3 Major Differences You Need To Know About Photo Albums vs Photo Books

It seems in the recent years with the availability of different technologies, there are now many ways to preserve one’s precious memories. When it comes to having a tangible keepsake, photo albums and photo books are the most popular. But there are 3 major differences you need to know about when it comes to photo albums vs photo books. It’s important to know what you’re really paying for. So here’s a breakdown on Photo Albums vs Photo Books.

Photo Albums:

  • Photographs – The pictures for photo albums are printed onto special photographic paper using either advanced digital printing or traditional photo developing processes. The prints are then hand-mounted onto sturdy photo boards. This creates pages that lay completely flat and deliver full panoramic images and designs. Because of this process, the pages are thicker, more durable, and are resistant to wear and tear. This process also allows your pictures to display true-to-life color vibrancy.
  • Covers & Binding – Photo album covers are handmade and can come in leather, leatherette, linen, or as a full photo cover. Albums have a very sophisticated and elegant look. A window cut-out on the cover is also an option offered by most album companies. These covers are also custom made to fit each individual album perfectly whereas online photo book vendors may make their covers from a case-maker machine that only allows a limited number of spine capacities. Because every part of the photo album is put together by hand and the cover is custom-fitted, most albums can have as many pages as needed.
  • Durability – Photo albums are known to be extremely durable due to the material used, its construction process, and its heavier weight. You will find that albums will still look brand new even after many decades. That’s why photo albums are highly recommended for family and wedding albums so that they can be passed down to future generations.


Photo Books: (the type you buy from online suppliers)

  • Photographs – The photographs for photo books are printed by digital presses onto double-sided regular paper that have either a glossy or matte finish. This is a process that’s normally used for printing magazines or brochures. Most photo books also come with a limited number of page options.
  • Covers & Binding – Photo books can come with a soft photo cover (printed on paper), a hard photo cover, or a leatherette cover. Depending on whom you work with, some might even offer the option of having a fabric cover and/or a die-cut window on the cover. Most photo books are assembled/bind together by gluing or stitching like most magazines or books
  • Durability – Because photo books are printed rapidly using a digital press printer onto relatively thin paper, they aren’t intended to last for long periods of time. They are mostly susceptible to pages bending or falling out of the spine.


Since photo albums are made with high-quality printing techniques, material, and mounting and construction methods, albums are more much expensive than photo books. With so many variables involved, that’s why photo albums range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. The most attractive aspects of a photo album are its durability and its sophisticated style. If you want something that will last a lifetime, a handcrafted photo album is worth the investment.

On the other side, one of the most attractive aspects of a photo book is the price. Photo books normally start at $25 and go up from there. Photo books are a good alternative to photo albums if durability isn’t a priority. They are also a great option when it comes to ordering gifts for friends and family, featuring graduation or birthday celebrations.

At the end, the photographer has to decide which factors are more important and go with the product that best fits his/her preferences and needs.