Following many threads on social media and wedding forum web sites, I repeatedly have come across the question of where to go with your photos if you want to make your own wedding photo album. One common advice is to go to blurb, Shutterfly or other photo book makers. Also, it is often noted that many wedding photo album makers, like Queensberry, do only business with photographers. But should you really get a photo book for your wedding photo album? This article is trying to highlight the pros and contras of photo books in comparison to proper wedding photo albums.
There are several reasons in favor of photo books. For starters, they are easily available. You can chose between a multitude of different providers, they come cheap with prices starting from 10 Dollars and they are delivered very quickly with e.g. blurb delivering most books within 7 to 10 business days after ordering. Proper wedding photo albums on the other hand are much harder to get your hands on. It is true that a lot of firms do only business with photographers and other wholesale customers. Prices are considerably higher and delivery times vary from 2 weeks to 6 months.
Also, if you want to make your own design, photo book companies often provide a design software, which allows you to put together a simple album layout within minutes. Often the software has an integration into the ordering process, so after designing it is a piece of cake to upload your photos and submit your order. Wedding album makes usually don't provide this feature for two reasons: often the companies are too small to develop their own software and in most cases those programs are not sufficient to create the sophisticated layout design required for a real wedding photo album.
While all the points mentioned so far are more or less in favor of getting a photo book, there are also some pretty good reasons against it. As said earlier, wedding photo albums are more expensive, but their still are good value for money, if you consider what you get. You get a proper heavy cover made of real or faux leather, which has a substantially better feel to it than the hard or soft-paper cover of a photo book.
The photos in your wedding album are developed with a chemical process. Their resolution is perfect and their colors never fade. This might be true for some high-quality photo books, but the majority of them uses laser-jet printing resulting in a notably lower photo quality. The pages in a proper wedding photo album are made of solid paper or carton (true only for flush-mount albums). Again, this leads to a much nicer feeling when flipping through the album, than the floppy thin pages of a photo book.
And finally regarding the design, if you really want to design your own wedding photo album, it is not at all a bad idea to use a professional software for it like DG Foto Art, Photoshop or Gimp. This requires some practice and skill, but only pro software provides you with the sophisticated fading, transparency, shadow and photo touch-up effects you will need to make a state-of-the-art album layout. The simple self-design software of the wedding photo album makers gets you only half the way.
A wedding photo album is one of the most important safekeepers of the memories of your wedding day and you will look at it again and again, possibly for the rest of you live. Therefore, all the money you invest in it is invested very well. Therefore, I would advice you to go for a wedding photo book, only if you don't care too much about all this “wedding day fuzz” or, if your budget simply does not allow for more. Otherwise, get a proper wedding album, because on the long run it is worth it!
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