My Current Printers

Sometimes, when my list of things “to do” is long, I get really motivated to tackle other projects. 

In this case I spent a couple hours last night and this morning printing out all my photos to get up-to-date in Project Life®. The first half of this 2017 (through June) is complete so I was working on printing photos from July through last weekend. They are now all snuggly tucked in their pockets and when my to do list is a little shorter I can start the process of getting down the words. I follow a fairly simple formula each week usually including 7, 4x6 images and at least one or two 3x4 images. 

When I shared the above image today on Instagram I got a few questions about what printers I use here at home so I decided to type up a post that I can refer people to in the future when this question comes up. 

If you are looking for more in-depth information make sure to check out my Hybrid workshop

Currently I use three printers for my projects. Do you need to have three printers? Probably not - it really just depends on what kinds of projects you do and the kinds of images you want to print. I print at home for convenience first and foremost vs. needing to wait for images from a service provider to be able to put my projects together. There's not a right or a wrong with this, it's really most about personal preference. 

Also, all of these printers are connected to my computer - I don't use the wifi options available on them because I personally haven't had much luck with that here in my house. That means that I don't send photos directly to print from my phone - everything goes through my computer first.

Here's a look at the printers I've been using for the last year or so: 

I use an Epson PictureMate PM400 for all my 4x6 images (that's the smaller one you see in the videos). It's hooked up to my computer and I've been happy with it for a few years now. This is the printer I use for pretty much any photo that goes into my Project Life® albums. It does print up to 5x7 but I generally use it just for 4x6 and 3x4. I've got a tutorial here for getting 2, 3x4 images on one 4x6 sheet of photo paper. This printer, and the previous version, have been total workhorses for me. 

For this printer I most often use Epson 4x6 Ultra Premium Glossy Photo Paper.  

For larger photos up to 8.5x11 I use the Canon Pixma MG7720. I also use this most often for printing digital products. This was recommended to me last year by Julie Love Gagen and it's been a great printer and is a super reasonable price. It also has two trays which would allow you to keep it stocked with 4x6 paper for easy printing of that size. I still go to the PictureMate first for my 4x6 size but this one can totally handle that as well. Most of my 6x8 images are printed on this printer (I print 6x8's on 8.5x11 sheets and cut them out). 

For printing images I most often use Epson 8.5x11 Ultra Premium Glossy Photo Paper. For printing digital products I use Neenah Bright White Cardstock

For images up to 13x19 I use an Epson SureColor P400. I use this most often for printing 12x12 or 6x12 (love using that size in Project Life®). I use this printer the least right now just because most of the projects I've been doing recently include images that are 6x8 or smaller. I turned this one on yesterday for the first time in awhile and I definitely needed to do some maintenance on it (head cleaning, etc). 

The paper I use for this printer is Epson 13x19 Premium Photo Paper Glossy

If you aren't interested in printing at home I recommend checking out Persnickety Prints or Artifact Uprising

Questions? Happy to answer them in the comments below. 

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28 thoughts

  1. LynnseyJo says…

    I use a Cannon Pixma printer for all my projects and I absolutely love it. I use it through wifi and find printing directly from my phone to be one of the most valuable things about printing from home.

    For 6x8 to 12x12, I use the Project Life App for most convenience, but I like Persnickity as well. They used to have a terrible app but I understand it has been improved since I last used it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. rubygirl says…

    Have you had any issues with your prints fading/colors shifting, the archival factor is my biggest concern with home printing as I know photographic prints are more stable/archival than most home printers. Thanks.

    Reply 4 Replies
    1. hannahk says…

      I also wanted to ask about final print stability over time, especially yellowing. Is the paper choice important, or just the printer and ink quality? I've seen a recent post on Persnickety suggesting professional printing is the only way to preserve photo prints long term.

    2. pamela123d says…

      The archival qualities of your inkjet photo prints depends on the type of ink (dye or pigment), the type of photo paper and how you store the photos. All photographs are susceptible to light, humidity, temperature and pollutants. So if you live in Florida you need to be concerned about moisture in the air. Because a product includes the word "archival" does not mean that it meets archival standards. You should look for the PAT (Photographic Activity Test) approval on products, also acid-free, lignin-free and use enclosures (plastic) that do not contain cellulose acetate or PVC. Ideally the enclosures will have passed PAT.

    3. AliEdwards says…

      Not sure if you guys have taken my Storytelling With Project Life® or Storytelling With December Daily® workshops - in both those classes I go back through all my past Project Life® and December Daily® albums and the majority of the images still look just fine (that goes back to 2007). I'll try to put together some kind of compilation at some point - I've had a variety of printers over the years from a variety of manufacturers. Most of the time I stick with the manufacturers paper - except now I use mainly Epson Premium Plus Glossy Photo Paper (even with the Canon) because I like that one the best.

      Also, for me the convenience in the process is really important. Much of what I do is less about posterity (a portion of it is of course) and more about processing my life as I'm living it - it is the process of telling the stories and taking the photos and printing the pictures that gives me the opportunity to reflect on the life I'm living. Sometimes I use non-archival products and pens and I'm okay with that. I figure some of it will make it and some of it may not and that's okay for me. Again, everyone gets to make their own decisions about that :).

    4. CarolineMcD says…

      Ali, I love this! I don't have kids so I always think all my albums will just end up in land fill when I die But it's the process of creating and reliving an experience while documenting (and learning from the experiences) that I love anyway so I don't really bother with what will happen to it all.

  3. PrinzessinN says…

    Dear Ali,

    I also love printing at home.

    Thank you for this post. I always love to read printer recommendations.

    Unfortunately I can not find a seller here in Switzerland for the Epson Picturemate. But I found a Canon printer which can print up to A3 format.

    Normally I only use 4x6, but it is nice if you can go bigger.

    I have a Canon Selphy and I love it. The only thing is that it is not true 4x6. This bothers me.

    What rubygirl says is interesting. What is your experience?

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Kegger says…

    Ali, will you do a video flipthrough of the first half of the year for your PL album? :)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. scrapfin1 says…

      great idea!

  5. Jaynescraps says…

    Home printing just wasn't fun for me. I love Persnickety Prints! I placed my last order on Saturday morning and had 125 pictures delivered by Monday. They have many choices for photo sizes and finish type. I'm impressed with the quality of the photographs. They save all your files too which is something I think about a lot these days with the recent floods and fires.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Perfect! It's all about finding what works best for you!

  6. mbyrd says…

    I am curious about the number of prints you get before you have to renew your ink.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. sactownkid says…

      I have the same question! Overall do you find the cost to print at home comparable to a print service?

    2. AliEdwards says…

      Hi! I've never actually counted or tracked the number and since I rarely use an outside printing service I can't compare the cost for you. For me the ability to print at home on demand outweighs any cost difference there might be between the two.

  7. Rhondaraz says…

    Ali - upper right hand picture of the Panda head... LOVE IT!!!! my almost 10 yr old son has been loving pandas since he was one. Where did you find that?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      That was at Target.

  8. juliejac says…

    Thanks for the recommendations! I just purchased the Epson PM400 and I also have it connected right to my computer. I'm wondering, can you print right from your phone, or does it only work with a memory card?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Hi! I'm not sure but I think you can print from your phone - I just have never tried it because I use my computer for that :).

  9. Dorilys says…

    Ali, can you print text or digital content with your Epson SureColor P400 or just photos?
    I think about buying one - and don't like canon printer...

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Yes - I add it on in Photoshop and then print.

  10. bwilliams59 says…

    what printer do you use when printing on cardstock?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Hi! Either the large Epson or the Canon.

  11. mtnmama125 says…

    Hi Ali, thanks for this post! I used to have an Epson R2000 but it never printed photos well. (Even though it's a high end photo printer and I know you successfully used that exact same model at one point.) I spent so much time, ink and paper fighting with it, but it never worked well, so I always had to order prints.

    This fall I decided to get a new printer and try it again. I got the Canon PIXMA based on your recommendation and I LOVE it! Printing photos at home is SO convenient!

    I have 2 questions:
    1.) Do you let your prints dry/cure before trimming and putting them in sleeves?
    2.) I'm finding that it prints with a magenta color cast. What is your color correction workflow? Do you edit/process each print in PS? I am proficient with photoshop, but don't really want to spend a bunch of time on each print if there is a way to economize the correction process. Or, would you recommend trying to dial in the printer color settings.

    Thanks so much for your recommendation! I love love love printing at home now!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Hi! I don't usually let them dry intentionally - sometimes it happens and sometimes I slip them in within just a couple of minutes of printing.

      As far as color correction, I color correct to my printer - meaning I know that it generally prints darker so I usually lighten most of my photos (quick and easy). That process has worked fine for me so far.

  12. Jonipossin says…

    I bought the Canon pixma mg7720 on your recomendation. Love it! And... i got it in RED... my favorite color.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…


  13. Bebete89 says…

    Hi Ali
    Thank you for your post. I currently have a Canon Pixma in which I do most of my printing but I'm looking for a smaller one just for 4*6 pictures for my project life. As much as I try to be organized and do my printing outside I always miss something or decide I would rather have smaller sizes. I decided to try to do more printing at home. I was looking at your small Epson printer vs the Canon SELPHY CP1200 Wireless Color Compact Photo. Both have excellent reviews. The Epson is just a little more expensive. What made you choose the Epson? Thank you! Elisabete

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Hollygenc says…

    Can you print on cardstock with the Epson PictureMate? Or do you only use the Pixma for printing PL Cards? Thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies

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