Professional grade, silver halide photo paper is REAL photo paper in the sense of the word photo, which means light. Yes, the word photography means the graphics of light. Silver halide photo paper is manufactured with silver halides or silver salts. Without getting into the boring explanation of the chemical compounds used, this basically means the chemicals used in the creation of the silver halides are light sensitive.
When these chemicals are exposed to light they create a latent image on the paper. The paper is designed as part of a complete system, that includes water-based RA-4 process chemicals to convert the latent image to long lasting prints.
Silver salt chemistry remains the preferred method of recording high quality images, despite advances in electronic technologies and digital imaging.
The printing of your digital image is accomplished using equipment designed to convert the digital information the camera creates into information the printer can use to create the exposure. The paper is exposed using a light source, usually lasers or an array of LEDs to create the latent image. The paper is then immediately processed through the RA-4 chemicals, dried and ejected from the printer/processor.