How to Choose a Photo Finish That is Best for the Image

How to Choose a Photo Finish That is Best for the Image

You just received your gallery from your photo session and you are excited to print the images for your walls. But, as you begin to add the prints to your shopping cart you pause. You are being presented with multiple finish options and are unsure which option is best. Pink Spruce currently offers three different options for what your photo is printed on. The options include: Lustre, Deep Matte, and Metallic. This post will walk you through the different options. My goal for you after reading this is that you will be confident choosing a photo finish that is best for the image you want printed.

The Different Photo Finish Options Explained

As mentioned above, Pink Spruce Photography currently offers clients three different photo finish options. The options include: Lustre, Deep Matte, and Metallic.

How to Choose a Photo Finish That is Best for the Image

Lustre Prints

This is the most popular option and one that most would recognize. Lustre prints offer a semi-gloss finish with a VERY subtle texture. They boast accurate color, realistic saturation, excellent neutral flesh reproduction, and great intensity.

How to Choose a Photo Finish That is Best for the Image

The lustre print option works on any image as it really is the “swiss army knife” of photo finish options. I highly recommend adding the UV protective coating simply because it enhances the semi-gloss finish in a beautiful way while adding protection from things such as fingerprints.

Deep Matte Prints

The deep matte photo finish is extremely matte and the photo does not have a speck of gloss. The finish itself feels like NARS makeup packaging (who gets me on this one?) – very smooth and silky. It truly is a deep matte, lustreless surface that creates tremendous visual impact.

How to Choose a Photo Finish That is Best for the Image

Deep matte prints are my favorite for images with a rustic, outdoorsy, natural feel or for those that have been edited in a dark and moody style.

Metallic Prints

The metallic photo finish will truly make your photos pop. The best way that I have been able to describe the impact on a photo printed with metallic finish is to pretend that itty bitty mirrors were placed all around the photo. It makes things like diamond rings (quite literally) sparkle on the page. The printer uses a patented combination of film and laminate layers resulting in striking three dimensional images and it offers natural looking flesh tones, sharp details, and beautifully saturated colors. Because of the process the printer takes with the combination of film and laminate layers, metallic photos are resistant to tearing and curling without any additional lamination.

How to Choose a Photo Finish That is Best for the Image

I especially love to use the metallic print option for photos that have vibrant colors or that have details that would sparkle and shine in real life.

How to Choose a Photo Finish

When trying to decide between lustre, deep matte, or metallic when it comes to printing your image, ask yourself the following questions:

1. What is the style of the image?

If your image has a traditional feel to it, the lustre option is perfect. Deep matte prints are perfect for images with a rustic or outdoor setting, for images that have a lot of black in them, or were edited in a dark and moody style. If your image has a lot of vibrant colors or details that would typically gleam in real life, the metallic option is going to suite that photo very well.

2. What is your home decor style?

Think about where you plan to display the image. If your decor is fairly traditional, lustre will lend itself well to the rest of your home’s style. Rustic decor pairs well with deep matte prints and ultra modern decor lends itself to accommodating a metallic print.

3. How will you frame the print?

If you plan on using an old barn board frame, as an example, I would not choose the metallic finish for your print. Again, think about whether your framing will appear traditional, rustic, or modern.

4. How are the colors (or blacks and whites) in the image?

All three of the photo finish options (lustre, deep matte, and metallic) have different strengths depending on the colors within your photo. A black and white photo with a lot of shadows and a lot of blacks will look super moody in a matte finish, but may look ultra sleek in a metallic finish with the blacks popping off the print.

Real Life Examples for Photo Finish Pairings

I thought it might be helpful to show you a few other blog posts with images that would lend themselves well to each photo finish option.

Lustre Print Real Life Examples

Both the Dream Wedding Event as well as Karya and Lance’s travel theme wedding galleries look fantastic when printed in lustre. This black and white wedding theme with pops of color would keep that traditional, sophisticated look in a lustre print.

How to Choose a Photo Finish That is Best for the Image

How to Choose a Photo Finish That is Best for the Image

How to Choose a Photo Finish That is Best for the Image | Sophisticated Black and White with Pops of Color Wedding Theme | La Crosse Bridal Expo 2018 | Photography by Pink Spruce Photography, Wedding Photographer La Crosse WI

Deep Matte Print Real Life Examples

Nvette and Vic’s outdoor rustic wedding day had a look that would allow most all of their gallery to look fantastic in a deep matte print. Another great example is one of Heidi and Kelly’s engagement photos (coincidentally taken in the same locale as Nvette and Vic’s wedding). I have this particular image in a matte print that I use for display at bridal shows and it really was the perfect print option for this photo:

How to Choose a Photo Finish That is Best for the Image | Norskedalen Engagement Session | Coon Valley, WI | Pink Spruce Photography

Metallic Print Real Life Examples

Even though I noted above that the Dream Wedding Event and Karya and Lance’s wedding day would be perfect in lustre prints, that does not mean that certain images would not work in other finishes. For example, Mandy’s headpiece jumps off the page in a metallic print. The bridesmaid dress color from Karya and Lance’s wedding day shines so vibrantly in a metallic print. Another great wedding gallery that would sparkle in metallic prints is Nicole and Kyle’s wedding day. It was filled with glitter, metallics, and sequins.

How to Choose a Photo Finish That is Best for the Image

How to Choose a Photo Finish That is Best for the Image

How to Choose a Photo Finish That is Best for the Image

How to Choose a Photo Finish That is Best for the Image

In case you missed here, check out some of my favorite wedding planning posts:

6 Reasons for Doing a First Look in Your Wedding Day

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Hi!  I'm Jen and I am honored you have taken the time to get to know me, and my family, a little bit better.  In addition to being a destination wedding photographer, I am the mom to a spunky little boy.  We adopted him when he was born and he is the light of our lives.  We currently live on a 34 acre farm in La Farge, Wisconsin, the heart of the Driftless Region.  In our spare time, we enjoy traveling as a family, caring for our small flock of chickens, tending to the garden, cooking, hiking, and crafting.  Every year we enjoy having our family photos taken on our property - we truly know how important it is to capture (and savor) each and every moment, milestone, and memory.

I will provide you with a gallery from your wedding day that elicits joy, that recreates feelings from memories, and provides romantic nostalgia when seeing the photos for the first time and every time thereafter.  You will receive photos that show true emotions as well as traditional styling and I will create everything without forced poses or cheesy smiles.

and her family


Pink Spruce would love to capture your engagement and wedding day! We travel for weddings throughout Wisconsin, along with parts of Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois with no added fees. Special destination wedding rates are available. Visit the homepage or contact Jen for more on booking Pink Spruce for your big day!

To learn more about the photographer Jen herself, make sure to visit the "Get to Know Jen" page! Don't forget to browse other wedding galleries and read Jen's best wedding day tips on the Pink Spruce Blog. If you would like to see where some of Jen's work has been published, head on over to the Features Page.

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I truly want to get to know the two of you.  You are not just a name or a date on my calendar.  The following form will help us to begin to develop the most wonderful relationship, one that will help me capture my new friends just as they had envisioned on their wedding day!