Great photos deserve great prints. In the era of digital photography, printing is as important as ever. Preparing a photograph for professional quality print is a painstaking and careful process. However, with new software, its possible to achieve professional quality prints, for a fraction of the price and without the impossibly specific manual processes. Follow these simple tips to achieving the perfect professional print every time.

Order Test Strips

Test strips are vital before any big printing job. By using editing software, you can gather smaller versions of the prints onto a single larger print. In this way, you can play with the contrast, brightness, lighting and other editing formats before committing to a final print. Once you have seen which edits work best on your chosen paper, it’s time to order away.

Research Your Digital Printing Options

There are now a huge range of digital printers available on the home printer market, many of which possess the capabilities to provide a professional print. Researching your options before investing in a professional quality printer, is vital in order to choose the right method for you. The professional digital printing industry uses two main printing methods: inkjet and laser.

Inkjet: Inkjet printing is a high-quality printing choice which can be applied to paper, canvas, plastic, fabric and metal. Inkjet printing is commonly utilised by artists and photographers, as it is the option which provides the most vibrant and full spectrum of colours.

Laser Printing: Laser printing uses light-sensitive photographic paper with lasers and photographic developers and fixers to produce professional quality prints. Laser printing is commonly used by professional digital printers, due to the high-quality of the resulting prints. If you’re looking for environmentally-friendly ways to dispose of used printer supplies, some companies even offer cash for toners, providing a sustainable option for recycling.

Understand Your Ink Alternatives

There are in fact two different types of ink used by inkjet manufacturers,dye and pigment, each producing different results, and each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Dyes: The main advantages of dye inks, are that they are inexpensive and produce especially vibrant colors. However, dyes are not particularly vulnerable to sunlight and tend to fade over time.

Pigments: Instead of being absorbed by the media, pigments sit on the surface, making them less vulnerable to fading over time. However, they are considerably more expensive than dyes and do not produce quite as vibrant images.

Regularly Calibrate Your Monitor

Ensuring that your monitor is calibrated is one of the most critical aspects of nailing that professional print. There are a number of different tools to calibrate your printing and is a process that can occur as infrequently as monthly, if done correctly. If the color and calibration of your screen is inaccurate, then the color and tones in your final print will also be inaccurate. Being vigilant about your calibrations, means less time spent trying to get your image right, and less money on wasted paper.

Qualify the Size and Resolution

It’s important to know the limitations of any image you wish you enlarge. If you want to print your image as a large-scale, high-quality art print, you need to make sure that the image is of extremely high resolution. If it is not, you will be able to see pixelation in the image, and it will ruin the quality.

Choose the Right Paper

In the modern world, technology allows you to print onto just about any material. However, most photographers still choose to print onto paper, to achieve that perfect finish. Most printers recommend printing photographs onto specialist photo printing paper, which prevents the ink from absorbing into the paper.

Photo paper also comes in a wide range of finishes. Gloss finishes provide a gleem to the image, which can help the vibrancy of certain images shine through. In turn, matte finishes give images a subtle and pared-back look. However, there’s no wrong or right finish to use for printing photos, and instead is a personal and aesthetic choice for most photographers.


There is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing a perfectly captured image be transferred effortlessly into the print world.  Following these tips ensures you achieve the perfect professional prints for the shots you wish to hold onto forever, or if this all a bit much you could always get a company to print them for you

Bio: Laura Costello is a recent graduate of a Bachelor of Law/International Relations at Latrobe University. She is passionate about the law, the power of social media, and the ability to translate her knowledge of both common and complex topics to readers across a variety of mediums, in a way that is easy to understand.