What is Metallic Paper?

Metallic Photo Paper is a thick premium photo paper with extremely fine metallic flakes embedded in the finish. Many professional photographers prefer metallic paper for the subtle radiance it brings to prints.

What does Metallic Photo Paper Do?

The metal flakes in the finish get printed over with ink. However, except in very dark colors the ink isn't completely opaque - so the metallic flakes catch light under the ink and reflect it back, giving the print a life-like "shimmer".

When Should I Choose Metallic Photo Paper?

Metallic photo paper isn't good for everything. For example, a typical family photo may not be much improved by metallic paper (unless it is well lit, with vibrant color).

Generally, metallic paper makes colors more vibrant, gives more depth to an image and makes skin tones seem more alive. Prints of things that typically shimmer (the sky, diamonds/jewelry, cars) realize a very remarkable difference on metallic paper.

Examples:

Glamour shot on metallic photo paper
Glamour Shot on Metallic Paper
(Metallic print in foreground. Satin paper in background.)

Noticeable differences when viewing prints in person (may not be apparent when viewing on computer screen):

  • The model's skin seems more healthy and alive.
  • The model's eyes have depth, flash and life to them.
  • The model's jewelry "shimmers" on metallic paper.
  • The model's lip gloss seems to shine more.
City Skyline with Mirrored Buildings
(Metallic print in foreground. Satin paper in background.)

Noticeable differences when viewing prints in person (may not be apparent when viewing on computer screen):

  • The most vibrant difference is the sky. It has more depth and more life-like blue. Almost as if you could touch it.
  • The reflections of the mirrored buildings are more crisp and feel more 3-dimensional.
Glamour shot on metallic photo paper
Glamour shot on metallic photo paper
Exotic Car Photo on Metallic Paper
(Metallic print in foreground. Satin paper in background.)

Noticeable differences when viewing prints in person (may not be apparent when viewing on computer screen):

  • The car's color "pops" more.
  • The reflections of light off the car's lines shimmer and make the car feel more 3-dimensional.
  • The car seems to "come off" the dark background.

Tips for Using Metallic Paper

  • If you're adjusting color pre-print, don't oversaturate your color too much - metallic paper provides a natural saturation, so your prints will look saturated about 5-10% more than the original image.
  • If possible, don't hang your metallic print behind glass. Glass tends to reflect some light back against the print, and loses some of the vibrance that metallic photo paper provides.
  • We include a pair of light cotton gloves with your print. Use them when handling your print. Metallic prints "finger print" very easily, and even when fully dry the ink will smudge more easily than on standard papers.
  • Don't expect metallic paper to completely transform your print. The difference is subtle, but noticeable. An image with poor lighting will still look poorly lit when printed on metallic paper.

Metallic Paper Print Pricing

Metallic photo paper costs slightly more than our other premium photo papers:
  Pro Satin Paper Prem. Satin Paper Metallic Paper
18" x 24" $12.10 $19.10 $22.10
20" x 30" $16.80 $26.52 $30.68
24" x 36" $24.20 $38.20 $44.20
36" x 54" $54.44 $85.92 $99.41
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"The prints I ordered were color correct, on time, and high qualiy. Compared side by side with additional prints of the same image I ordered from another printer that charged more money, I saw little difference for the extra money. I'm planning to order again soon."
by Kenneth on 12/27/2010
18" x 24"
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24" x 36"
$9.99
20" x 30"
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36" x 54"
$22.48
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