Preparing Your Image File for Print

Recipe by Wendy Stevenson

Basic Steps:

  1. open file - edit as you please, then save edited file as a PDF (photoshot document file)
  2. duplicate and flatten above mentioned file if there are layers in your editing -  (my recommendation would be to never use the original file for print as you may want to go back to that image and re-edit after learning new techniques – keeping the original is important for other reasons as well – original size etc).
  3. cropping/aspect ratios - most cameras shoot 2:3 - make sure when you crop your duplicated, flattened file, you define your crop.  When possible also define the DPI (dots per inch) – anything over 250 produces a clear sharp image with good detail
  4. save flattened file as either a jpeg or tiff if your printer supports that format - jpeg if you’re using a store/online service such as Shoppers or
  5. sharpen - to enhance detail, most images benefit from a little bit of sharpening - sharpening will not make a shot that is out of focus in focus:-)  this should always be your last step in editing – if you have the capability check your sharpening under View Print Size (in photoshop)  This will give you a good idea of the printed outcome.
  6. save this cropped version as a jpeg and you’re all ready to print


Important Notes:

  • Please note that prints are NOT back lit like on your computer screen and will probably need a bit of lightening with either a curves/levels adjustment  (in PSCS only)  If you can’t lighten or brighten because your software is not capable then use something like “auto adjust” at a kiosk.
  • Remember not to over sharpen your image as that will cause noise and haloing.