There are so many options when it comes to choosing how to print your photos. The right photo paper can change the feeling of an image. No matter your printing preference, the most important thing is that you take a few extra minutes of your time and actually have your images printed. I loved walking around Click Away this past fall and seeing all the beautiful images printed and displayed on actual photo paper. Printing your photos makes them so much easier to enjoy!

With different photo finishes available, how do you know which option to choose? The four finishes below are some of the most popular photo paper finishes available. Depending on the look you are after for your printed image and also what features are the most important to you will largely influence your decision. Ordering a sample of each photo paper from your print lab is the best way to become familiar with how your work looks on each one.


Highly reflective photo paper, easily shows fingerprints, no texture, bold and bright colors, may stick to glass, but has great clarity and skin tones.


Smooth finish photo paper, non-glare, will not easily show fingerprints, and professional looking. Deep matte is a favorite among many photographers.


A photo paper with a 3D effect, brings out the light in the image with a slight shimmer, extremely durable, pearl surface, resistant to tearing and curling, sharp details, beautifully saturated colors, rich blacks for better contrast, and is best framed without glass.


This photo paper is semi-gloss, industry standard and has true to life skin tones. With the slight gloss, it helps enhance the details and colors in the image. The lustre ‘texture’ helps with fingerprints and glare.

My very favorite combination for prints is metallic paper mounted on masonite from Miller’s Professional Imaging. I fall in love all over again every single time I print.

Now that you’ve chosen a photo paper…

You need to display your work! It’s amazing to see your beautiful images in print, and now you need to hang up those images so you can enjoy them everyday. Check out this article on stylish photo decor for your home. We hope you’ll share your own ideas in the comments!