(Closed) Custom Designed Albums – would you spend this much???

posted 11 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Is it worth spending/Did you spend $1000+ for a wedding album?

    YES!! We did it and LOVE our album! No regrets!

    NO!! We just can't justify that kind of money - we used another option I'll explain in the comments

    YES!! We didn't do it ourselves but think it's worth it if you can afford it

    NO!! We did it and it's hiding away in the closet

  • Post # 17
    Member
    424 posts
    Helper bee

    I know you Ladies are trying to help but there is a HUGE difference between a consumer photo book {is shutterfly, photobook america, walmart} An album is printed on archival dye sub photographic paper. A press book is well printed in press form. Most consumer labs don’t calibrate their printers and all are just sent directly from the website to the machine. It’s like comparing apples to oranges, their is a MAJOR difference in quality. It’s great you find that they are a suitable way for you to display your images but the OP was asking about albums not photo books. I really honestly don’t understand people who spend thousands of dollars on getting great photography only to spend $100 or less on preserving those photos for the rest of your life. It seriously boggles my brain.

    Post # 18
    Member
    404 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    I think it is worth the money, but I am putting a lot of my budget into pics, too much in FH’s opinion 🙂 It adds up, fast. Can you buy it later, like for your first year anni or some other event? At least then you can save up for it and it won’t be so painful.

    Post # 19
    Member
    587 posts
    Busy bee

    A friend of mine spent about 3K on photography, they have a pretty nice album.  For the parents they make them using shutterfly and gave it to them as christmas presents.  I think they spent about 40 bucks each on them.  The quality was just ok, but there is no way it’s going to last for years and years.

    PizzutiStudios is correct, it’s apples and oranges, you really can’t compare the two.  I view a professional bound album kind of like the Ferrari of the product line.  It’s something you will use, share, and enjoy for years to come, and is priced as such.  It is more of an investment but your kids and probably their kids will enjoy it for years down the road.  It’s definitely a luxury option, and I have found that if you don’t splurge for it right after the wedding, it’s just something that never gets done.

    Post # 20
    Member
    1626 posts
    Bumble bee

    @PizzutiStudios: Yes I understand where you come from. But the thought of spending an extra $1200 AFTER $2500 just makes me go ‘whoah!” I wonder, is there really a markup? Because when doing research, I saw a bit of variety in the same album (i.e., 10 by 10, blah blah pages, leather etch) that ranged from $700 to $1000. Is that usual?

    Post # 21
    Member
    2018 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    what about getting one for your first anniversary? it is the paper anniversary, so i think it’s the perfect time to splurge on an album.

    we’ll probably skip the $1k album. i’ll just make my own on adoramapix.

    Post # 22
    Member
    424 posts
    Helper bee

    @User876 I don’t think that is necessarily true. I just finish putting together an album from a couple from 2007 they saved up for it. I would say about 75% of my brides purchase one with the package or right after the wedding. Another 15% wait well after their wedding because they want to save up for it. We offer payment plans to help with this as well.

    I was married in September. The album I want is going to cost me around $1400 I am saving a little every month until I have enough to cover it. This is directly from the company I am using. I’m hopping to have it done by my first anniversary.

    @bRooklynRocks there are a TON of album companies out there, some are better then others. Trust me I’ve done massive massive research on most album companies in our industry and if a photog is offering a flush mount for $700 then they either are not making any money off it or they are using a cheap album. Of course there is going to be a mark up. As much as us photogs would love to make images and products just to make our clients happy we still have businesses to run and bills to pay. Of course it also is determined by the market of that particular photog. A $5k+ photog will probably charge more since they can where a $2k photog is going to just charge enough to to cover costs and their time. I personally put in at least 20+ hours of work into each album. You have to look at how valuable 20 hours of work is to you.

    After much research these are the album companies I consider the best in the industry. I may have forgotten or haven’t come across a few but for the most part this is it:

    Queensberry, Finao, Couture Book, Forbeyon, Kiss, West Coast Albums, La-Vie, Pictobooks

    I know I’m forgetting some. I’m on my laptop and don’t have my research list in front of me.

    I’m not a huge fan of Asuka or Graphistudio although many photogs offer them. Just not for me.

    There are some consumer flush album companies popping up here and there, but from what I’ve seen there quality doesn’t come close to the ones I’ve listed above.

    Post # 23
    Member
    424 posts
    Helper bee

    I should also mention that most photographers give out non-fully retouched images but they spend a great deal of time retouching each photo so it is perfect for the album so doing it on your own means you are not using the best quality images.

    Post # 24
    Member
    587 posts
    Busy bee

    My wedding album is a Queensbury 16×16, with fold out pages, so some images are 16×32.  It’s the most impressive album I ever saw, but we paid dearly for it.

    Post # 25
    Member
    1387 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    My photography package included the wedding album, and yes, it was pricey.  Luckily we had an 18-month engagement and were able to pay everything off before the wedding.  Now it’s just a matter of picking out the photos for the album.  In the end, it’s totally worth it IMO.  🙂

    Post # 26
    Member
    4211 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    I will be using either My Publisher or AdoramaPix to make my own album – they have beautiful flush mount albums that Ive seen from some of the bees.

    Post # 27
    Member
    424 posts
    Helper bee

    @PitBulLover those are photo books not flush mount albums. Flush mounts are photo paper mounted {the mount part of flush mount} on matte board or styrene, they have stiff pages. Neither of these companies offer flush mount, though adoramapix is the only consumer book company to use actual photo paper.

    Post # 28
    Member
    172 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    Oh, believe me, I lusted for Queensberry albums. But they really are an arm and a leg, cost-wise.

    I think the best argument I read was on this thread:

    http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/photo-albums-with-hard-pages

    by  a user named Bux, who really made a good case about photobooks as an option. Also she described the future as having “space wars,” which made me laugh.

    Post # 29
    Member
    4211 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    @PizzutiStudios: ah I see, I guess I thought it was flush when the pages laid flat when you opened them!

    Post # 30
    Member
    587 posts
    Busy bee

    @olive25:  That was an interesting post.  Quality aside, there is nothing wrong with consumer grade albums if that fits your budget.  Many of us feel, however, that something like a wedding should be displayd in something more elegant, and those albums don’t compare side by side with professional ones……there is no contest.  I typically make consumer grade albums for various odds and ends, events, vacations,etc so we wanted our wedding album to be something special and really stand out.  Also, when you buy from your photographer you are not limited to cookie cutter templates, and most of hte images are retouched, edited, and sometimes artwork added.

    There is nothing wrong with going either way as long as you know and are comfortable with what you are getting.  I think this is a classic example of, you get what you pay for.

    Post # 31
    Member
    8246 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    I plan to design my own through Somerset (http://www.somersetalbums.com/index.asp) as it is half the price of getting it through my photographer yet I’ve seen really good reviews of their quality.

    The PPs are right though that comparing photo books to flush-mount photo albums is really apples to oranges.  I love the beauty of the flush mount album and the fact that their quality is so much higher.  But I think I’ve found a way to get that for myself for about $600 instead of $1000-$1500.

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