I'm very, very new to the digital color printer world..My first question is..If I bought a decent 12"12" color digital printer will I be able to print on copy paper just as if Im writing a letter? I know if I have a picture it will go on specaial 'shinny' paper (told you I was new!) Will I be able to use it for all my black and white projects then switch to color for my shinny paper projects? In other words, I don't want to be using 2 printers..Hope I explained that well enough?
So printers typically come in A sizes, with the most common being A4. Most printers which print larger can get very expensive.
Unless you are really really serious and need to print larger photos I would personally recommend buying a standard A4 printer and go to a pro lab to print larger images.
I have always used canon pixmas for my photos! They are very robust, user friendly, cheap to run and print outstanding photographs and are very affordable!
As for papers.
You can print photos on standard copy paper but they will come out very flat and full! If you select the higher or photo qualities it will lay a lot of ink into the paper and warp the paper. If you decide to only use copy paper I would go for a thicker stock! But honestly photo paper would be your best option! I’ll give you a beginners guide to photo paper:
Glossy- standard shiny photo paper. This is the most common and old school photo finish! Can add nice texture to a LO and add POP for color, however some people find gloss finish tacky.
Matt- second most common photo finish. Very elegant and slightly more muted tone in comparison to gloss.! Still provides a lovely photo finish and texture. However this is not suitable for all photographs and not to everyone’s taste.
Luster/ silk/ semigloss- a perfect mix between the two. It’s very elegant, suits a wide range of photographs. It maintains the elegance of the Matt finish but with the pop of the gloss! This is a very popular choice for many professional photographers! Most commonly used to print wedding photos, studio shoots and photocbooks! It’s almost fail safe!
Papers don’t have to be expensive! If you print a lot of photos it’s advisable to bulk buy! If you have a photography store near you- usually they have a range of test prints to show customers! I would recommend going to have a look and see what you like and search around online!