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How to Save Photos for Large-Size Printing

It’s essential to save your photo in its optimal state for large-size printing because that can really influence the photo print’s quality. Here at Xpozer we print thousands of large photo prints per year and have poured all our knowledge and experience into these step-by-step instructions for you.

HOW TO SAVE PHOTOS FOR LARGE-SIZE PRINTING

Please note: These steps are for photographers that want the absolute highest quality photo print. Simply saving your photo in a good file format at maximum resolution is usually sufficient for a good photo print. If you want to do it expertly, read on!

Step 1: Choose the right file format

Many photographers shoot and edit in RAW. This is a recommended file format because it permits you to more easily adjust your photos without negatively affecting the quality of the photo. However, RAW is not a file format that can be used for printing. 

When you’ve finished editing your photo, we recommend that you save it in the JPG file format and submit that format for printing. As a JPG file, your photo is saved in the maximum quality that a printer can process.

While a photo saved as a TIFF file technically has more color channels and is often a larger file, we know from experience that it doesn’t result in a higher quality print. The difference between a print from a JPG or a TIFF file is not visible to the naked eye but only in file size. It’s better to save photos as a JPG file for photo wall prints. 

If your photo print includes vector-based designs (text, logos, drawings, etc.), we recommend that the image be saved as a PDF file. 

In Photoshop you can choose your desired file format by going to File > Save As. Then you can select the file format from a dropdown menu. In Lightroom, when you select File > Export, you’ll be given a complete list of file format options and can choose your preferred format. 

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Above are the options when saving a photo in Lightroom.

Step 2: Choose your color space

When saving your photo, you can also set your preferred color spaces. Different spaces offer different levels of color saturation. The most well-known color spaces are RGB (which has multiple variations) and CMYK. 

For photo wall prints, we highly recommend saving your photo in the sRGB color space. sRGB offers a wider range of colors, or a wider gamut, than CMYK. This means that the color saturation will be better and your wall print will capture all of the color nuances included in your photo. 

The difference between AdobeRGB and sRGB is nearly invisible in a printed photo. However, because AdobeRGB is not readable by many monitors, internet browsers and printers, we strongly suggest you save your photos in the sRGB color space. (Luckily, if you order a wall print from Xpozer and use the AdobeRGB color space, it’s not a problem! Our monitors and printers can read both color spaces.)

Color spaces can be a complex subject. If you want to know more, read this blog about the differences between RGB and CMYK at Fotolia.

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Step 3: Save in the maximum resolution

While the file type and color space are important when saving your photo, the resolution is even more important when printing a photo for your wall. In Photoshop always choose to save your photo at the maximum quality and file size. It would be a shame to print your stunning photo at anything less than maximum quality. ????

In Lightroom, under ‘Image Sizing’ select the size of photo you’d like to print (for example a 36″ X 24″ wall print). Always choose the maximum number of ppi or dpi.

Step 4: Sharpening through paper type 

If you want to print an absolutely perfect wall print, you may want to select the type of paper on which you’ll print. Certain types of paper record the details of your photo better than others. By selecting the paper type in the settings you use to save your photo, you can create maximum sharpness in your photo. The paper type can be set in Lightroom under ‘Output Sharpening.’ 

Are you transforming your digital photo into an Xpozer wall print? If so, when exporting your photo choose the ‘Matte Paper’ option under the ‘Output Sharpening’ settings and set the amount to ‘High.’ Xpozer photo prints are printed on our matte, custom-made Vivid Satin photo material. 

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Above you see an overview of the preferred settings for exporting in Lightroom.

More large-size printing tips

Learn more about how to transform your amazing digital photos into real photo prints with our other articles:

  • How to Choose Your Best Photo for Printing > Read here
  • Where to Hang Photos in Your Home > Read here
  • How to Check Your Photo’s Resolution Before Printing > Read here
  • Understanding Photo Ratios (and How to Choose One) > Read here

Ready to print your photos?

With Xpozer, you can hang your beautiful photos on the wall in minutes, and change them whenever you want thanks to the Xpozer reusable frame. Learn more and start experiencing your photos as they’re meant to be seen – big and in your daily life. www.xpozer.com

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