If your photographer offers high quality professional albums, queensbury, graphi, zookbinder,etc the quality is unmatched. Besides a professional design and layout, the image selections are typically completely retouched and color corrected for the lab the photographer uses. This will result in the highest quality and most accurate reproductions possible. Also, your product is guaranteed or it’s on your photographers dime to redo it.
Professional albums are built to last, and are printed on high quality photopaper and are freeze dried to a backing board for a thick flush mount page. Archival inks are used for the printing that include protective coatings against fingerprints, mild liquids and UV. The bindings are typically hand sewn like real books and are very durable. This album is something that should last for generations.
Consumer albums are typically printed on cardstock, so you don’t get the same feel, or look as an album printed on photopaper. The pages are also very thin and they tend to be delicate. Unless you can do all the image prep/editing yourself, the photos won’t be as optimized as if your photographer did the layout. Some BEEs have done DIY albums and were not happy with the colors or darkness/lightness of the album and had to get it reprinted. Depending on how customer service friendly the lab is, it could be on your dime.
The consumer albums are not as durable and the bindings are glued. Although some people have used these as wedding albums, I prefer to use them for things like a sign in guest book or honeymoon album,etc.
For these reasons, there is nothing better to showcase your professional images than a professional album. This is my opinion after working with dozens of album manufacturers, both consumer and professional.
You can absolutely do a DIY album if you are happy with the quality and trying to save money. I do urge you to actually see, hold and feel the album that your photographer offers to gauge the difference. Also, find out who the manufacter is, and I can give you the scoop.
….and if this is self promotion, then by all means BAN me.