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What is the Difference Between Matte & Glossy Photos?

Whenever you purchase Prints, you're asked to choose whether you prefer a matte or glossy finish effect. You may default to one over the other, but which one is really best? The truth is that there are benefits and drawbacks for each.


Sleek and luminous, glossy photo paper is very popular for digital photo printing. The smooth finish of the paper allows colors to appear deeply saturated for a rich effect. If images are not perfectly sharp and clear, glossy papers can enhance the photos. Landscape and still-life shots come out especially well on glossy paper, as do very colorful portraits.


Often used by professionals, matte photo paper is free of shine, resulting in more muted colors. This helps to make the texture of the image more pronounced and makes the paper ideal for highly detailed photos, such as shots of buildings. Matte photo paper is less likely to show smudges when handled and gives off no glare, so the paper is a great choice for scrap booking. Black-and-white portrait photographs look very professional printed on matte paper.

Remember: you don't have to print all your photos on the same paper. Mixing and matching can help to ensure that every picture comes out stunning.