Why Your Photos Look Different on Your Phone and in Your Photo Album

Guides, Resources

Have you ever noticed that the photos on your phone look a bit different when you print them out? It’s like the colors just don’t pop the same way. Well, there’s a reason for that, and it all comes down to how colors are made on screens versus in print. Let’s break it down.

Light Bulbs vs. Ink

Think of your phone or computer screen like a tiny light show, using red, green, and blue lights to make all the colors you see. This is called RGB color. Because it’s light making the colors, they can be super bright and vivid.

Now, imagine printing a photo. Instead of light, we use ink or paint in cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (that’s CMYK color) to create the image. Since we’re using ink, not light, the colors can look a bit different. It’s kind of like comparing a glowing neon sign to a painted mural.

Why We Change Colors for Printing

Before a photo gets printed, it usually gets changed from RGB to CMYK. This helps make sure the colors look as close as possible to what we see on our screens, even though we’re using ink instead of light. But, it’s tricky to get an exact match because of the different ways colors are made.

Why Good Printing Makes a Difference

Printing quality really matters. If the printing is not great, colors can look off, and images might not be as clear or as sharp. That’s why it’s worth it to get photos printed professionally. Good quality printing helps make sure the colors look right and that your memories look just as good on paper as they do on your screen.

Some Questions You Might Have

Why do colors look different on my phone and my friend’s phone?
Every screen is set up a bit differently, and things like brightness and the light in the room can change how colors look.

How can I make my two screens look more alike in color?
You can try adjusting the color settings on your screens to match as closely as possible. It might take a bit of fiddling to get it just right.

Why do we sometimes see colors differently?
Our brains can play tricks on us with colors depending on the light around us and other factors. It’s all about how we perceive color.

Why do my photos look different on my computer and phone?
Each device has its own way of showing colors, which can make the same photo look different from one screen to another.


So, there you have it. The reason your photos can look different when printed is all about the way colors are created with light and ink. And while converting colors and choosing high-quality printing can help make sure your printed photos look their best, some differences might still be there. But that’s okay! It’s all part of what makes each form of viewing photos unique.

Connecticut-based wedding photographer TJ Ladzinski is your adventure catalyst. With infectious enthusiasm and an easygoing spirit, he transforms every moment into cherished memories.

A storyteller at heart, TJ's work has been awarded and featured in several wedding publications. His dedication to capturing authentic moments and creating a joyful atmosphere for his couples is evident in the photographs and experience he produces.

Form not working? info@ladmanstudios.com

NOTE: All fields are required.

reach out for photography!

AKA Request Availability & Pricing

recent posts