So you understand what makes a smartphone photo look good, and now you have captured some amazing images. Then what?
Thanks to the digital age, we’re able to capture trillions of photos a year. With so many photos being shared everyday, it’s easy to lose track of the special ones that hold precious memories.
Printed photos can be framed and put on display as decoration and a daily reminder of loved ones, treasured moments, or beautiful scenery. Because of this, they become more meaningful. They also work well as gifts in the form of things like photo books.
There are plenty of reasons why you’d want to print your photos. Whatever your reasons are, it’s always good to know what choices you have.
Note: How big you can print your photographs while retaining a good picture quality depends on the resolution of the photo.
If you live in a place with a local print shop nearby, then this option is simple and super convenient. These shops typically provide a variety of print services from fabric to paper, and canvas to novelty gifts.
Simply walk into the store with your smartphone photos in hand, tell them what you want to print and how you want it printed, and they will gladly get it done for you.
The benefit of this is that you have a variety of print options available to you. You can print your photos on canvas, mugs, paper, etc in any size, without even knowing how to do so because a professional will be taking care of that for you.
The downside is that these stores can be quite expensive depending on what you print and how much of it you print. Sometimes ordering certain types of prints in bulk works out cheaper than printing just a handful. Yet again, if you’re printing your images as post cards or gifts for a large number of people, then this might be the way to go.
On the go
Thanks to the introduction of mobile photo printers, instantly printing photos directly from your smartphone no matter where you are is now possible. Mobile photo printers are small enough to fit in your pocket or purse.
What’s more, this technology doesn’t use a drop of ink. Instead the paper is made of dye crystals that turn either cyan, magenta, or yellow when “printed” on. They’re easy to maintain and only require that you have paper.
The good thing about these mobile photo printers is that you can take them anywhere and you don’t have to worry about ink. In this day and age of digital sharing, I do enjoy the thought of going on holiday overseas and being able to print and share a physical memory of a special moment.
Also, you could maybe make a bit of extra money selling photos you take with your phone at events such as festivals and events. A mobile photo printer is generally not that expensive, so it’ll pay itself off quite quickly this way.
The drawback, though, is you are limited with regards to the size of photo you can print due to the size of the printer. And as much as you don’t have to worry about refilling the ink, you still need to worry about restocking the paper.
There are two ways you can go about this: print using a dedicated home photo printer that prints high quality images or use a standard multi-function printer that can also print photos decently. Either way, home printing is convenient.
Obviously, you’ll need a home printer for this. What you’ll also need is quality photo paper. You can choose to print on various paper like matte and gloss, among others. The type of paper you choose to print on tends to affect the mood and tone of the image. So, it’s nice that you can play around with that in your own leisure.
To print from your smartphone, you need to connect to your printer. This can be done wirelessly via bluetooth or Wi-Fi. In fact, some printers have their own app you can use to communicate with the printer. If none of these options are available to you, then you might have to go the old fashioned way and print via a computer.
The nice thing about this option is that you can print your photos from the comfort of your own home. You can print whatever you want, whenever you want.
The problem with printing at home is that it can get quite costly. Firstly, you need to buy a printer that can print photos. The better the quality of the prints, the higher the cost of the printer.
Also, you’ll need to keep buying photo paper. The price differs depending on the brand and quality of the paper. Added to that is the cost of ink. Obviously, how often you’ll need to re-fill the ink depends on how much printing you do.
Printing at home using a household photo printer limits you in terms of what you can print and how big you can print it. Certain printers only print on certain types of paper, thus limiting your choice of paper quality. When it comes to size, a lot of common household printers can only print up to A4 size prints.
A quick Google search for online photo printing services will give you a long list of websites to choose from where you can print your photos. You can base your choice of which one to go with on a number of factors such as price, location and delivery, print options, etc.
Once you have taken a photo and edited it to your liking, all you have to do is simply upload your photo to your chosen website. Once you complete the order process and make payment, your photos will be printed according to your specifications. When your prints are done, they will be delivered to you.
Similar to dedicated print shops, the advantage of printing via an online service is that you have a wide variety of print options available to you. Unlike with their brick and mortar counterparts, online print services are available 24/7 no matter where you are, provided you have internet connection.
These online services are usually easy to use, and reputable ones provide really good quality prints. Large quantity orders tend to get discounts or free delivery, in some cases.
Speaking of delivery, not all sites deliver internationally. Those that do, might be expensive. You’ll either have to find a service based in your country or one with a more reasonable delivery cost. Worth considering, too, is the time it will take to deliver your prints to where they need to go.
As an extension of their website platform, some online printing services have apps for smart devices. These apps allow the user to upload their photos directly from their phone without having to upload them to a computer first.
You can then select the type of print you want and how many of it you want to order. Once payment is completed, your order will be placed.
Printed photos make really great gifts, especially during the holiday season. Choose the images you’ve captured on your smartphone, print them out using any of the above methods, and share them with friends and family. Or you can use them to decorate your own home!
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the maximum size you can print your photos without pixelation depends on the image resolution. So, before you go off to print your photos, I highly you recommend you read my article on smartphone image size here.