to consider including it in a collage to bring the size down or print in a smaller size altogether .

Canvas Prints

A sail print is a photograph that has been printed on a sheet of canvas, alike to the summons of printing a photograph on paper. With canvas prints, however, there is an total layer of texture from the substantial of the poll which is then stretched around a frame of reference and secured from behind. This way, all you see is the print photograph. It ’ second frequently used to reprint a popular work of artwork for distribution or for class photos. Well-loved for its aesthetic elements, the canvas material has a matte surface that gives the photograph a museum-quality look. Canvas art gallery wall. While a frameless canvas print is the more popular option, framed canvas tent prints have besides gained popularity in holocene years. They add a more modern element to canvas photos as unframed canvas can sometimes look unfinished in comparison to other, traditionally framed paper prints .

Cardstock Prints

Cardstock prints, while not known for enhancing photograph, are generally used for their lastingness. Because they are thicker, they can withstand being handled without showing damage or losing their shape. Cardstock is normally used for occupation cards, flyers, scrapbooking, and even postcards. If you ’ re considering printing on cardstock, it ’ mho best to take into report where your prints will be displayed and how many times they will be handled. If they ’ ll be passed around to a fortune of people or if they need to hold up for an extend period of time without any protective cover, cardstock is your best stake for long-run habit.

Other Printing Options

Photo gallery on brick wall. If you ’ re looking for something a act more alone, there are a batch of other materials and styles available for printing to bring your home interior decoration to the next level. You can display your favored aesthetic photograph on glass or metallic element for an dazzling display of color, or print your photograph on a puzzle or call case to add a new writhe to a kin portrait. Check out all of the out-of-the-box print options below :

  • Glass Prints. Perfect for bright living rooms and hallways, glass prints can bring new life to your photos. With multiple sizes, formats, and shapes to choose from, printing on glass is a distinct format that can brighten up any room with it’s reflective nature.
  • Metal Prints. Make your colors come alive indoors or out with a metal print, which hosts a bright white colored background to bring out contrast and tone in even the darkest photos. With portrait and panoramic sizing available as well as a moisture-resistant coating, metal prints are a perfect option for any environment.
  • Acrylic Prints. To give your photo depth and vibrancy, consider an acrylic print that frames your traditional photo with plexiglass and a protective backing. Not only does this framing option provide a cleaner look than canvas or metal, but it’s also UV resistant, meaning your new purchase will be built to last.
  • Wood Prints. For those looking to bring a natural element into their home, wood prints are a great option for showcasing their favorite photos. With plenty of grains and colors to choose from, wood-printed photographs can match a variety of decors. However, it’s worth noting that with wooden prints, any white in your photos won’t show up, instead the white will match the color of the wood it’s printed on.
  • Puzzle Prints. Get the whole family involved by letting them put together their favorite pictures piece by piece. Ranging from 60 to 1,014 pieces, these puzzles have varying difficulty levels great for family members of all ages.
  • Phone Case Prints. Take your favorite photos with you wherever you go with phone case prints. Available in sizes that fit most iPhones, these phone cases are durable and come in matte or glossy finishes to suit your style.
  • Photo Book Prints. Another great way to bring together all your favorite photos from a specific vacation or event is with photo books. Our process allows you to customize every detail. Or, our experts can curate an example for you, grouping together your photos that go well together for an overall beautiful aesthetic.
  • Fleece Blanket Prints. Print your beloved pet or your favorite sunset picture on a blanket so you can snuggle up in something you love. Choose from sherpa, microfiber, or plush fleece and pair it with a matching pillow to complete your personalized ensemble.
  • Calendar Prints. A calendar full of memorable photos makes a great anniversary or christmas gift, and is something the whole family is sure to enjoy throughout the year. The calendars come in plenty of options including an easel calendar, desk calendar, and even monthly planners.

Closing Thoughts

Decorating your family home or office is a great way to show off your hobbies and personal expressive style. And with enough of print options to choose from, you have a big opportunity to get creative with how you choose to highlight your favorite pictures. For example, a sheepskin blanket showcasing the view from your childhood home plate can provide much needed comfort to anyone who needs it. meanwhile, a family portrayal printed on glass can bring a newly level of polish to a gallery wall. To help set the spirit for your space without breaking your budget, check out our print, pickup, and annual print options that will help keep your home by rights decorated in no time at all .

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