Trying to decide wedding photography options is only the beginning. What type and whether or not to have a bridal album is also a huge consideration. Here are some tips on choosing which wedding photography album styles are right for you.

In recent years the wedding industry has exploded with an over abundance of new products and creative choices for the modern couple. Wedding photography is no exception. Gone are the days when a few wedding professionals and a simple traditional wedding album, with a few options, was all you had to choose from.

The competition between album companies is fierce. The variations of styles, products, and quality levels available today are staggering. It is no wonder it is confusing, and often frustrating, to be confronted with all of these new terms, styles, and decisions. Two things are certain.  Today’s couple has an extraordinary opportunity to benefit from these seemingly limitless choices. Second, today’s choices sure aren’t like the ones your parents had!

What is a Flush Mount Wedding Storybook?

A Flush Mount Wedding Storybook/Album is a finely crafted, leather bound, hard cover book with gilded edges. Imagine a wedding album so unique, so special, and so creative, that no two are alike. As you turn each page, the showcased images retell the magic of the moments, the beauty of the fairy tale. This was your wedding day! It is a book of unmistakable quality, a hand designed work of art! You will treasure this book forever, and be so proud to share it with everyone!

What is the difference between a Flush Mount Book/Album and a Traditional Album?

A Flush Mount Book/Album contains actual photographs which are printed by the professional lab, then permanently mounted flush onto the book pages from edge to edge. The photographs become the pages and no mats cover the photos. Each page can contain multiple images of various sizes, or single images. There are many background variations, (faded, colored, text added, or images with patterns and textures can be used). Images can be printed in color, black & white or sepia tone. Also, all can be combined into the layout and design of one page. They are distinct and individual creations, and are more contemporary in layout and design.

A Traditional Matted Album contains photographs of specific sizes which are printed and then placed onto the page inserts with a mat surrounding the print. Each page and mat will accommodate 1 – 8×10, 2 – 5x7s or 4 – 4×5 prints. Matted Albums are more traditional and reminiscent of your parents wedding album.

Is there a price difference between a Matted Album and a Flush Mounted Storybook Album?

Quality flush mounted book albums are more expensive than matted albums. There are several reasons for this. Costs are higher for flush mounted book covers, pages, mounting, and binding, than they are for matted covers, album pages and mats. Most of the process involves hand made and hand assembled products. This craftsmanship costs more. Also, the professional lab prints are more expensive. The top notch album companies, which offer the highest quality products, also charge premium prices. The difference is evident, you get what you pay for!

There is a substantially higher amount of time and labor hours needed (twenty or more) for specialized image, layout and design in the creation of these special albums. The end result is a beautiful, totally unique book that has impact, and makes a powerful statement.

Are these books the same as my high school yearbook?

High school yearbooks can have thin, flimsy pages that can be torn, wrinkled and damaged very easily. Storybook albums are created by using real photographic prints, printed directly from the original image file, which are then mounted flush onto the surface of a high quality, rigid photo page board. The prints actually become the pages.

Flush Albums, Coffee Table Books, and Magazine Style Books. What is the difference?

The terms are being used to describe all types of albums, in every available quality and style. There are big differences, and it can be confusing. Traditional Flush Mounted Albums usually have the type of cover that Traditional Matted Albums have. The prints are all one size, and they are simply mounted flush from edge to edge on each page without matting. There is no creative ability with backgrounds, fading, use of multiple tones, shapes, graphics, etc. You simply have, for example, 1 – 10×10 inch print that went from edge to edge on a page. The traditional covers usually have page inserts or a type of cloth binding material tape that adheres two pages facing each other together.

Flush Mount Modern or Contemporary Albums/Books can have traditional style album covers or hard book covers. The hard cover albums are more expensive. They are more contemporary in design. Page designs can include the use of various backgrounds, (backgrounds with image overlays, multiple images, panoramic prints, graphics, text, shapes, or toned prints on the same page as color or black and white prints, etc). The highest quality Flush Mounted Contemporary Albums will have thick pages and invisible hinges where the pages are bound to the cover. The pages will be actual photographic prints, not just images printed onto paper stock pages. The pages/photographs will have been sprayed with a protective lacquer coating; the edges will be gilded in gold, silver, black or white.
Coffee Table Book/Albums have semi glossy or highly glossed pages that are slightly heavier than a coffee table book purchased from a store. With this product, the images are printed directly onto the paper stock. They do not use actual photographic prints. The pages in this kind of book can be damaged more easily. It is similar to the coffee table picture books that you see in the book store. Design and layout are most often contemporary.

Magazine style books refer to the style of the layout. The term used is meant to reflect today’s magazine pages, with elements such as type, shapes, graphic devices, and color used to separate and accent designs. Images may be more interpretive than descriptive, more edgy and modern to the point of being sliced up!

Article by Diane Maxwell Photography