Business & Education

The 10 Photo Printing Commandments

Photographic Prints in Fuji Crystal Archive Matte
18th June 2015 by Alex Ingram

In pursuit of producing the perfect photograph, capturing the image is just the start – and when it comes to turning the images into stunning prints, many photographers fall at the final hurdle. While there’s the temptation to print your images from home, this can be a tricky and surprisingly expensive process – and without professional equipment, you’ll be unable to produce images of the same quality as professional photo printing experts.

Whether your prints are for business or pleasure, an art gallery or a home interior, following a list of photo printing best practices will help you on your way to producing professional prints and ensuring a high-quality result every time. So whether you’re an enthusiastic amateur or a seasoned pro, we’ve put together a list of 10 photo printing commandments guaranteed to help you get the best out of every image.


1. Go big

The process of printing the perfect picture starts at the lens – by capturing high-quality shots. By selecting a high resolution in the capturing stage, your image will benefit from maximum  megapixels and result in a sharper end product at the printer.

2. Find the ideal file format

Prior to your image being ready for print, it’s essential to guarantee that it’s saved in the most suitable file format. While JPEGs work by compressing true-colours to create a realistic image, PNGs are better suited to low-colour images – and therefore not always suitable for high quality photo printing.

3. Select a suitable size

Once you’ve selected the most appropriate file format, sizing your image should be your next priority. Selecting an appropriate image size is the difference between producing a sharp, high-quality image or a blurred and fuzzy outcome.

4. Be patient with aspect ratio

Determining the relationship between the width and height of an image can be fundamental to its quality when it comes to print. Although it will take patience, this can be altered to suit your image and ensure the best possible result at the printing lab.

5. Use a professional photo printer

One of the most common mistakes in photo printing is choosing an unsuitable printer for the images in question. The first thing to consider is whether a photo inkjet or laser printer is better suited to your image – and this is likely to change from one photograph to the next. A professional photo lab will offer a range of photo printing services to suit your images, including Lightjet 5000 photographic printers which produce high-quality digital C-Type prints.

6. Avoid cheap inks

High quality photographic ink can be expensive, which is why many photographers opt for cheaper alternatives – but this can have a detrimental effect. Even if you’ve created the ideal composition and taken the time to ensure your image is high res, choosing cheap inks means your image won’t be printed in the quality it deserves. For a professional end product, it’s worth paying extra for high-quality inks.

7. Choose the best photographic paper

Choosing the best photographic paper for your image is largely dependent on your printer. To guarantee professional results, photo labs choose the best option for your image and ensure an impressive result every time.

8. Beware of dust marks

Dust marks are a common problem when it comes to photo prints and finding ways to reduce them will require patience. Pay close attention to every part of the shot and, if necessary, use healing tools to touch up your images as you go. If this fails, try cleaning your sensor.

9. Be daring with your display

Once you have the perfect print, it’s time to consider presentation – how do you want to display your image? This decision comes down to several factors – including your intended audience, the most suitable format for your photo and, of course, personal preference. A mounted print offers a more lightweight, modern look, while framed prints can give your image a stylish and professional finish.

10. Choose a professional photo printing lab

A professional photo printing lab takes the stress away from the photographer and allows them to spend more time focusing on the thing they love – capturing images. From online photo printing to in-house photo printing services, if you want superior quality images every time, there’s no better option than a professional photo printing lab.

Transforming your photo from a digital image into a tangible product is the ultimate reward for any photographer – but with so much time, patience and expensive equipment required to create the perfect image, choosing a professional photo printing lab can make the whole process a breeze.

Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, Digitalab can help you find the best photo printing option for your images. We’re printing specialists, committed to giving our customers the best possible results every time. Explore our online photo printing services now to find your perfect match.