Disclosure: Reviewer Studio is part of the Amazon Associates Program and may earn revenue from links in this article.
You have captured some amazing photos and now it’s time to turn them into stunning print you can hang around your home. But how do you ensure that you get the best quality prints? Keep reading! Having a photo printer does not guarantee that you are going to get the best results, there are some steps you need to take which include using the right paper, calibrate your display, use profiles, match aspect ratios, soft proofing, and print at the best setting. That said, it is important that you get the right photo printer in the first place and there are so many amazing models out there that will deliver quality prints. Once you have the right printer, use these tips and tricks and we guarantee that you will be impressed by the results that you get.
Get Good Shots
Even though this article is about printing your photos, it is important to capture good shots when you are out shooting to ensure that your prints look good. This means that you should ensure that you frame your shots well, make sure that your subject or object is in focus and use good lighting. By paying attention to these little details, you can save yourself a lot of headaches and have a better chance of getting beautiful, crisp prints.
Edit Your Photos
Before the printing process, one of the first steps you need to do is edit your photos as this plays a huge role in the final result. You might be wondering just what we mean by editing. Well, editing allows you to make any corrections to the raw images captures such as brightness levels, contrast levels, color correction, and so on. In order to this properly, you need to ensure that you use a sharp computer or laptop so that you can edit your images just the way you want with great precision.
Calibrate Your Display
We’ve talked about editing but in order to do that, you need to prepare your screen to ensure that you view your images accurately to make the right corrections before printing. This is why you need to calibrate your display. Still a bit confused? Here’s the deal, when you calibrate your display, irrespective of the monitor that you are working on, the color values will remain consistent. This will ensure that whatever you see on the monitor after you finish editing is exactly what will be replicated when you print. Luckily, there are built-in tools for calibrating as well as hardware colorimeter like those from X-Rite and Datacolor that simplify the calibrating process.
Since many conversions, edits and translations occur from the initial stage of transferring your raw photos to your editing software and finally to the printer, you should use profiles on the photo editing software you are using to ensure that everything is properly translated. However, you should note that due to small variations in ink and paper between batches, the results may not always be accurate. But using profiles enables you to get the closest result possible to what you see on the screen.
Match The Aspect Ratios
Something else you can do in order to achieve high-quality prints is to ensure that the photo you want to print uses the same aspect ratio as the paper that you want to print it on. This will save you time and paper. For example, you could wind up with a weird looking print that is either cropped or stretched out if you attempt to print a photo where the aspect ratio of the image and the size of the paper do not match.
While you are still using the photo editing software, you can also use the soft proofing function to determine the colors that can and cannot be printed based on the particular printer and paper you are using. This is one of the fastest ways to ensure that your photo is replicated as accurately as possible. You may also use this function to easily compare various styles of paper to see which ones might be best suited to a specific set of images, considering the fact that different papers and printers can generate varying color ranges.
Print at “Best” Setting
Finally, if you are not in a hurry while printing, we recommend that you set your photos to print on the “best” setting rather than the “normal” or “fast” setting. Trust us even though it takes a bit longer to finish printing, it is worth it and makes all the difference.
Use High-Quality Paper
If you want to get the best prints possible, it is vital that you use high-quality paper. We know that there are so many different types of paper on the market from glossy, baryta, matte and metallic but for photo printing, we would highly recommend that you go with glossy or matte photo paper.
Check Prints Under Good Light
At this point, we are finally getting to the finish line, now you need to check your prints to ensure that they are up to standard and you like what you see. It is best to check prints in good light or where you intend to display the photo. If you really want to ensure that your photos are of professional quality, you can also purchase a dedicated color viewing lamp.
Now you have your prints and they came out perfect, all that is left to do is to frame and hang them up so that people can enjoy your work of art.
The best thing about printing your own photos at home is that you have much more control over the final results and also get to explore your creativity. Moreover, the more you do it, the better you will become and who knows, people may just start asking for your expertise. Be sure to keep an eye on the operational costs as well as you could easily end up spending much more money on resources such as paper and ink so sometimes actually going to a studio to get your images printed may be more affordable.