Wedding Albums 101: Flush mount vs Press Printed vs Other

When you are planning your wedding, suddenly you have to become an expert in so many different things. Like, you supposed to know how many bottles of wine per X amount of guests you need. It’s just insane. Who knows this stuff?

And when it comes to your photographer, they are going to show you a lot of different products you probably have never seen, let alone bought before. Somehow, wedding albums took on a life of their own and have terminology you were never ever hear again, but need to know to pick the right wedding album. Again, insane. But here’s the deal- I’m going to be blogging about albums in the next few weeks to give you all the nitty gritty you need.

Let’s start with the very basics: When you first hear about wedding albums, your photographer will most likely break albums down between coffee table book, flush mount albums, matted albums, and I personally offer another choice I’ll discuss below which is only offered by one album company. Oh yay! We just made it harder!

Flushmount Albums: These albums have pages that are super thick and do not bend. The actual pages are photos printed on professional photographic paper and then dry-mounted onto archival board. Each album maker has a specific thickness of their page, but most start at 2mm thickness a page. These are usually the most archival and most durable of all the options for a wedding album. Flushmount albums I offer are all hand bound, meaning these pages are not just glued in, they are sewn in using bookbinding techniques. So the pages aren’t relying on glue to keep them in, they are relying on book binding techniques that used to be used years ago when individual books were made by hand. Why do this? So they will last a long long time. In 50 years, I doubt you’ll be asking the relatives to come and sit in front of your computer screen to look at your jpgs on your cd. Things will have changes. But books? They have been around for centuries and don’t need to be upgraded like your tapes, to cds to mps 😉

Matted Albums: I actually do not offer this kind of wedding album. These albums are basically loose prints that are glued behind  mat for each page. I just don’t feel they stand up over time and don’t think the quality is high enough.

Coffee Table Books: Otherwise known as press printed books. These books have pages that do bend and are flexible. The actual pages are photos printed on archival paper – but not photographic paper – using a printer with 4-6 different inks that blend to make your images. Every book is different, but to get an idea of what kind of thickness a book like this has, go to your local book store, pull out a really nice art book, and you can get the same feel. Now how does a coffee table book you would get from a photographer differ from shutterfly or blurb? In a nutshell: it’s the paper and ink. A book you get from your photographer will be printed on a much higher quality paper, therefore it will be more archival. The ink is not necessarily any different, it’s how often they are changing the inks, the lab monitoring the color balance, etc. It’s just that in terms of ink, these books are being watched individually and ensured to look as close to the actual image as possible. These pages are glued into the cover.

Linen Album: This is an album not offered by many photographers because it is brand new. I call it my baby book because it’s like a coffee table book and flush mount album had a baby. The pages are actually the same photos printed on professional photographic paper *but* they are not dry-mounted to archival board. They are mounted to each other. So they are much thicker than a coffee table book but they do bend slightly unlike a flush mount. See the baby analogy? Because they are made from actual photographic paper, their archival quality is the same as a flush mount book. However, the pages are somewhat flexible, so the durability is slightly less than a flush mount but won’t have the possibility of tearing like a coffee table book. These pages are glued into the cover like the coffee table book.


[…] if you didn’t have enough to think about with the different album types and album layouts, one of the first things you’ll spot is the cover of the album. This will […]

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