If you are a typical consumer, you probably haven’t ever thought about photography papers and the difference they could make to your horse images. For the purposes of this blog post, I am going to show you some of the pros and cons of using matte photography paper for horse images.

So, when horse photographers start mentioning words to you like “Glossy”, “Lustre”, “Metallic”, “Silk”, and “Matte”, you are probably completely confused as to what they are talking about. 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 equestrian photography, photo paper can make a huge difference.  After all, when we are discussing horses, we are talking about not only the vibrant colors of the horse’s body, mane, and tail, but also the environment the horse is living in – the skies, fields, show rings, and more. Photography paper can help to make the final images of your horse look not just ok but spectacular.


Matte Photography Paper for Horse Images


The name “matte” comes from the lack of that super-glossy look that you find on glossy photo paper. A matte finish is a simple protective coating that is added to the image once it has been printed. If you aren’t a fan of a super shiny photo finish, matte might be something for you to look into.

Let’s look at some of the pros of Matte:

  • Does a good job of protecting images from fingerprints
  • Can be a good choice for black and white images
  • Sepia tone images can look good on matte
  • A good choice for images with non-living subject matters
  • Gives an instant vintage photo feel
  • Features a smooth and almost silky look for colors and printing
  • The ink absorbs into the paper giving a soft fine look
  • Eliminates the glare of light reflection
  • Ideal for images that are going to be handled a lot


While Matte has a lot of things to recommend it, it does also have some cons.

  • The finish can make pictures look dull, less rich, and less vibrant
  • Not a good choice for images where the small details matter


When discussing your options with your equine photographer, it’s important to consider what is most important to you. Are you planning on handling your images a lot? Will they be on a wall under glass? Are details important? Is the color most important?

Your equestrian photographer should be able to give you samples of different types of paper to feel and touch.

For Ride the Sky Equine Photography clients, I have a couple of sets of example papers that I printed the same exact same images on. This allows clients to see the differences between the papers on the same image.

Learn More about Photography Papers for Horse Images


Last week we took a look at glossy photo paper and what type of images that suits best. You can find that blog post here:

Glossy Photo Paper for Equine Images

Using Lustre Photo Paper for Equestrian Images

Using Metallic Photo Paper for Horse Images

Betsy Bird of Ride the Sky Equine Photography spends her days doing insane things to make horses look at her. Clearly, she’s desperate for attention. When she’s not celebrating the stories of the amazing horses in her clients’ lives, she invests time and energy into perfecting her equine photography skills and growing her business, hanging with her favorite rescue dog, Nitro, and planning her next big adventure. She also tries to spend some time educating and entertaining her fans and potential clients by blogging and posting on social media about whatever catches her fancy at the moment. 

Betsy is a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) with the organization Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The CPP designation is held by fewer than 2,000 photographers nationwide and is a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry, and professionalism. Ride the Sky specializes in on-location photography for equines. Ride the Sky also has the option of bringing the studio to the stable. Based in Chattanooga, TN, Ride the Sky Equine Photography works on location in Tennessee, North Georgia, and beyond.

These photos are copyrighted by their respective owners. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.