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How to Choose the Right Inkjet Photo Paper

With today's technology, you don't need a professional photographer to capture the special moments of your life. High quality digital cameras and home inkjet printers provide such beautiful photographs that your friends and family will think you hired a professional photographer. In order to keep that expert touch, take the time to consider different photo papers. Read the tips listed below and learn about how to choose the right inkjet photo paper.

  • Paper Sizes One of the first choices to make when it comes to picking photo paper for your inkjet printer is the size of the paper. Think about what you want the pictures for. It's always good to have the standard 4-inch-by-6-inch or 5-inch-by-7-inch paper on hand. This size is perfect for putting in albums and scrapbooks. For larger displays, such as wall frames, calendars and posters, you can choose between 8½-inch-by-11-inch, 13-inch-by-19-inch or 11-inch-by-17-inch paper [source: HP].
  • Paper Weight Photo-paper manufacturers produce paper of different weights to suit your needs. The heavier the paper, the higher quality the photo will be. For pictures that you want to last a lifetime, use premium quality paper. For everyday photos, consider buying a lighter paper. This paper makes the photos easier to fold and will take less postage when mailing [source: Kodak].
  • Paper Finish There are a number of surface-finish options. Choose between high gloss, soft gloss, matte, satin or luster finishes and add an extra touch to your photographs. What you choose should depend on your taste. However, it's important to remember that matte photo paper absorbs more ink than glossy, so the quality of the photo may be affected. Glossy paper provides a uniform finish with sharp contrast between the colors [source: Perello]. The matte finish is often preferred when framing photos. This is because glossy photos may have a glare reflecting off the glass of the frame, while a matte finish reduces the glare [source: HP].