Inkjet photo printing basics
Get tips for using your printer, paper, and ink to produce the best prints possible
Support & Drivers
The HP photo printing system involves three components that are made to work together: printer, paper, and ink. Get tips for using these three elements to create photo prints that are hard to distinguish from traditional lab-developed photographs.
Tips for printing photos with HP ink
Most HP Photosmart printers alert you when you are running low on ink before you actually run out. You can check the estimated ink levels on your computer or your printer’s touchscreen.
Use the following tips to print successfully.
- Use genuine HP ink cartridges. Genuine HP cartridges are designed for and tested with HP printers to help you produce great results, time after time.
- Insert the ink cartridges into the correct slots. Match the color and icon of each cartridge to the color and icon for each slot. Make sure all cartridges snap down into place.
- Make sure the cartridges have sufficient ink. To check the estimated ink levels, follow the instruction in the Tools menu on the printer’s display or on your PC.
Learn more about choosing and using ink and other ink basics.
Tips for using HP photo paper
Make sure the paper-width guide does not bend the paper in the input tray.
Get the most from your photo paper with these tips:
- Load a stack of paper, not just one page. Use clean and flat paper of the same size. Make sure only one type of paper is loaded at a time.
- Adjust the paper-width guide in the input tray to fit snugly against all paper.
- Do not leave unused photo paper in the paper tray. The paper might start to curl. Also, do not allow printed photos to stack up in the paper tray.
- Set the print quality and paper size settings according to the type and size of paper loaded in the input tray. Learn more about how to select print settings.
Why use ink and paper that’s made for your printer?
"You’ll get the best image quality by sticking with inks and papers recommended by your printer’s manufacturer. After all, getting great photos out of an inkjet printer requires ink, paper, and printer to work together like a well-practiced orchestra."
(PC World, May, 2005)
- Other types of paper can absorb too much ink, causing images to become blurry or print out too light. Or the ink can spread too far into the paper, causing inaccurate colors or a dull finish.
- Refilling your ink cartridges can spell trouble for your printer—and your photo prints. Ink leakage, poor print quality, fewer photo prints per cartridge—refilling cartridges can increase your printer maintenance and cost you more money in the long run.
- Photo paper like HP Advanced photo paper has several layers that each have a special job—from controlling ink absorption to repelling moisture to creating a smooth photo surface. Not all photo papers work this way.
Better together: printer + paper + ink
- Print, scan, copy
- 3.5" color touchscreen
- ISO Print Speed: Up to 12 pages per minute (ppm) black, 8.5 ppm color1
- HP ePrint—now print from your smartphone or tablet from virtually anywhere2
- Automatic photo tray holds up to 20 pages
- 1Measured using ISO/IEC 24734, excludes first set of test documents. For more information see http://www.hp.com/go/printerclaims. Exact speed varies depending on the system configuration, software application, driver, and document complexity.
- 2Requires an Internet connection to HP web-enabled printer and HP ePrint account registration (for a list of eligible printers, supported documents and image types and other HP ePrint details, see www.hp.com/go/eprintcenter). Mobile devices require Internet connection and email capability. May require wireless access point. Separately purchased data plans or usage fees may apply. Print times and connection speeds may vary.