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The Best Pens For Writing On Photos

“A photograph is a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone”

Memories are created in every moment, even as I am writing this article. While some of these memories might be some that you want to cherish forever, some you just want to forget and not bother with them.

But we are going to remain at the first ones and such memories are best kept and shared with people that you have a soft spot for.

There are also cases when we write on our photos, to make them even more nostalgic and reminisce those moments even better.

Writing on photo paper usually can be annoying, the pen you use will end up ruining the photo and sometimes the ink won’t even dry.

There are a bunch of pens that are made solely for that purpose, to not ruin your memories.

In this article, I will introduce the best pen for writing on photos.

Top 5 Best Pens To Write On Photos

5. Dyvicl Metallic Marker Pens – The Most Versatile

Start the list with great medium-point metallic markers that are perfect for people who seek a quality marker set.

They are water-based ink and are odorless, non-toxic, xylene-free, and even acid-free.

Dyvicl promises us that you can write on photo paper, cardstock, rock, wood, and even photo papers.

They can be used almost for anything and come in different colors and medium-sized tip that will feed your creativity.

Pin size measures at 5.5 x 0.47 inches and the line width sits at 2 mm. As for the colors as I said there are 10 to choose from; Green, Dark Red, Purple, Light Green, Blue, Silver, Black, Gold, White, Bronze.

4. Sakura Pigma 30062 – Best Fade-Resistant

Next on the list, we have a pair of pigma ink pens.

This kind of ink was invented by Sakura in 1928 and continues to be one of the most reliable archival inks on the market to this day.

It has the benefits of being waterproof, fade-resistant, no smears or feathers on photo papers, and ink dries to ph neutral.

With that being said, no doubt that those are great pens for writing on photos.

The whole set contains 6 different pieces and each of them has a different nib size for a precise line. The widths goes from 0.20m, 0.25mm, 0.30mm to 0.50mm respectively.

3. Uchida 140-C-1 Marvy – Best For Most People

Third, on the list, we have a Deco Color fine paint pen that is great for writing on things like glass, photo paper, wood, clay, porcelain, stone, and mirrors.

It comes acid-free, lightfast, and even weatherproof, to withstand harsh sudden rains and such.

It is a great tool to use for your crafting, and for photos, it is taken for granted.

It is a solo marker and it comes in black color while being opaque and xylem based. It measures 1/2-inch length by 2-inch width by 7-1/4-inch height.

2. The Staedtler Triplus Fineliner – Best Ergonomic

Coming in second, we have a pair of fineliner pens.

The Staedtler fineliner pens have an ergonomic triangular shape so you can enjoy your writing in a more relaxed way.

They are dry safe which means, even if you leave them uncapped for days they won’t dry up.

Being water-based ink it promises to wash off on many textiles, in case you accidentally write on “yourself” instead of your photo.

As for the tip, it has a superfine metal-clad and a linewidth of 0.3mm. As for the colors, there are a bunch of them to pick from.

1. Sharpie Ultra Fine Point – Best Overall

People who know a thing or two about pens and markers, sure expected Sharpie to hold the first spot.

Sharpie is made to mark and stand out on almost anything, you name it. From photo papers to wood and rocks. It has the iconic permanent ink that is quick to dry while being water and fade-resistant.

The Ultra Fine comes from the tip that makes exact marks with great precision.

There are a bunch of colors to choose from and all of them are brilliantly bold and vivid to the max.

If i had to choose just one, then I’d choose the ultra fine point sharpie. Definitely gets the job done well!


Choosing The Best Pen For Writing On Photos:

As I mentioned above, you simply can’t write on photos with any pen, you should know a few things before buying a pen and which one is suitable for writing on photographic paper.

Ink’s Base Material

I would recommend going for pens with alcohol or oil-based ink since they dry faster and on the other hand, Gel pen ink is something you should avoid.

They take longer to dry and most likely will smear on your photos, if you are forced to use one, make sure you wait for a long period of time.


We all know that Pens come in different colors, from basic black and white to bright and vivid colors.

While black pens are the most simple and ideal ones to write on a photo, a colored pen might give the photo a more aesthetic feeling, especially on a Polaroid photo.


They also come in a mixture of finishes from matte, glossy to metallic.

While each of them has its benefits, you want to choose the finish that will appeal to your type of photography more.

For example, a matte pen will provide an understated feel and a glossy one is more eye-catching and visible.

Tip Size

All pens come in different tip sizes, and the tip determines the outcome of the writing.

Most photo pens have a larger tip size than traditional pens. Gel ink tends to have a smaller tip size while a marker quite a big one.

Drying Time

As I mentioned above, photo paper is not very absorbent so it might take a while for the ink to dry.

You want to pay attention to this a lot if you need to work quickly.

Pen Longevity

Photographs are memories that are meant to last, so should the pen.

Make sure you look for waterproof pens that are archival and lightfast, in order for the ink to not fade away.

Writing on Glossy Paper

If you want to write in glossy surfaces, you need some kind of ink that dries faster. Some of the fastest drying inks are Oil based inks. Alcohol based inks work well too.

Final Words:

Writing on photograph paper allows you to add a more aesthetic touch to your photos and at the same time, it allows you to keep track of dates and places.

To not ruin your photos, make sure you follow my guide, and hopefully, it adds some insight to you.

There you have it, we listed the 5 best pens for writing on photos. I hope you found this article to be helpful for you!