1. Use photo paper: Pictures printed on standard copy paper won't look like professional, lab-quality photos. Always use photo paper for printing your digital pictures at home. Note that there are two main types of photo paper, matte and glossy. Glossy photo paper makes for more vibrant colour prints, but it show fingerprints if handled frequently. Black and white pictures look especially striking when printed on matte photo paper.
2. Select the proper paper setting on your printer: Your printer's paper settings control the amount of ink that's put onto the page. The default setting is for standard paper. For optimal photo printing, select the "photo paper" setting or whatever setting most closely matches the paper you are using, such as "glossy."
3. Don't stack the photos: Your photos will still be wet when they come out of the printer. Remove each photo as it's printed, set it to the side and give it plenty of time to dry. If you allow the photos to stack up on top of one another, the wet ink will blur and smudge. While the photos will probably dry in less than an hour, the general guideline is to wait 24 hours before framing them.
4. Use ink and paper manufactured by the same company as your printer: Your photo printer is optimised to work with specific inks and papers. Although generic brands will work, your printer will perform best when you use ink and paper made by the same manufacturer.
5. Keep your printheads clean: Gently wipe off your printheads with a damp cloth if it has been a while since you've used your printer. Dried ink can clog the printheads, resulting in blotchy or incomplete ink transfer.
6. Select the right print resolution: Print resolution is measured in "dpi," which stands for "dots per inch." The higher the print resolution, the higher the quality of your printouts. For example, most printers have a "fast" or "draft" setting that prints quickly but at a low level of quality. Always choose the highest print resolution when printing out photos.
7. Utilise the print preview option: Preview your photo in the "print preview" mode before printing it out. That way you can see if the finished product is going to look the way you want it to. If not, you can make the necessary corrections, and you won't have wasted any ink or photo paper.
8. Keep your drivers up to date: Drivers are what enable your printer to communicate with your computer. Manufacturers update these drivers from time to time. To keep your printer in peak operating condition, be sure to download the latest updates.
9. Match megapixels to picture size: The more pixels an image contains, the more detailed it is. Trying to enlarge a photo with a low number of megapixels results in a blocky, "pixilated" look. For example, a 2 megapixel picture can be printed as a 4x6. To look good as an 8x10, however, the image should have at least 8 megapixels.
10. Crop before printing: If you really only want to print the subject without all the surroundings, simply crop down the image. Not only do you wind up with more attractive photos, you also save ink and paper.