- What Type of File Is Best for Printing Photos Online?
- When Printing Photos Online, What Is Resolution or DPI?
- Should I Post-Process when Printing Photos Online?
- How Big Can I Order when Printing Photos Online?
- Printing Photos Online - Where Should I Order?
- Can I Use Printing Photos Online for My Photography Business?
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Printing photos online is a reliable and easy way to obtain physical prints from our digital files. We can also print photos ourselves if we have a good printer and some high-quality photo printing paper.
What makes printing photos online an attractive option is that we can order many different sizes, including very large prints, or we can vary the surface finishes and types of paper used for our prints without needing to keep various materials on hand ourselves.
If you’re new to online photo printing, I’ve compiled a short list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) covering different aspects of printing photos online.
Table of Contents:
What Type of File Is Best for Printing Photos Online?
Printing photos online means we’ll be uploading a digital file to a website for them to print the images onto paper. Canvas, metal, acrylic, or other materials can also be used for the final physical print.
The digital file we send holds all of the information on the image, resolution, exposure, color, and other things.
Perhaps the most common digital file for photography is the JPEG (JPG). The acronym for the standard stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. The standard was created in 1992 and used compression to make the important image info fit into a manageable size.
Another photographic image file standard that is used for some printing applications is PNG. This acronym stands for Portable Network Graphics, a standard that can be lossless, meaning no compression, or lossy, meaning it might have varying degrees of compression. It’s used more for graphics than for photography but can handle both quite well, making it a great file choice for mixed media files.
In the world of online photo printing, the JPEG format is a more commonly accepted standard. It’s been around longer and can be read by machines that aren't even photographic in nature.
When Printing Photos Online, What Is Resolution or DPI?
Resolution is the amount of information in an image file. It’s often measured in MBs or megabytes. Image resolution can vary from camera sensor resolution. Sensor resolution is usually stated in MPs, referring to the number of image-capturing pixels in the sensor.
DPI stands for dots per inch. 300 DPI printing resolution means that the printer is depositing up to 300 dots of ink per inch on the paper, regardless of what size the actual print is. 150 DPI means 150 dots per inch. Both are excellent resolutions for printing photos online.
Should I Post-Process when Printing Photos Online?
Sometimes, we see another acronym when viewing images on someone’s photography social media account, SOOC, or straight out of [the] camera. In other words, they’re showing the photo file without any processing.
At least, no extra processing or post-processing because every camera has a processing engine built-in that changes the RAW data from the camera sensor into a JPEG file. So, a SOOC image file does have processing, just not done by us.
Post-processing sometimes gets a little misunderstood, especially by entry-level photographers. They may see it as hard to do or meaning that a lot of stuff should be adjusted. The truth is, most post-processing done by advanced level and professional photographers is very subtle, more on the level of enhancing as opposed to changing things wholesale.
How Big Can I Order when Printing Photos Online?
When we’re printing photos online, how big can we print? Well, that depends.
Part of the answer of what it depends on is how high is the resolution of the image file and what type of file it is. Generally, the larger the file, the better the resolution, and thus the larger we can make our print.
Another part of the answer is the material we’re using for making the print. Some online printing companies can make metal, canvas, or fine art paper prints measured in feet versus inches.
For instance, Lumaprints can make prints up to 43x112 inches, which is close to 4 by 9 feet in size. If you think that’s pretty big, wait til you hear this. They also make wall mural prints up to 12x12 feet. Or they can provide a quote for any custom size you’re considering.
Printing Photos Online - Where Should I Order?
Printing photos online, we want to use a well-run printing company manned by trained artisans using high-quality materials. One of my personal favorites is Lumaprints, a professional-level printer that also caters to non-professional photographers.
To hit on some of the above-listed points on printing photos online, Lumaprints can print on various substrates, including metal, canvas, and fine art paper. They can print in sizes ranging from a few inches for a small print all the way up to those 12x12 foot wall murals.
They accept image files in either JPEG or PNG file standards, so you can use them for purely photographic images, raster-based vector graphics, or for any mixed media in between.
Can I Use Printing Photos Online for My Photography Business?
Running a photography business, either as a part-time endeavor, as gig work, or as a full-time pro, requires some other points to be satisfied when choosing a company for printing photos online.
Lumaprints has professional services that work for professional photographers. They offer on-demand printing with white-label drop shipping, eCommerce integration for use with our websites, and they also allow discounts for bulk ordering.
Printing photos online is a great way to show our art or to fulfill orders as a professional photography business. Using a high-quality online photo printing company makes for great business, and it results in images we can be proud to display as our own art.