Photo album, or photo book (or both)? Here's why it's essential to pay attention to photo books.
First, they do it all at a lower cost for the photographer.
Let's play a little word association; you know how it works. I’ll give the word, and you shout as loud as you can at your screen the first thing that comes to your mind. This will need to be especially loud if you’re in a public place. OK, so first word: photo… I’m tempted to say album. OK, next: book….I’m screaming, “Read!”
How many of you put the two together and answered the photo book for that last association? That is the reality, however. We often associate books with reading and those big paperweights at libraries, hip cafes, and chain stores. However, books also have a significant place in the world of photography, and it's time they get the recognition they deserve.
For all those reading this who grew up State-side, the most common experience with a photo book is a school yearbook. Yet, photo books, especially professional ones, are much more than awkward smiles and pink-pen, bubble-lettered summer wishes. Instead, professional photo books are that excellent meeting ground between the quality of photo albums and the affordability and flexibility of those nostalgic, angst-filled keepsakes.
Quality Myth: Busted
There is a belief that photo books are second rate compared to albums, a disposable camera to a photo album’s DSLR, or a compact camera to an album’s pro series. Yet, while there is a difference between albums and photo books, the disparity is no longer in print quality or overall satisfaction. Therefore, think more like an album being a Nikon D850 and a photo book being a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV; the superior is debatable, and what can be agreed is that they both offer excellent quality and a great experience.
In particular, nPhoto has raised the stakes by elevating its standards for photo books. Their photo books are printed on the state-art-of-the-art HP Indigo 12000 digital printer. This printer uses the most modern ElectroInk technology consisting of a diverse and rich seven-liquid ink. What this means for you and your art is the ability to achieve incredible results like never before with your photo books.
Oranges, violets, and greens especially stand out as authentic and vibrant thanks to the most comprehensive digital color gamut available, achieving 97% of PANTONE colors. Moreover, the technology offers the most remarkable uniformity and tonal continuity on the surface of prints resulting in superb quality in dark elements; better projection and reach of true colors; and the most pristine, clear, natural colors and tones for market-level photo books.
In short, a photo book is now in print quality and has customizable options comparable to albums.
Swiss-Army Photo Product
Speaking of customizable, photo books are tremendous mediums for producing unique projects. First of all, there is a wide choice of what quality photo book you could offer, anywhere from value, to basic, to professional. True, each gradient usually requires a more considerable investment but can draw a higher return on investment (ROI).
Once the grade of the book is selected – in this case, we’ll refer to professional photo books – the opportunities are endless. First, you can choose among a variety of paper options: thin or thick; matte, glossy, metallic; art or photographic, etc. From there, photo books offer options on covers in textile, leatherette, natural leather, photo print, and more – with each choice offering numerous options of their own. Sizes of the photo book are also a case of pick-your-preference, where many manufacturers offer around four to six different options.
Then lastly, where the photo book pulls away from all else is capacity. With ease, a high-quality, professional photo book can handle over 100 pages. That’s plenty of space for even the most ambitious project. So the question becomes: why aren’t photo books – photography’s most versatile player – getting the recognition they deserve?
Photo Books are “Just Right”
This brings us back to the gold standard of photographic offerings: the fully-fledged photo album. While in terms of stigma and general perception, albums may still reign supreme, photo books are far-away the perfect “Goldilocks” product getting the balance between sophisticated quality and price just right. And thanks to ground-breaking technologies being improved upon almost daily the quality only looks to get better with the price likely to stay the same. The next time you have a client loving the feeling of an album but gawking at the price, quickly escort them to the professional photo books section where they maintain the sense of hand-held quality and integrity with a price that’ll put their face back together (and even produce a smile).
In this day and age and the professional world, there is much more to photo books than those dreadfully sentimental high-school scrapbooks known as yearbooks. Professional photo books are a must-have for any professional studio. They are the ideal complement for professional photo albums and are a product with virtually any use or purpose. Strategically play them off with your albums, and keep your clients from considering a digital option. After all, with the technology today, there is no loss of quality in your printed images going from an album to a book; it’s simply a change of medium – one with two-thirds the initial investment on your end. In this way, when I say “Photobook”, I can only think of perfect.