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Five ways to prepare your images for printing

As a photographer, and product manager at WhiteWall, Jan-Ole Schmidt has learned a few useful tricks for effectively preparing images for printing. Now he’s sharing them – to help you make better prints…


Tip 1: Selecting a picture for printing

“Naturally, it’s an important decision which images you are going to hang on your wall. After all, it will be there for a long time. But don’t think about it too much! Take note of which pictures you often look at on your computer or cell phone. Whether you are drawn to it for the emotions it evokes or its technical excellence, it could be the exact image that you’ve been looking for.”

Tip 2: Resolution and file format

“For optimal production, use the highest resolution available and don’t scale your photo up or down. Don’t worry about whether or not the resolution is too low: the WhiteWall configurator shows you if the resolution is sufficient to produce at the size you want for printing. Ideally, you don’t want to compress your image at all. Save it with 8-bit colour and an sRGB colour space. When in doubt, you can always have WhiteWall optimise your file to achieve the best possible quality. Whether you use Tiff or JPEG format, you can upload multiple pictures on at once.”

Tip 3: Colour and brightness

“Remember that colour and brightness can appear different on a monitor than they do in print. There are two reasons for this. For one, a monitor is illuminated and paper is not. Therefore, a monitor can display a photo much brighter than the picture actually is – which is how it will look after printing. The second reason is that different papers have their own base tone, meaning a pure white will look different from paper to paper, affecting the overall brightness and colour.”

Tip 4: ICC colour profiles for soft-proofing

“If you have a calibrated monitor, ICC profiles are the perfect way to assess how your pictures will look on a specialised product. On you will find downloadable ICC colour profiles for many product options.”

Tip 5: Test prints

“For those who don’t have a calibrated monitor, the online photo lab WhiteWall offers a hard proof option for all of its various papers. For a lower price, you can order a watermarked test print on the paper of your choice, which will enable you to see how it actually looks on that particular paper.”

About WhiteWall

WhiteWall is a trademark of WhiteWall Media GmbH, which has run photo lab and online photo service since 2007. As a two-time winner of the TIPA Award for Best Photo Print Service, WhiteWall is valued among professional and hobby photographers alike, for the outstanding quality it provides. All photographic works and products are exclusively produced in – and shipped from – the photography lab in Frechen, near Cologne, Germany.

For more information, please visit the WhiteWall website.

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