Photo album, or photo book (or both)? Here's why it's important to not overlook the photo books.
They do it all at a lower-cost for the photographer.
Lets play a little word association; you know how it works I’ll give a 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!”
I wonder how many of you put the two together and answered photo book for that last association. That is the reality though, we often associate books with reading and those big paper weights we find at libraries, hip cafes, and chain stores. However, books have a significant place in the world of photography as well and it's time they get the recognition they deserve.
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Differentiating Our Photo Albums, Dreambooks, and Photo Book PROs
For all the 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 photo books, are so much more than awkward smiles and pink-pen, bubble-lettered, summer wishes. Professional photo books are that wonderful meeting ground between quality of photo albums, yet 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 albums’ DSLR; or a compact camera to an albums’ 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 they both offer great quality and a great experience.
In particular, nPhoto has raised the stakes by elevating their 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 true and vibrant thanks to the widest digital color gamut available; achieving 97% of PANTONE colors. Moreover, the technology offers the greatest 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 right there in print quality and customizable options compared 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 larger investment, but in turn is capable of drawing a higher return on investment (ROI).
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Once, the grade of book is selected – in this case we’ll refer to professional photo books – the opportunities are endless. You are able to 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 either 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 that 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 in 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 compliment for professional photo albums and are truly a product that has virtually any use or purpose. Strategically play them off with your albums and never let your clients consider 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 “Photo book”, I can only think perfect.