Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t really feel like an image is done until it’s on paper. I find reflected color to be much prettier than the garish color that comes out of a computer monitor, and there’s just something about having a physical object that is very enjoyable. However, choose the wrong paper, and you can easily end up with a very disappointing final product. These days, paper choice is a good news, bad news situation. The bad news is that there are lots of papers out there to choose from, so it’s easy to become overwhelmed. The good news is that there are lots of papers out there to choose from, so you should be able to find something that precisely meets your needs.

Image quality, finish, longevity – there are a lot of things to consider when choosing a paper, and coming to a final decision might involve a fair amount of printing. The good news is that once you’ve zeroed in on a few papers that you like, then you can probably stick with them for a long time.

In this photo paper buying guide, I discuss all of the concerns and issues that you’ll face when trying to choose a photo paper. Whether you create fine art prints or simple snapshots, you’ll need to consider these issues.