Photo Printing Tips: Pros and Cons of Glossy and Matte

Photo Printing Tips: Pros and Cons of Glossy and Matte - Boho Photo

What is the difference between glossy and matte prints?

When it comes to printing your photos, you have two main options: glossy and matte. Glossy prints have a shiny, reflective surface, while matte prints have a non-reflective, smooth finish. Both options have their own unique characteristics and advantages. Let's explore the pros and cons of each.

Advantages of glossy prints

Glossy prints are known for their vibrant colours and sharpness. The glossy surface enhances the colours, making them appear more vibrant and saturated. This makes glossy prints a great choice for photos with lots of bright colours, such as landscapes or portraits. Additionally, glossy prints tend to have better contrast, which can make the details in your photos stand out.

Disadvantages of glossy prints

One of the main drawbacks of glossy prints is their susceptibility to fingerprints and smudges. The shiny surface easily catches fingerprints, which can be distracting and require frequent cleaning. Glossy prints are also prone to stick to glass when you put them in frames and glare when viewed under bright lights or in direct sunlight, which can make it difficult to appreciate the details in the photo.

Advantages of matte prints

Matte prints have a more subdued and elegant look. The non-reflective surface eliminates glare and fingerprints, making them ideal for displaying in well-lit areas or where the lighting conditions cannot be controlled. Matte prints also have a softer appearance, which can be particularly appealing for black and white photos or images with a lot of texture.

Disadvantages of matte prints

One of the downsides of matte prints is that they may appear less vibrant compared to glossy prints. The lack of shine can make the colours appear slightly muted. Additionally, matte prints tend to have less contrast, which can result in slightly less detail in the shadows and highlights of the photo.

Which option should you choose?

Choosing between glossy and matte prints ultimately depends on your personal preference and the purpose of the photo. If you want to keep your photos loose or hang them from something like a pinboard then Glossy is for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a more subtle and sophisticated look or want to display your photos in frames, matte prints are a better choice.


Both glossy and matte prints have their own advantages and disadvantages. Consider the lighting conditions, the colours in your photo, and the overall look you want to achieve when deciding between the two. Whether you choose glossy or matte, printing your photos is a great way to preserve your memories and enjoy them for years to come.

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