Photo Albums vs Photo Books

What is the difference between a Photo Album and a Photo Book?

Photo Album and Photo Book may sound like an interchangeable term but they definitely are not.  There are a few very slight differences but also some very large differences.  Let’s first start out by saying I am only going to talk about the differences and similarities specific to the ones that we offer.  There are so many print labs out there that may define them in different ways so instead of confusing you and myself, I’ll stick to what I know best.  

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Photo Albums

I decided to start with the showstopper first.  Photo albums are the masterpieces you will find on our previous clients tabletops for all to see.  Couples invest in their wedding album knowing that it will be seen by everyone that comes through their home for years to come.  

Album Sizes – 8” x 8”, 10” x 10”, and 12” x 12”

Album Cover Material – Linen or Leather

Album Colors 

Linen – Black or Oatmeal

Leather – Black, White, Gray, Distressed Sand, Midnight Blue, Distressed Cappuccino

Album Pages – 20-50 thick pages

Photo Albums are a great investment for long term use because they are printed on super high quality photo paper and mounted to think pages that don’t bend or fade.  With the lay flat feature of the album you can print panoramic photos across the entire spread for a grand effect.  You have the option to finish off the album with embossing and foil stamping in a variety of colors.  

Photo Books

Photo books, while similar, have a much different purpose.  Photo books in the wedding industry are used mainly for sign in books for the day of the wedding.  They are bound more like traditional books and usually offer a full photo cover.  They are printed on very high quality paper but it is not photo paper.  They are better suited for writing on than the albums because the photo paper of albums will make the ink smear.

Book sizes – 5”x 7”, 8”x 8”, 8.5”x 11”, 10”x 10”, and 12”x 12”

Book cover material – Hardcover Photo

Book pages – up to 120 pages

Outside of using these for guest sign in books we also use these in our house to print yearly books for the kids.  They handle the abuse of the kids and are a smaller investment for something that may be destroyed by little hands or written on by guests at a wedding.  

The album has a more reflective surface because of the photo paper
Here you can see the difference in the thickness of the books.

There you have it, a simple breakdown of the differences.  Rue and I are here to help answer any and all questions you have about these things.  We keep trying to acquire more and more sample albums so we can share them with you at the reveal to give you every option.  We can’t wait to sit down with every client and design the perfect album or book.

Left – Photo Book, Middle – 8″ Linen Album, Right – 10″ Leather Album

Eight Hands Photography – Artistic Chicago Wedding Photographers

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