Printers. Everyone has their favorites. And on Monday Renee asked me about mine!

Well Renee… I am happy to answer your question.Well, at least about the photo printers. There is a show this season that will walk you through my favorite photo gadgets, organizers, and online printing options. But I wanted to share my favorite printers. (including giving one away!)

I have to start by saying that I am a bit of a printer hoarder. I LOVE printers. I know that sounds odd.. but I do. And the truth is that printer technology has really come a long way. There are endless options for great printers. This list is not meant to be exclusive. But it is what you will find when you come to my studio. And working for years in publishing, I have had the opportunity to test many brands and models of printers over the years. And that hands on experience is what lead me to the printers I chose to spend my money on.Finally… I do have to disclose that I own more printers than the average person. As you will read below… I do think that a serious photog should have at least two printers in their arsenal. But YOU know best what your needs are and you should purchase accordingly.

1. EPSON: Picture Mate Personal Photo Lab

This is a desktop 4×6 printer. This is actually my favorite printer. If I had to give up all but one… believe it or not.. this would be the one I would keep.

The pictures are lab quality if not better. The price per print is great. (especially if you do some shopping around)

And for me, MOST of the pictures I need to print are in the 4×6 size.

I happen to own an older model – have had it for more than 6 years, and it is still printing as good as it did day one.ย  Just because it is a 4×6 photo printer doesn’t mean that I only print pictures! I often trim down cardstock, transparency sheets, even canvas to 4×6 and run it through. It is the PERFECT size for journaling cards, greeting card sentiments and other small bits of text. Can be used with or without a computer as it includes a card reader. I use this printer to print out digital party invites for most of my kids parties! This is a fun and flexible tool that any photo crafter would love.

2. EPSON: Stylus Photo R1900

This is the BMW of printers as far as I am concerned. It is wide format allowing for borderless prints of up to 13″ x 44″. The print quality is phenomenal. My opinion is that it is better than what you will get from the lab. There are many media choices as well – gallery canvas, glossy photo, matte photo, watercolor paper, and more.ย  This printer uses a gloss optimizer that adds a glossy coating to the glossy prints that can not be beat. I am also so impressed with the depth of the black in both glossy and matte prints. This is hands down my favorite printer ever for print quality… GORGEOUS prints every time. Color so vivid, skin tones that are rich, and blacks that are truly deep black.

The only “con” for this printer is that the prints are expensive. Ink and media are not cheap for this printer.ย  (although I have been able to cut costs by shopping around online)ย  So I don’t use it as an everyday printer. I do use if for anything I am going to display on the walls of my home. I also use this for any “enlargements” that I want to use for my scrapbooks. The convenience of having a “photo lab” in my studio is worth the price. I have also found some great vendors and deals online for ink and media. (I usually just do a google search and shop around for the best deal)

3. Lexmark Pinnacle Pro901

Ok. This is not really a photo printer in my opinion. But I wanted to mention it because it is the newest printer in my family. This is my everyday printer. The reason, the replacement ink carts are only $5!!! And I have to say, over all the print quality is fine. I have used this printer for printing out photos for invitations. This is a great printer to have for everyday printing, cards, printing text, and other crafts that are not meant for long term keeping.

And by the way, I got a SWEET deal on this printer on Amazon!

So that’s it. These are my faves, I love these printers and I use them every day. No matter what printer you choose, I do leave you with this tip. To get the most out of your printer, always use GENUINE INK made for your printer make and model. I also find you get what you pay for when it comes to media. So look for the right paper for the right job and you will have amazing results every time!

Now lets give something away shall we! Let’s do a biggie…Lets giveaway one of my very favorite printers!!!

Leave a comment below for your chance to the Epson Picture Mate Charm shown above. For an additional entry… go visit the Craft Tech Facebook page and like us! And every time you leave a comment here on the blog you will get yet another entry to win. This includes entries for giveaway all week long! So come back and visit again soon for more chances to win. Winner for the printer will be announced Friday August 12.