Take Your Professional Photo Printing to New Levels With Exciting Surfaces

Just as painters are free to choose a variety of paint mediums and surfaces to create artwork that conveys their unique style and vision, photographers can choose a variety of printing methods and papers to enhance and customize the presentation of their images.

Professional photo printing blasts open the possibilities by offering a vast array of papers and surfaces than the typical glossy and matte finishes available through typical photofinishers. Some of the variables from which to include are paper thickness and weight; brightness and acid content and archival status. Because some of these options aren’t always readily apparent to look at in a finished product, but surface and finish are more identifiable, here are some of the many fine art papers and surfaces available, organized by surface and texture.

Bright White Matte
  • Epson Hot Bright Press Paper: This is a heavy paper with a bright white base and a hot press, smooth matte finish. It is perfect for high detail color fine art photos or prints that require a varying degree of contrast. This paper also works well for fine art reproductions, black and white photographs, limited edition prints, albums, digital art, greeting cards, or even presentation prints that will be a part of important exhibitions and displays.
  • Hahnemuele Photo Rag 308 Paper: This cotton rag paper has a smooth mat surface on bright white. This is a great choice for archival printing of color photographs, but especially black and white pictures. It is also ideal for limited edition prints, fine art reproductions, greeting cards, digital art, and exhibition presentation prints. It’s acid free, lightfast and extremely resistant to aging.

Glossy or Luster
  • Epson Premium Glossy 250: This resin-coated, high gloss paper produces vivid images, said to rival those of traditional silver halide prints. A favorite for both black and white and color reproduction, the surface is also smudge and water resistant.
  • Moab Slickrock Metallic Pearl 260: This high gloss paper with a unique metallic pearl sheen makes black and white images shine and color images seem to glow from within with an almost 3D-like quality.

  • Canson Infinity Arches Aquarelle 310 Paper: This heavy weight, natural, warm white tone textured watercolor paper features a distinctive cloud-like mold-made surface. This texture and color lends a subtle look to photographic reproductions and delivers and excellent color gamut, saturation and precise detail.
  • Epson Somerset Velvet Paper: This is a heavy paper on a radiant white surface, with a velvety texture most commonly used for fine art reproduction and stylized artwork. It creates a soft and warm appearance that might best be reserved for photographs with soft, painterly, impressionistic or abstract subjects.

Alternative Surfaces
  • Epson Exhibition Canvas Matte: The fine, textured surface of this poly-cotton canvas can be used for almost any style of photograph. Stretched on a frame, it can be hung in a float frame or presented as a gallery wrap without a frame it has a modern clean look that jumps off of a wall.
  • Plexiglas®: Printing on Plexiglas acrylic gives photographic work a luminosity and bright, crisp clarity. The glossy, vivid color reproduction lends itself to modern or commercial photo products.
  • Aluminum: Depending upon your professional photo printing service provider, prints on aluminum can be applied directly to the silver textured surface, giving images a translucent metallic sheen, or given more traditional reproduction on a white-coated surface that allows for accurate color reproduction. These are perfect for achieving an industrial look.

Find more details on professional photo printing at
Laura Jajko is President of Marketing at, the nation’s leading online source for custom frames, mat board, archival digital printing services and picture framing supplies. For inspiring picture framing and design ideas, visit her blog, A Good Frame of Mind; and join her on Twitter @laurajajko and Google+.


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