I am planning to take a A3 printout of my family photo & frame it. The frame is made of antique wood with clear glass on it. The glass has to be present so which type of photo print I need to take to make the colors in the photo really pop ?

Should I take a:

  1. Matte Print
  2. Glossy Print
  3. Matte print with glossy lamination
  4. Glossy print with matte lamination
  5. Glossy print with glossy lamination
  6. Matte print with matte lamination
  7. Canvas print

There are other print papers that the store guy was mentioning, but you get the idea.

I tried Matte print (option 1). It looked a bit dull & unrefined. I also tried Glossy print (option 2) but it is not great either, and after sometime started to stick to the glass.

Which photo print is best for showcasing behind a glass frame?


3 Answers 3


I run a print business and have tried a LOT of papers...

My favourite by a long way for framing is "semi-gloss" or "Lustre" - which has a slightly textured glossy surface - a bit like old silver-halide "Wedding paper" as I'd call it. The Lustre finish has a slightly more pronounced texture.

Dont bother with lamination for a framed picture - it can detract from the depth of colour, particularly the matte.

A word of warning - let the print dry for AT LEAST a day before framing it - otherwise, even though it may feel dry, it wont be, and the inside of your frame will fog up over the next few days, and stay.

ETA: the media choice is also very much effected by the type of image that you are printing - for fine art B&W I really like Hahnemuhle fine art papers - they are textured matte, and HAVE TO BE printed on with Matte specific inks, otherwise black comes out a flat grey. Your situation - I would still go with semi-gloss/ lustre.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What's the best format from which to print? JPG, PSD, PDF? I'm preparing an image and I'm not sure what format to save before bringing it to a printing service. \$\endgroup\$
    – SAFX
    Sep 2, 2012 at 19:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ If it is a photo, a full 100% quality jpg is just fine, avoid pdf. If the work is to be printed at A3+ (Or if the original was from a 16 bit source such as a hasselblad or HDR processed) then i'd recommend an uncompressed TIFF. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 3, 2012 at 7:08

I've had the most success with a "pearl" or "satin" paper. It is kind of a hybrid between matte and gloss. As far as the picture sticking to the glass, you really want to get it drymounted to something like FoamCore. At our custom frame shop we use Elmer's foam board and spray 3M Super77 on the back of the photo then press it on to the board.


Actually none of the above! As you wouldn't want to lay a piece of glass right up against any print. With glass, you really want a $5-10 piece of mat board, with a hole cut for viewing the image, between the glass and print, especially with Smooth/Glossy finishes. This means you would probably need one size smaller a print, or one size larger a frame, in order to make the mat board look like it belongs.

I work as a church portrait directory photographer/salesperson, for an old school photo corp. Our frames don't come with glass. The reason being is that humidity gets stuck between the glass and the print, and then years later when you go to separate the print from the glass/frame, it rips the print. In order to protect a print, inside a bare frame(without glass/mat) you would move away from a paper print, to a Mounted(glued to mat board on the backside of the print,) and probably a Texture like Linen(real popular,) or Canvas, w/ Luster or Semi-Gloss, and UV.

I read of letting the print dry out. That was something good to hear from a Printer, but is also definitely something I think should happen as a responsibility of the Print Shop; which I've worked in before in college, and believe I remember something about dryers, and/or drying time at. And for what it's worth I'm thinking I'd doubt that would be the only source of humidity in a home.


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