Best Photo Papers Reviews

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes like to go back in time by looking at my old photo albums. It revives great memories I have with my family and my friends, and it makes e reminisce. I always have a good feeling, and that is why I get out another album, and then another. However, my photo albums seem to stop until a few years ago. Why? Because we live in the digital era now, and almost nobody wants photographs in physical form. Such a pity.

HP Advanced Photo Paper
Special markings on the back of the paper
Resists water, smears and smudges
Instant drying for quick photo handling and stacking
Kodak Glossy Photo Paper
Perfect for everyday photo printing
Instant dry, no smearing or smudging
Pack of 100 Sheets
Epson Premium Photo Paper
High-gloss, bright white, resin coated photo paper
Smudge and water-resistant
8x10 Borderless, 20 Sheets, 10.4 Mil

There is one solution, though, especially if you are a photographer. You don’t have to be a professional, but a mere amateur, such as myself. You can print your own photos. That way your albums won’t stop coming, and you can enjoy lovely memories even when the power is out. And another thing, let’s face it, few people look at the pictures they took with their phone. They just take it, post it on social media, and then forgets all about it. But you can dowonders with just a printer and a stack of high-quality photo papers.

The benefits of printing your own photos

Apart from creating something tangible. You can have plenty of benefits from printing your own photos. Whether you are a professional photographer or an amateur, there are a lot of advantages you can enjoy. Here are just a few.

  • ü It will improve your editing skills – you take the picture, you seem very happy with what you captured, but then you print it, and start noticing details you couldn’t have on the computer screen. That will teach you what to look for when you edit, and your pictures will start to look a lot better than before.
  • ü You will become a better photographer – once you start printing your photos, you will come to realize that in particular cases editing is very complicated and frustrating. That is why you will reach the conclusion that it’s more convenient to be a better photographer than a better editor. Sure, you can correct a thing or two, but not all things are easy to modify, which is why you’ll think harder next time before pushing the ‘capture’ button. Photoshop will not save you every single time you make a mistake.
  • ü It’s inspirational – it’s one thing to look at a picture on your phone or on your computer, and it’s another thing to look at it while you keep it in your hands. It will inspire you and will provide a feeling of satisfaction. I am sure that you will be all smiles when you finally take that perfect photo, and you just look at it in your hands, printed on a piece of photo paper.
  • ü It will be easier to reminisce – the thing I do with my albums is something I have in common with lots of people. But when you are doing it digitally, it doesn’t have the same charm. It will take a while until you find them, mostly because you never took the time to rename the files, and it just seems very impersonal. However, when you print your own photos and organize them in an album, you will have an entirely different experience. You can relive the emotion you had at the time you took the pictures. It’s a beautiful thing.
  • ü Your photos will live forever – Computers crash, hard drives get broken, and there are a lot of other scenarios that can ultimately lead to you losing your photos. But printed photos are forever (with the except of a fire, obviously). You can even leave them for posterity, you can look at them with your kids, emotional stuff usually. But they hold value. At least for me, they do. I like to believe that one day mychildren will look at the pictures I made of them just the way I look at the photos taken by my parents. It brings up a lot of memories, which is something that should be of high value.

Photo paper buying guide

Photo printing starts with a printer and a high-quality stack of photo papers. I say stack because you will always mess up some pictures, no matter how smart your printer is. It just happens. However, not every photo paper will provide the quality you need. That is why you need to look for the best. There are a few criteria that differentiate a high-quality photo paper and a low-quality one. Here is what you need to consider.

  • ü The finish – there are several photo printing paper types, but your first tendency will be to choose a gloss or semi-gloss paper. My advice is to think it over. I say that because you have other viable options, such as matte, canvas, and art paper. The gloss or semi-glossphoto paper is good enough to pass around, but keep in mind that the colors will always be rich, sometimes too rich by anyone’s standards. The matte photo paper will not create reflections and will deliver a darker black, which will do wonders for your contrasts. The canvas photo paper is also a viable alternative, but it’s used mostly by professionals. Last, but not least, the art paper provides a matte finish, but the texture is excellent. It is ideal for landscapes.
  • ü Durability – the amount of time your pictures will survive depends on a perfect balance between ink and paper. The secret is to read the fine print and use the paper the manufacturer recommends for a particular printer. If you combine them, chances are that your photos will fade the moment you hang them in sunlight. Some manufacturers have a longevity claim, but just because it says in the fine print that the picture will last 75 years, that doesn’t mean the photo will fade in its 76th It’s just that it will start fading after that period.
  • ü Whiteness – not all photo papers are the same shade of white. Some of them may be a little yellowish than others. The whiteness of photo paper is obtained by whitening agents. There is nothing wrong with that, but in time, those agents may affect the color of the picture itself.
  • ü Keep in mind the brand of your printer – there is one for everyone, it’s what they say. Same goes for photo paper. You will be able to find photo paper released by the manufacturer that made the printer. You may want to listen to their specifications since they respect the printer models they have when they make the paper as well.

What are the best photo paper

That is a tough question to answer. I have not tried them all. But what I can say is that after doing a little research, I was able to put together a list of three brands that look the most promising. My research is based purely on other people’s reviews. There will always be someone who is honest about what he or she purchased. Anyhow, here they are.

HP Advanced Photo Paper

Click here to buy on Amazon

The photo paper from HP  is vivid and has a glossy finish. You don’t need to worry that you will smear the ink all over the picture, though. It will dry instantly. It is high-quality, convenient to use, and the non-smudge feature will keep your photos intact as soon as they get out of the printer. You can even do a test and cross your fingers over the picture, and you will see that nothing happens.

The colors are vibrant and brilliant. The black draws attention, but not as much as on a matte finish photo paper. However, it will stand up the test of time. You can frame the photos behind glass or put them in photo albums behind the plastic covers. Nothing will change over time.

The HP Advanced photo paper even has special markings on the back. They will help you choose the optimal printer settings, so you don’t waste paper at all. This photo paper is ideal for humid environments because it is water resistant. It is compatible with most printers, even if they are laser jetor inkjet. Although this paper can be used on different brands of printers, each of them recommends a certain brand of paper. It is best if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The pack comes with 100 sheets. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.

Kodak Glossy Photo Paper

Click here to buy on Amazon

This might as well be the best photo paper for inkjet printers. This is not me saying it, but the thousands of people who already bought and used it. That may be because all Kodak photo papers are porous. That means the drying process will last just a second. The paper will instantly absorb the ink, so there is no danger of you smudging or smearing the ink. If you have an inkjet printer, this is the product I recommend.

This photo paper is ideal for everyday use, but just in case you are professional and you want something else, you should know that Kodak also provides other finishes. You can go for matte or canvas, depending on your needs. The same features apply for all of them. The pack contains 100 sheets.

The beauty of Kodak photo paper is that it’s compatible with all brands of printers. I already said that it works best with inkjet printers, but that doesn’t mean it won’t handle a laser. However, I do advise you to read the fine print on your printer, just in case it has special requirements. The point is that it’s not like the previous product from HP. It won’t work just with a particular brand, but with virtually all of them.Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.

Epson Premium Photo Paper

Click here to buy on Amazon

Unlike the other two products above, the Epson Premium Photo Paper only contains 20 sheets. You can, however, look for more papers in a stack. It depends on the availability of where you are buying it from. But the point is that you can find it in multiple sizes, and you can choose a smaller pack than 100 sheets. Not everyone needs so many.

The paper is high-gloss, and the white couldn’t be brighter. It is coated with resin. In case you don’t now what that means, a resin-coated photo paper is high-grade. It’s the best professional photo paper one should hope for. It has excellent color performance and is waterproof. Not to mention that the coating is present on both sides.That also means it’s a little bit more expensive than the cast-coated paper.

The Epson Premium Photo Paper will help you print high-quality photos that will stand the test of time. You can frame the photos or put them in photo albums. The colors will not smear, and the sun will not affect them. It also has the feel and looksof traditional photographs, which is why some people love it. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.

My recommendation

If I were to choose between the three products, I think I would go with the Epson Premium Photo Paper. I know it’s more expensive than the other two, but the quality is unbeatable. From where I stand, this has to be one of the best photo papers on the market. Nothing can beat it. Everyone who has ever bought it says the same thing. That it’s the best.

Conclusion

It took me a while to realize that a high-quality stack of photo papers can make a real difference in the way you look at pictures. There is a huge difference in color between a low-qualiy paper and the ones I talked about above. So if you make up your mind, let me tell you that investing in excellent photo paper is entirely worth it. Click here to buy on Amazon

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