How to Print Photos from Your Phone

Out of sight, out of mind, right? That is what happens to gazillions of photos taken through camera phones. Most of these will never see the light of day in print, more so, as inclusions in albums or photo books. Yet photos, most especially of shared memories with treasured stories, are meant to be looked at and appreciated. If you have not gotten around to doing it, it would be a good idea to start picking out and printing those photos from your phone that mean the most to you. Get started with these handy tips.

Know your purpose for printing 

Although we generally print personal photos to preserve memories, many are intended for short-term purposes, such as school assignments and work tasks. Your objective in printing your photos will dictate the specific standard of quality that your pictures should achieve, as well as the tools you need to meet that standard.

Things you will need

Regardless of your purpose for printing or how long you intend to keep the photos, you will need a few things to print photos from your phone.

A printer

While there are still printers that can connect via cable to your phone, it’s best to choose a wifi-enabled model that can work for you regardless of what phone model you have.

As to the specific type of printer, the most commonly used ones for personal and home office use are inkjet and laser printers. However, our best bet is on the Inkjet printers, which have highly pigmented ink cartridges, making them an excellent choice for photos and image-heavy documents. Not only that, inkjets can blend smoother colors better than laser printers can. Another plus is that inkjets and refillable ink cartridges are more affordable than laser printers and toner cartridges. Inkjets can also work with many kinds of paper, including glossy photo paper and different textures of stationeries. Inkjet photos also last long in the range of 75 to 100 years.

Laser printers, which can print faster, fare better with documents than photos. They can produce sharp black texts and handle the fine distinctions that you need for documents with graphics like charts. However, they can not create smooth photographs. 

Other printers can also be reasonably affordable, such as novelty printers. Examples of this are the Fuji Instax and Canon Selphy. They are also called pocket printers because of their relatively small sizes, which make them highly portable. Because they are easy to use, kids love them too. However, there are some downsides. 

Zink printers, such as the HP Sprocket and Polaroid Zip, don’t use ink (zink meaning zero ink). Instead, they use dyes that are less UV-resistant than pigments and therefore don’t last long. Although there are higher-quality portable printers—the Canon Selphy can last up to 100 years―many have a life expectancy of 7 to 25 years. Compared to dedicated inkjet photo printers that can produce consistently high-quality pictures, novelty printers can still benefit from more advanced technology.

A smartphone

There’s nothing wrong if you’re the snap-and-print kind of fellow who just wants to be done with your printing task as quickly as possible. Any working camera phone will suit your purpose just fine. 

However, if you want to be more discriminating, there’s a whole lot of smart camera phones to choose from. It all boils down to what you want to get out of them. Are you looking for extensive zoom and lens overload features? Then a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra can be the right choice for you. If you’re a software guy, you will love Google Pixel 5. Are you into intentional macro shots or are you keener on taking spontaneous shots whenever you’re feeling selfie-ready? Regardless of what your focus is, know that the best camera phone is not necessarily distinguished by its price but by how well it suits your purposes. 

Print medium

The longevity and quality of the photo also depend on the print medium. Your choice of print medium will again depend on why you are printing in the first place. 

Typically, inkjet printers go with inkjet paper, laser printers with laser paper, and zink printers with zink paper. Simple, right? You may want to note, though, that synthetic media, such as thermal synthetic paper, can only last as long as 25 years. Pigmented inkjet prints on archival quality paper, on the other hand, can stay around for 75 to 400 years. 

Are you looking for more materials to better suit your purposes? There are several media beyond paper, such as canvas aluminum, cotton paper, and luster paper. It really depends on the kind of project you’re on. 

The basic steps

With all the tools and materials ready, go through these steps for a basic shot:

  1. Select a photo from the gallery of your phone. 
  2. Ensure your printer and printing materials are in order. 
  1. Go to the overflow menu. For android phones, click on the three dots on the upper right corner of your phone. For iOS, look for the AirDrop button.
  2. Then, choose a printer.

The advanced set

If you want to be more discriminating with the quality of your pics, you may want to do some prepping before the actual printing. There are several factors to consider: color, contrast, size, sharpness, and resolution. Here are a few ways that you can prep your photo for printing.

  1. Fine-tune your monitor.
  2. Save the file as an 8-bit.
  3. Choose the correct dpi.
  4. Make the necessary resizing and cropping adjustments. 
  5. Sharpen your photo.
  6. Check the soft-proof before printing.

The fine print

For DIYs, the more invested you are in choosing the right equipment as well as in spending the effort and time to research and learn how to print photos from your 

phone, the higher the chances that you’ll end up with great-looking pictures—whether to impress your boss in your next meeting or delight your family with a lifetime of memories.

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