If you are a typical consumer, you probably haven’t ever thought about photography papers and the difference they could make to your equestrian images. For the purposes of this blog post, I’m going to focus on the pros and cons of glossy photography paper for equine images.

When a horse photographer start mentioning words to you like “Glossy”, “Lustre”, “Metallic”, “Silk”, and “Matte”, you are probably completely confused as to what they are talking about — and WHY they are talking about it.

Let’s face it, all you want is your image looking pretty on your wall or in a frame. You don’t care what paper is used. What difference could it possibly make?

The fact is that when it comes to equine photography, photo paper can make or break an image. After all, we are talking about rich blacks, vibrant chestnuts, and beautiful blue roans. If you are going to pay for professional horse photography, it’s important that your final product absolutely shows off your beautiful horse at his or her best.



Glossy Photography Paper for Equine Images



If you go to a chain store like Walgreens, or Costco, to print your images, you are having your snapshots printed on glossy photo paper. After all, it is the most common paper. Here are some pros and cons to consider when having your professional horse photographer prepare your images for printing.

Glossy photo paper has some definite pros:

  • Images are very realistic with sharp details and vibrant colors.
  • Offers a very luminous appearance.
  • Reflects a lot of light so a good choice for happy, joyous images


There are some pretty significant cons to glossy photography paper though.

  • Not the best choice for images without a lot of colors.
  • Not the best choice for black and white or sepia color images.
  • Glossy photo paper is more likely to stick to glass.
  • It is more likely to show fingerprints and fingerprints on your images are more difficult to remove.
  • It is also more likely to scratch than other photography papers.


Your equine photographer should be able to give you samples of different types of paper to feel and touch. In fact, for Ride the Sky Equine Photography clients, I have a couple of sets of example papers that I printed the same exact same images. This allows clients to see – and feel –  the differences between the papers on the same image.


Learn More about Photography Papers for Equine Images


Knowing the difference between photography papers can help you see why some might be a better fit for your equine portrait images than other options. Over the next few weeks, we will dive into the pros and cons of other types of photography papers, including luster, metallic, and matte, so make sure to check those out as well.

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