Glossy vs. Matte Photographic Prints

Glossy or Matte Prints? Here’s the difference …

Here at Persnickety, we use resin-based, archival Fuji Crystal Archive paper. 

This dark room process has long been considered the finest color photographic process available and the choice for professional photographers and commercial labs. These papers produce vivid color reproduction, brilliant whites, plus distinct highlight detail.  

Which paper finish is best for you?   Read on for a quick overview of our matte and glossy photographic papers, a comparison of the two and then my personal preference.

Glossy Vs Matte Photo Paper


Matte Fuji photographic paper has a classic smooth non-glare finish. This paper will not show fingerprints as easily as the gloss and looks phenomenal in any size. It makes for stunning wedding or family portraits and is preferred for frames with glass due to it’s anti-reflective qualities. Matte paper is crisp and smooth and has a very professional look. Skin tones are true and colors are consistent. Colors on matte are beautifully subtle yet still vibrant, which is why many professional photographers are partial to it.

glossy vs matte print


Glossy Fuji photographic paper brings your prints to life with an ultra-smooth and shiny finish. It is highly reflective and emphasizes color and contrast. Photographs with bright and bold hues will really stand out on this paper type.
Gloss paper is extremely smooth and slick which helps the colors of your pictures pop. Because it is shiny, fingerprints are much more noticeable and glare is likely to happen, especially in frames with glass (we use gloves when handling glossy photographs here at Persnickety).
Colors and contrast are enhanced in a striking way on gloss paper which works well with landscapes or photographs with intense composition.
Glossy vs Matte photo

Personal Preference

While both paper types produce beautiful photos, I personally prefer the matte finish.
I love that I can hold my pictures in my hands without worrying about fingerprints.
As for gloss, my opinion is that they exude a vintage/retro kind of feel. Almost all of the prints in my childhood photo album are on gloss! The gloss prints do retain fingerprints. If the photo is going to be handled, I would choose the matte finish (example: wedding print inserts)
handcrafted printing
Both matte and glossy photographic papers offer vivid color reproduction, natural skin tones, and lifelike sharpness. No matter which paper type you choose, at Persnickety you will always receive the most archival, fade-resistant photos that will stay beautiful over time.

100% Guaranteed.

*printing at home on “photo paper” is not the same process. We do not use ink, our prints are fade and water resistant.  

Happy Printing!   Xoxo Shay