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How to Print Professional Photos on a Home Printer

Even if you are not a professional photographer, you probably still want to have beautiful high-quality photos. 

Since life is unpredictable, it’s always nice to have a chance to print your own photos at home. This helps you save money, get control over the whole printing process, and finally – receive quick instant results. And of course, the biggest benefit is seeing all your happy memories every day on the bookshelf in your living room.

Today, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about printing at home. Be sure, you’ll enjoy the result!

Step 1. Choosing a printer

There are two main types of printers used for professional photo printing: inkjet and laser ones. Inkjet printers are the most common ones, you can see them everywhere – at a store, in the office, and even at your friend’s place. 

Are they good enough? Or should you use laser printers instead? Let’s find out by listing their pros and cons.

Pros and cons of an inkjet printer:

+ Affordable – $ 100 to $ 400

+ Best photo quality

+ Convenient small size

– Ink may dry out if the printer is not used for a long time

– Possible clogging of the print head

– Slower printing than laser

Pros and cons of a laser printer:

+ A big number of files in a very short print time

+ You can print more pages with one cartridge, which makes it cheaper and more eco-friendly

– Photo quality is not that good, so it is rarely used for professional photography printing

– They are usually large and need more space

But regardless of the printer type you choose, there is another essential thing to remember. The trick is that in order to get the best print quality, you will need to customize the settings for any printer. This is usually connected with changes in exposure, white balance, and contrast.

Step 2. Choosing paper

The next critical factor is the paper you choose for printing your photographs. It may differ in quality, thickness, shape, and size.

Usually, when buying paper, you can see marks like “Everyday” and “Premium” or the rating. For top-quality photos, the rating should be high because this will affect the color and sharpness of the image.

Please note that a photo on glossy paper will shine and look smoother, while matte paper will make it look flatter with some texture.

Step 3. Choosing inks

There are two types of ink – dye-based and pigment, both are suitable for professional digital print. 

Dye inks are more commonly used as they are cheaper and give you vibrant colors. The main drawback is that the dyes fade over time. 
Pigments are more expensive and harder to find. Their great advantage is durability – they will stay vibrant and let you enjoy photos for longer. 

Things to keep in mind

  • Carefully match the size of the image to the size of the paper and frame before printing. 
  • The best way to print professional photos is to save them in .tiff, not in .jpeg format, as the latter lowers the quality of the photo and file size.
  • Choose a high resolution. For printing in 10×15 cm format, the resolution must be at least 300 dpi.
  • When editing photos, don’t forget to make backups.
  • Try experimenting with photo paper. Glossy and matte paper from different manufacturers can show very different results.
  • An image printed on an inkjet printer must dry for about 20 minutes before being placed in a photo album or frame.
  • Since prints are mostly done with water-based ink, so make sure to keep your photos away from water and direct sunlight.

Brief summary

So how and where do professional photographers print their pictures? People often get surprised, discovering they sometimes do it even at home. The main trick is to choose a good printer and high-quality materials. 

Our Smart Ink cartridges are well suited for printing at home. We have both dye and pigment ink combinations to help you achieve the best print quality, and our cartridges are designed to print on different paper types. With Smart Ink, you will enjoy high-quality printing for a reasonable price. Good luck!

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