How to Print Your Own Photos on Metal

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Digital photography has made taking photographs appealing to many people and not only for professional photographers. We love to photograph our families and document the growth of our children. We proudly capture the milestones of our lives and share our vacation memories with everyone we know. Furthermore, photography has become a creative hobby for many, a way to reconnect with nature, and a mindfulness practice.

But regardless of how easy it is to take a digital photograph, our photos come to life only when printed. That’s the reason behind photography exhibitions, photo albums, and photo prints displayed around the house. The screen will never speak as much as a physical substrate, whether paper, canvas, or metal. And if you want timeless beautiful prints, you need to go for a metal substrate. So here is everything you need to know about printing your photos on metal.

Benefits of Printing Your Photos on Metal

Metal prints are as durable as they sound. A metal print with a high-quality Chromaluxe HD aluminum substrate printed using the dye sublimation process can take up to 100 years before starting to fade. Moreover, metal prints are water, dust, and scratch-resistant, don’t mind humid and warm climates, don’t damage during transport, and can handle hanging outdoors. So when it comes to resistance, no other printing substrate can compete with metal prints.

While durability and resistance are the obvious metal print benefits, versatility is not so obvious, but it is equally important. Metal prints are more versatile than other substrates in terms of design options and usability. They support various sizes (large size included) and custom shapes, can be framed or frameless, provide a matte or shiny finish, and fit any photographic genre. You can print your photos on metal to create anything, from wall art to tiny family portraits for your nightstand.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

In addition, metal prints have a broad range of uses, from home décor to industrial and commercial purposes. Because you can put them anywhere, metal prints can decorate your kitchen or outdoor terrace, may hang in hospitals or other places with strict hygiene requirements (metal prints don’t harbor germs), or be a decorative item while representing your brand’s logo.

Last but not least, metal prints have character and a unique aesthetic. They enhance the colors and contrast of the photo, make details stand out, and add a 3D feeling none of the other print types can recreate. Furthermore, metal prints may have a transparent coating that reveals the silver of the aluminum panel underneath and creates a modern, sleek industrial look perfect for architecture photography and other genres.

How to Print Your Photos on Metal in Five Steps

If you think printing your photos on metal is difficult, the following will change your mind. In just a few steps, any photographer (professional or amateur) can design and order metal prints. They need only beautiful photographs and the smart Create Wizard from Shiny Prints.

Step 1: Choose a reliable metal printing service provider

First of all, you need Shiny Prints, a reliable provider with expertise in metal prints and high-quality services. We only use high-quality Chromaluxe HD aluminum panels and dye sublimation printers because the combination ensures accurate colors, an exquisite aesthetic, and metal prints that stand the test of time.

You also want versatility meaning the metal printing service offers diverse size and aspect ratio options, custom size and shape, matte and shiny finish, frame and frameless mounts, and anything else that may benefit your design.

Equally important, you want professional customer support that takes into consideration your needs, explains the techniques they use, and offers to guide you through the entire process.

Step 2: Check image requirements

Verify that your pictures respect the image requirements specified by the provider. Many of them can’t offer high-quality prints unless you provide high-resolution images. Especially if you prefer large-size prints, your photos should support image enlargement. If you don’t manage on your own or have any doubts, contact customer support.

At Shiny Prints, the Create Wizard checks the image requirements for you and lets you know how good your file is. All you have to do is upload your image and select an aspect ratio and a size. The Wizard will show a green bar indicating whether your image is OK, good, or great. You can use the Wizard to check all the photographs you intend to print free of cost.


Step 3: Edit your photo to comply image requirements of your metal printing service of choice

Image requirements mean more than resolution, aspect ratio, and file size and format. They also refer to color profile, gamut, and color accuracy. For example, if your photographs lack contrast, clarity, brightness, or color saturation, the print will reflect and sometimes even enhance the flaws. When you commit to printing your photos, you need to ensure your photographs have perfect exposure, colors, and contrast. In addition, your monitor should be properly calibrated to ensure the prints match what you see on your monitor. Thus, some photo editing and technical knowledge are required.

However, if you aren’t a professional photographer or don’t have the equipment and skills to manage image enhancements and color profiles by yourself, check the Color Enhancement option in Create Wizard, and our experienced people will take care of that for you.

Step 4: Customize your metal print

Now that you know your photos are in good hands, it’s time to be creative. Design the best metal print for your photographs by considering size, aspect ratio, shape, finish, and mounting options. For example, photos with a portrait orientation look better in a vertical frame. Photos of interestingly shaped subjects (e.g., a sea star) create amazing custom-shaped metal prints. If you decide on a custom-shaped metal print, contact us to discuss the project and work together to bring to life your unique design.


Photo by Clara Cordero on Unsplash

At the same time, think about why you print your photos in the first place and where and how you intend to display them. Metal prints of family portraits may look better in small sizes, standard shapes, and premium frame mountings. Fine art photographs may look better in large sizes, on a silver matter surface, and frameless. You may also want to add a backstamp and protect copyrights and authorship.

The Wizard provides all the information you need, including the price, shows real-time previews of size and aspect ratio alterations, and lets you create the backstamp on the spot.


Step 5: Place an order

The only thing remaining is to add your design to the cart and place the order. Verify available shipping to your address, payment options, and delivery schedule. At Shiny Prints, all delivery information is available on the website, making things transparent and straightforward.

Bonus tip: Test the printing service by ordering a proof print for one small-size photograph. If you are happy with the results, print the rest of your pictures in the size and shape you prefer. Shiny Prints offers 8” x 12” proof prints at affordable prices and ships them for free. To be able to keep the price low and avoid waste, we print proofs on scrap metal.


Printing your photos on metal is a rewarding experience. You pour your soul into your photographs, and it is only natural to want to see them printed.  But to see them blossoming in every single detail, from bright colors to exquisite clarity and brightness, and incorporating that 3D feeling only metal prints can deliver takes printing to a brand new level. Moreover, your metal photo prints will last forever. So choose Shiny Prints and bring your photos to life.


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