While digital image files can be shared and sent easily online, nothing beats having the actual printed photo there for you to touch, admire, or even gift to friends. But you can’t just print your photograph on any paper – you’ll need a high-quality paper that will make your images stand out and look good.
Fine art paper is the top choice for printed photography – there’s nothing quite like a fine art print to bring out the best qualities of a photograph. However, not all of these products are made equal. What works to print one type of photograph may not work for another.
Whether you’re printing a photo for display or as a gift, you’ll need the right type of paper. Read on for our guide to the 7 best fine art paper products for photography!
Zig Photo Signature pens come with fade-resistant and water-resistant inks, making them perfect for writing on glossy photos, CDs, and plastic. They dry completely within a reasonable time and won’t smudge easily. They’re also acid-free, so they won’t damage your photos.
The Zig photo signature pen comes with an ultra-fine tip, allowing you to write small letters legibly. Each pack of Zig photo signature pens also comes in five different colors, giving you the freedom to design your message as creatively as possible.
The ultra-fine point Sharpie has been a crowd-favorite for decades. It has a quick-drying and vibrant formula that’s suitable for most surfaces, including photos.
Unlike the standard Sharpie marker, the ultra-fine Sharpie marker has a 0.33 mm tip. That way, you can write smaller letters on photos without worrying about smudging.
One advantage of choosing ultra-fine Sharpies is that you can choose from 42 different colors. Plus, while most of these ultra-fine markers come with a matte finish, you can also find some Sharpies with a metallic finish.
All in all, Sharpies are excellent for writing on any surface. They also come in a variety of colors and finishes, so you’re free to design your photo book as creatively as you’d like.
Uni Pin pens come with an ultra-fine point, making them suitable if you want to create a drawing with fine details. You can choose from various tip sizes, with 0.8 being the largest and 0.05 mm being the smallest.
The Uni Pin pen comes with water-resistant, lightfast ink. That prevents it from smudging or fading when used on photographs.
Uni Pin fine liners are also favored by artists worldwide for their ergonomic grip. If you plan on writing with a pen for long hours, this should be one of your top choices.
Unlike other fine-point photo pens, however, you’ll be limited when it comes to color choices. These pens only come in black, so it’s best for making a small note or adding a drawing to an image.
The Zebra marker pen has a quick-drying and refillable formula. Each pack comes in 12 assorted colors, giving you the freedom to add vibrant drawings or messages on printed images.
You might find that the Zebra Mackee pen is quite similar to Uni Pin pens. However, keep in mind that the Zebra ones have a firmer and finer tip. That will make it easier for you to write a small note on a photo guest book or a photograph.
Since the ink flow for this pen is quite heavy, it’s not suitable for everyday use. The pen may bleed if you’re using it on a notebook or regular bond paper. You need to use it on plastic, photo paper, posters, and other heavy-duty materials.
If you want to write on real photo paper, you need to choose a pen that dries quickly. Here are some of the ways you can tell if a pen is suitable for writing on photographic paper:
Pens have varying drying times based on the material they are made with. When it comes to writing on glossy paper, it’s best to go for those with alcohol or oil-based ink since they dry faster.
It’s best to avoid gel pens when writing on photos. Gel pen ink, made from an oil and water emulsion, will likely smear on photographs. If you have no other alternative, wait for a long time for the ink to dry before handling the photos again.
When choosing pens, it’s better to look for ones that use pigments instead of dyes. Pigments don’t dissolve easily and can resist fading.
When writing on glossy surfaces, you don’t have to limit yourself to a nice pen – you can also use permanent markers. Their broad tip size is ideal for labeling a photo book or making a bold statement on photographs.
Just be sure you’re picking a marker with alcohol-based ink since they cannot be erased easily. Water-based markers are more ideal for writing on whiteboards.
Choosing the correct writing tool can make or break your work. But aside from that, you also have to check the type of surface you’re writing on. Here is a quick guide for using pens on each type of surface:
|Type of pen||Matte paper||Cast-coated photo paper||Microporous photo paper||Transfer paper||Sticker paper|
|Ballpoint pens||✓||✓||Printing side only||✓||Printing side only|
|Permanent markers||✓||✓||✓||✓||Printing side only|
|Water-based felt tips (dry wipe)||✓||✓||Printing side only||✓||Printing side only|
Writing on printed images allows you to add a more personalized touch to your photos, keep track of dates and places, and remember fond memories.
When choosing the best pen for photo paper, be sure to consider the ink’s drying time and base material. It’s best to look for those with a lightfast and acid-free formula to preserve your photography or images for longer. If you want your message to last for a long time, look for a pen with archival ink.
Still not sure which pen to buy? Just pick one of our smear-free pens and you’re good to go!