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Lustre vs Metallic Photo Paper: Which Is Better?

So, your pictures are taken already, and the time has come to print them on the best paper possible.

Even though it may sound like the easiest job in the world, professionals like me really know the value of a photo print. Basically, they know what paper should they use.

You may have heard about matte and glossy photos but you should know that they are not the only ones! 

In this article, you will find the differences that are between lustre and metallic photo papers. Also, you will find out when to use them.

Without further ado, let’s find out about them!

What is Lustre Photo Paper?

Lustre is one of the most commonly used photo papers, by different professionals worldwide.

If you already know what is glossy and what is matte. Lustre is a combination of both of them.

What is important to mention is that this type of paper has a special texture that feels like the texture of a pearl but it is a bit subtler.

What is Metallic Photo Paper?

Now the metallic type of photo paper is mostly used by art workers and those photographers that are more into landscape photography.

This type of photo paper is mostly glossy than a combination of both. It is shiny and it kind of pops the image up. Many people that use this photo paper, say that it looks like the backside of an aluminum foil.

Lustre vs Metallic Photo Paper

There are many things that make these two photo papers different from one another. I would like to tell them with more details though. Here are the differences:


A shiny picture is a great picture and a metallic photo print knows how to do the job perfectly fine. In the pictures that you print on metallic photo papers, you will notice an interesting shine.

Color Accuracy and Vibrancy

A lustre photo paper, as mentioned above, is a combination of matte and glossy and brings amazing colors, but somehow there is a fade on the color’s vibrancy in general.
Whereas, when it comes to the color accuracy and vibrancy of metallic photo paper you will notice that the colors are clearer than you ever thought. There is an amazing vibrancy of colors as well.


Based on the name, metallic photo paper is quite more durable than lustre photo paper and it seems like it is the winner of this category because it is a kind of metal.


Pictures that show fingerprints are the most annoying thing ever. Well, if you are a perfectionist and don’t like to have fingerprints in your photos, it seems like lustre photo prints are the winner of this round.


Some people want to stick photos on their walls, but if there’s glare or reflection, it kind of destroys everything. Sticking a metallic photo paper on the wall will bring the sun full to your room. But lustre photo paper is fully ant-glare, and it is the best photo print to put on your wall.

Usage of the Photo Papers

If everything that I mentioned above is clear enough for you to help you distinguish between these two types of photo papers, right now, I would like to tell you some important things.

When to use these types of photo papers? Well, let’s see!

When to Use Lustre Photo Paper?

As a little bit mentioned above, lustre photo papers are used when the person wants to hang the picture on the wall. However, the lustre photo papers are used for portrait photography, wedding photography, product photography, and fashion photography.

When to Use Metallic Photo Paper?

Metallic photo prints are very catchy, and they look perfect if you use them for landscape photography. Especially if those landscapes are full of colors.

Best Photo Papers

There are known two amazing photo papers, lustre and metallic.

When it comes to lustre photo papers, there are the Canon Photo Papers which as you can notice, come from the amazing Canon brand.

Besides lustre, there are some amazing metallic photo papers that you can find and those are Legion Paper Slickrock.

How To Choose the Right Photo Paper?

In this section, I would like to tell two of the most important things that you should consider when choosing a photo paper.

I chose them all based on my opinion.


You may already know that there are four main types of surfaces when it comes to photo papers: Matte and Glossy are the main ones, and also, as you can notice Lustre and Metallic.
Which is better? All of them! It is based on how you want your photos printed.

Printer Compatibility

If you already own a printer and want to use it to print photos, you are more than free to do so! But, you may want to consider what photo paper you will use while printing. You should always take a closer look or maybe do deeper research on whether your printer accepts those papers.

Some printers accept all of them, that would definitely be better!

Concluding Remarks

As a professional, I am in love with taking pictures, and seeing the pictures that I take hung on any wall, gives me an inexplicable feeling! It is the best thing that can happen to a photographer in general. But, what is special to be mentioned is that I love to print them myself! Why not, though? I love to show my work.

However, you can print easily without having to choose only one paper. What do I mean? Well, try all of them.

If you are not sure which type of photo paper will show your picture better, it is up to you to choose all of them. You can try them, and once you notice which one is better, you can go with it!

One other thing i can recommend for you is you to get a sublimation printer. You can use a printer to print on t-shirts and other materials.

Now, there’s nothing left to say! Both Lustre and Metallic are great types of photo papers, even though they have some differences!

There is definitely nothing else’s to say besides: Have Fun!