Much of the general population likely assumes the only type of photo paper is the kind from the one-hour printers from places like pharmacies and convenience stores. However, the reality is much different and way more varied. For example, there are many commonly used types of photo paper including glossy finish, matte finish, luster finish and metallic finish. Read on to find out more about each type of finish and which kind works best for you and your photos.
Much like the name suggests, photos touting a glossy finish feature a visually reflective and shiny surface along with a smooth physical texture. Photos with a glossy finish are known for showcasing vibrant and bright colors that are more saturated. For your most basic, everyday photo needs a glossy finish is one you should consider.
Unlike its glossy counterpart, a photo with a matte finish is not reflective or shiny; instead, it emits no glare at all. Photos with a matte finish are good candidates for framing and portraiture. Moreover, matte finish photos are less likely to be scratched or harmed by fingerprints. For your special and keepsake photos, like wedding and baby pictures, choose a matte finish.
Photos with a luster finish are sort of in between those with a glossy or matte finish. This is to say luster finish photos are a little bit shiny with saturated color, but are also anti-glare and scratch.
This last finish is bold and eye-catching. As the name infers, photos with a metallic finish look almost like chrome or metal when printed. For photos that really pack a colorful punch, a metallic finish is a great option.
Now it’s time to get to printing! Pick the finish best suited for your photos and the visual affect you wish for them to have. Just remember: not all finishes are created equal. Depending upon what you want your photos to convey or how you want to present them, you should pick the corresponding finish to optimize your goals.