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Best Inkjet Paper for Portrait & Wedding Printing

Best Inkjet Photo Paper for Portraits and Wedding Photos
© Rob Hull
© Bob Hull

The de facto standard for wedding and portrait prints over the past four decades has been luster paper. Photo labs refer to this lightly textured media as the "photo e-surface." The terms satin, luster, and sometimes pearl can be used interchangeably. It strikes a good balance between the glossy and matte surfaces, offering the benefits of excellent color reproduction, a non-distracting surface, and fingerprint protection.

For portraits that are more subtle in tone, perhaps more artistic, a non-reflective photo matte can work well. Just keep in mind that matte papers do not have the same dynamic range as a satin or luster.

In the same class as matte papers are cotton fine art media with a non-reflective surface. The effect is similar to matte paper except most cotton media has some texture. You'll want to avoid the highly textured products, often called "cold press", as the surface will distract from facial features.

Canvas prints are still quite popular for portrait images. When displayed as a gallery wrap or mounted on board, canvas adds a bit of "gravitas" to your work. Blanco Matte Canvas is a great choice, featuring a remarkable coating and dynamic range.

Finally, you might consider a "fiber based" or baryta semigloss media like Palo Duro Baryta Fiber 300. This surface looks and feels like a darkroom print from ye olde days of photography (pre-1970). This type of inkjet paper just feels good to hold and looks amazing. When coupled with a high performance semigloss coating, you have an ideal choice for your best portrait images. Images copyright Rob Hull.

Palo Duro Baryta Fiber 300

Palo Duro Baryta Fiber is a pleasant neutral white semigloss that adds natural richness to portraits and landscapes. Black & White images also benefit from Palo Duro Baryta Fiber's deep blacks and exceptional contrast. It offers all of the rich tonality, depth, and feel of a traditional wet darkroom fiber fine art paper. It has a lightly textured semigloss surface, which adds depth and an elegant reflectivity to the finished print.

  • Semigloss texture with medium reflectivity
  • Made from 100% alpha-cellulose base stock
  • Neutral white paper tone.

66lb. Palo Duro Satin

Warmer Tone Satin Paper

The warmer tone cousin of Arctic Polar Satin, Palo Duro is a wonderful choice for landscapes, portraits, and more.

  • Satin Texture: Shallow
  • Paper Tone: Warmer white
  • Paper Weight: 255gsm (66lb)
  • Thickness: 10.4mil

68lb. UltraPro Satin

The Top Selling Red River Paper
If you print, you have to have UltraPro Satin in your paper inventory. It produces professional quality results and works with virtually any image. The UltraPro Satin looks and feels just like photo lab satin - a lightly textured surface that breaks up reflections and minimizes fingerprints.

  • Satin Texture: Medium
  • Paper Tone: Bright White
  • Paper Weight: 270gsm (68lb)
  • Thickness: 10.4mil

60lb. Polar Matte

This Archival Matte paper brings you professional quality in every sense of the meaning - from the coating to the base stock, Polar is the go-to photo matte when you want the best.

  • our finest photo grade matte paper
  • universally compatible with dye and pigment inks
  • photo weight and thickness
  • acid free coating and paper stock
  • ultra smooth, white surface
  • outstanding ink holdout for wide color gamut and sharp detail

Aurora Art Natural 285®

Aurora Natural fine art paper is a 100% cotton rag, semi-smooth (hot press) photography inkjet paper. This Aurora featured a warmer shade that brings elegance and nuance to your photography and art prints.

  • 100% Cotton rag
  • Warmer white tone
  • Hot press / semi-smooth surface
  • Museum grade
  • 285gsm weight / 18 mil thickness

Aurora Art White 285®

Aurora White is a 100% cotton rag, semi-smooth (hot press) professional fine art photo paper. This Aurora features a brighter white shade for crisp color tones, semi-smooth surface, an acid-free base stock and coating.

  • 100% Cotton rag
  • Cooler white tone
  • Hot press / semi-smooth surface
  • Archival grade
  • 285gsm weight / 18 mil thickness

Blanco Matte Inkjet Canvas

Blanco Matte Canvas is a fine woven canvas specially coated for inkjet printing. The results are simply stunning with rich colors and deep blacks.

  • Transforming photos into art on real canvas
  • Gallery wraps and flat mounts
  • Images with deep blacks and rich color