How do you compare things you really can't see in person, unless you meet in person? With today's growing lack of contact with clients prior to booking, being able to show what a photographer can do has created a huge problem for those of us interested in providing the best possible quality to our clients.
Because of this, I've chosen to try and show some photos here of actual albums we provide. A leather bound flush mount album is among the best possible ways to keep your wedding memories. It's not a book with photos in it. It is a custom designed print or photo that is mounted to varying thicknesses of substrate or board. The higher end ones have very rigid and thick pages. This can limit the amount of pages an album can have. We tend to use the pages that are a bit more pliable. It keeps our pricing down, so your costs are lower and instead we get more pages for you.
Pages vs. spreads. In an album, a page is like that of any other book. A spread is two pages. So when you open up an album the leading page is empty, so when you turn the page you are looking at a spread of two pages with a single print on both sides.
Take a look above. This is a blue leatherette flush mount album. That image is 12 inches high and 24 inches wide, yep 2 feet!
Compare that to the images below. Here we see on the bottom image a typical magazine style album. The pages are thin and you lose image space because it is bound into the album. Curved and easily bendable pages are what these albums are known for. Inexpensive and easily made yourself on sites like MyPublisher.com. Images below are from MyPublisher. The image above the lower image is an example of a lay flat book. If you look closely the pages still kind of warp up and they are also still rather thin. It is better than a regular magazine style album because you don't lose part of the image, but most often there is a visible gape running down the middle of the spread.
Again now compare this to what you see below on a flush mount album. The pages are rigid. Like a child's book. The photo or print is bound to a thick substrate and ensures that the pages are not torn or wrinkled and truly lay flat.
So if you happen to be comparing one photographer's package to another, you might want to consider not accepting the explanation of album. Ask what kind of album it is. When you meet your photographer, ask them to bring samples of recent work. We look forward to seeing you all very soon!
Yes, there are other types of albums out there as well. Some you can buy at Target and put your own photos into it. The cost? About $35 plus the cost of prints. Some old school photographers still offer coffee table albums. Okay, they don't have to be old, but this style is not something you will find. It's a nice album from the outside but it's nothing more than set of mats that allow you to slide a photo behind. For those of you getting married now, go ask to see your grandparents wedding album and you will have a good idea what we now call a coffee table album. Some photographers often misname their albums that are really flush mount albums as coffee table albums so be sure to put your hands on one. The cost, usually around $500 including the prints but can go higher very fast. Flush mount albums can vary as well because these can be made by many companies and most of them come and go about as fast as someone running for president. Make sure your photographer is using a quality company like Leather Craftsmen, Kiss Books, although we don't use them, and others are out there. You can expect to spend from $1000 to $3000 on these albums depending on your photographer and the designs and covering options.