Tips for Printing Your Photos [en Casa o en la Tienda] [Actualizado]


Before you get to the article: if you are looking for information about photo development, in this mega guide you will find all the additional information you need.

For all those mortals who simply want to hang an image on the wall, or make an album, a poster, etc., the seemingly simple moment of printing our perfect photos can become very frustrating.

because maybe of print photos We don’t know much, but we have been lovingly retouching the image, we love its tones, its contrast and the composition that we have achieved after a lot of work.

Everything is perfect and we can’t wait to see how it looks on our wall. We put the images on a USB and rush to the nearest print center, and that’s where the drama begins. They tell us about pixels per inch or per centimeter, dimensions, finishes… and we have no idea, we see how they touch the photo, they cut it here or there to fit the size of the frame, or we are left with white borders with which we did not count and, to make matters worse, when they give us the copies, the colors have nothing to do with what we saw on the computer screen.

In short, a drama that does not improve with the idea of ​​printing at home. It is not that we are experts on the subject, but a few minimums, it would be nice to have them, right? In this article I will try to take your images from being dramatic to something much more enjoyable and satisfying. We see it?


Set up the camera to print better photos

To get good quality paper prints, you have to start the process much earlier, even before you get the photo.

get the maximum quality from the camera: it is important to always work at the highest quality allowed by the camera, then you always have time to crop, compress, etc. Set the color space to sRGB: It is the color space that stores more color information. Although below we have a specific section on the subject. Photography in RAW: stores more information and will allow you to make better adjustments in the processing of the image.

Color in photo printing

This is why your screen shot has nothing to do with your paper copy, even if you’re printing at home, because each device has its own color profile, which means that each device interprets colors according to his way.

It is perhaps, for the hobbyist, the most complex part of the impression, because it introduces a lot of quite complicated concepts if what you are looking for is absolute perfection.

For the simple mortal, one option is to try to unify the different color profiles of the devices that intervene in the image printing process, which is known as ICC color profile, especially if you print at home. Let’s say that the ICC profiles transmit the information of each color to each of the devices so that they interpret the colors correctly.

Getting into what we know as color adjustments can be a complicated and arduous mission. If you’re coming from an Adobe program, and you don’t have much idea, it’s best to keep the color space AdobeRGB, that has already been tried and tested in many spaces and is the one that works best in general.

Just keep in mind that, as they themselves explain, the best is always let the editor manage the colorsnot the printer.

print color settings

Calibrate the monitor for photo printing

Is it true that when you see an image on the computer screen it has nothing to do with when you see it on any other device? The contrast, the colors, the blacks… The difference is, in many cases, remarkable.

This is because screens are calibrated differently. That is, they reproduce colors differently.

As a photographer who has spent a good time preparing that image between taking the picture, editing, etc. It can be quite frustrating to see all the settings vary from screen to screen, not to mention print.

painting colors

The solution to this is called monitor calibration and it will be very useful and essential, whether you want to print or not, because it will allow you to see the same result on all the screens you calibrate. Learn how to do it step by step.

Basic vocabulary about the image

One of the reasons why we always fail when trying to print photos is basically because at the photo shop he speaks a language that we don’t understand. So it all starts with learning the language of photo printing:

Pixel: it is the basic unit, the atom, or the cell the set of which form an image. Surely you have seen images with poor quality where you see a few squares throughout the image. That’s the pixels. You can also see them if you fully enlarge an image. Each pixel is of a color, and the sum of all of them gives rise to the image.Megapixel: a Megapixel is equal to 1,048,576 pixels, although we commonly round up to 1,000,000 pixels.Dpi (Pixels per inch) or dpi (dots per inch): determines how many pixels there will be in a given space. In this case, the more pixels, the higher the image quality. Why? Well, the space to “fill” is the same whether you do it with more or fewer pixels. If you do it with more, they stay smaller, if you do it with less, they need to “grow” to be able to occupy the same space and consequently we lose sharpness.Inch: one inch equals 2.54 cm.

How to prepare photos for printing

Once we have some basic vocabulary about the image, let’s see in a simple way how we can apply it when preparing our images to have good printing results both at home and in the laboratory. For this we must, again, take into account certain basic aspects of the image.

Image size: it is given in number of pixels per width and number of pixels per length. For example 1024 x 760.Resolution: is what we have previously discussed as pixels per inch (dpi). A resolution of 300dpi is considered an acceptable resolution to print the image, although from 150-200dpi we can already obtain good prints as long as we do not want large copies.Type of file: JPG, instant printers do not recognize RAW files, so it is best to transform it to JPG once you have finished making the adjustments that you think.aspect ratio: the aspect ratio is related to the print size, if you are going to print for example in a 10×15 size the ratio should be 3:2 and not 4:3 if you don’t want it to be cropped. Here you have a complete article dedicated to the aspect ratio in photography so you don’t get lost.print size: the most common is 10×15. It is the one of most frames and supports and also the cheapest, although most laboratories have many more printing options: 13×18, 15×21, 20×25, 25×30, etc.

Here you have an indicative table that relates the Megapixels with the print size both in inches and centimeters, calculated with a resolution of 300dpi or dpi. You can rely on it to make size and resolution adjustments.

Table of Megapixels and Recommended Print Sizes


Printing Size (cm)Print Size (inches)2MP13.2 x 10.2cm5.2″ x 4″3MP17.3 x 13cm6.82″ x 5.12″4MP20.9 x 13.8cm8.21″ x 5.44″6MP25.4 x 16.9cm10.02″ x 6.67″8MP27.6 x 20.7cm10.88″ x 8.16″10MP32.8 x 21.9cm12.91″ x 8.64″12MP36.3 x 23.7cm14.30″ x 9.34″16MP41.7 x 27.6 cm16.40″ x 10.88″20MP46.5 x 31cm18.3″ x 12.2″24MP50.9 x 34cm20.02″ x 13.4″

Where do I make size, resolution, and other settings for printing photos?

It is best that you do them in your usual image editor. These types of adjustments are usually located or related to the size of the image. Below is an example of where parameters are located in Photoshop.

As you can see they are located in image size. Inside you have all the parameters that you may need to change to take the image to print (or print it at home): Resolution, Pixels, document size, etc.


Types of support to print your photos

Not everything is photographic paper, although it is the most common, you have many other supports where you can print your photos: magnets, mugs, canvases, etc. However, the most common is that we want the copies to put them in a frame.

girl photo print

In that case you should always use the best possible quality photo paper, especially if you want to print at home. Now, what kind of paper, gloss or matte?

The finished paper shiny It has a greater depth of color, so it is usually the one chosen when we develop color photography. This type of gloss finish creates reflections and is less resistant to fingerprints or stains. mate, it is usually more used to print in black and white, because it has less color depth. It is more resistant to fingerprints and does not generate shine.

Now, for tastes, colors 😉 take the test and keep the one that satisfies you the most, or combine them depending on the effect you want to achieve.

photo printers

If you are going to print your photos at home, you need a photo printer, in this buying guide you will find tips and recommendations to choose the best photo printer.


I hope that this article will help you to print your photos and, above all, that it has encouraged you to develop those photos that you had in mind.

If so, please make it reach more people by sharing it on your favorite social network. Thank you and see you soon.

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