Buying Photo Quality Paper

Where Should We Look for Photo Quality Paper?

Can you help us locate a source for photo quality glossy paper? It costs a fortune to print out photocopies. The big guys have it all sewed up it seems. Never have sales on this product, and when and if they do, no major savings. There must be businesses out there that have access to reasonably priced paper.
Dick K.

Advice From the Print Industry

I work in the printing industry and I have some information to pass on about photo printing. Unfortunately, with inkjet printers selling so cheaply these days, consumables such as ink and paper is the only place where most vendors are making much of a profit. There are many things that go into good, photographic print quality. One is obviously having a printer with a dpi (dots per inch) of 600 or greater. Using a photographic ink cartridge helps too.

But print quality is an interaction between the printer, the ink and the paper. The best bet for savings is to buy third party paper. That is, paper from a manufacturer other than printer manufacturers such as HP, Epson or CCSI. HP printer owners are in luck. HP has the biggest installed base, therefore third party vendors formulate their papers to work best with HP's printers, so that their customers are most likely to have a good print quality experience.

The bottom line is that photo printing, for the foreseeable future will remain significantly more expensive than traditional photo finishing.

Prefers the Name Brand

The best photo paper I have found is Hewlett-Packard's Photo Paper for ink jet printers. The quality of the print is superior to Kodak's more expensive package. It is heavier stock (like a coated cardboard) and is better for a photo to frame.

I also use it for my special greeting cards. The glossy stock and weight make it hard to tell the difference between a purchased card and a created card.

You can often find this paper at discount stores for less, or on the Internet. Another hint: I discovered the hard way that ink jet printer inks are water soluble. After making a copy, very lightly spray with a fixative. I use one called crystal clear thick coat glaze, which can be found in craft stores. Or, hair spray will work, too.
Sylvia E. of Huntsville, Alabama

Check Office Supply Stores

Here at my office we order our Photo paper (8 1/2 x 11) from an office supply delivery chain called Quill Corp (1-800-789-8965). They only service businesses, but they do offer generic items, like the photo paper.

Prefers Epson from Stapes

I previously did some research on prices of photo paper. My research was for prices for 8 1/2"x11" photo paper: I found Epson Photo Paper (20 Sheet pkg.) is the least expensive. You can buy it at Staples.
Patricia S.

Check Warehouse Stores

I purchased Royal Brites glossy coated Ink Jet Paper at Sam's Club. I like it better than Kodak paper.

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