(Closed) Photographer Make an Album or Make my Own?

posted 7 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
329 posts
Helper bee

I made one myself and I love it! I got the freedom to choose the layout of every page and the pictures I used were at my discretion as opposed to the photographer’s. It only cost me $60 too, and that was with extra pages.

I used http://www.shutterfly.com





Post # 4
5296 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

There are many, many threads on this – you can search for them and get ideas on what DIY companies offer and how they differ from what your photographer does.

Personally, I am doing my own – althought thru Adoramapix or Somerset is not yet decided. The option through my photog was too expensive for me since we purchased the rights to our picture as well.

Most pro photogs are going to tell you to get your album thru your photog. That will likely be the best quality – but you have to decide what value a top-notch vs. decent album holds for you and what you expect out of the final product.

Post # 5
10288 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

You can make your own for a fraction of what a photographer would charge you. Friends who opted to have their photog make theirs paid upwards of $500 and it’s honestly not anything special. Other friends who did it themselves through one of the online services (I think they used Snapfish) paid $150 and it’s leaps and bounds better than the one that was “professionally made”. We’re in the process of making ours now through iPhoto and while it’s time consuming, I’m really enjoying it. I don’t know why more people don’t just do it themselves. Of all of the professionally made photo books that I’ve seen, I haven’t really been blown away by a single one. If I’m paying $500 for a book of pictures, I expect to be amazed.


Post # 6
7296 posts
Busy Beekeeper

i really wanted to get an album from my photographer, because from what i have heard, it would be the highest quality i can get.  however, i simply can’t afford it and i would rather get one sooner than later.  Also, i wanted to make a few small edits here and there to some of my photos AND use a couple of guest pictures, so for those reasons, i don’t think i can get it from my photog.  I don’t feel comfortable sending her other people’s photos and asking her to use them in an album she creates.

So, i have been doing a ton of research on DIY albums.   I am not sure how much you sre willing to spend, but if you want a professional level quality, then Somerset is supposed to be one of the best (still too expensive for me).  They are offer flush mount album like your photog would likely give you.   

Then there is mpix and adoramapix.  They have lay flat pages, but not flush mount, which is almost as good.  you can see the thread i made on understanding the difference between lay flat pages and flush mount because i totally didn’t get it before:


I just ordered two parent albums from adoramapix and will post a review when i get them.  But i went with them because i pretty much only heard good things about them on here and they were much more affordable.

I did a honeymoon album with shutterfly and it was really great – my first photo album i ever “created” so i have nothing to comapre it to.  But i definitely wont use them for my wedding album since i didnt see them offering lay flat pages.

Post # 7
1405 posts
Bumble bee

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.

Post # 8
7296 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@USER876: you said “typically consumer albums are printed on cardstock” – but there are some that don’t, right?  As far as i know adoramapix uses real photo paper.

Post # 9
3241 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@Cheeks923: I would have loved (absolutely, totally loved) to get a professional album, but at $1,200…..it wasn’t anywhere near in the budget. I used Adoramapix and just received our album today. I’m good with the quality I received for what I paid. It’s a 50 page album for about $85 with tax and shipping, but I had a 30% off coupon, so normally it would have been ~$120.

Oh, and right now Adoramapix is running a 25% off photobooks special. Not sure when it ends though.

Post # 10
2550 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

My album was part of my package but I am creating albums for Christmas gifts for family.  I am looking to go through Adoramapix. 

Post # 12
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I have a friend that’s a pro and have seen her photo books first hand. They look great, just like a real book that she has customized herself. With the prices, you do have to take into a count the time and work spent. She would spends hours editing the photos and then create the albums. So, its several days of work that go into them. But I would not spend the money. I love to have one but its just not in my budget. The quality is amazing and I wish I knew where she orders hers because I have not seen any site mentioned that beats her photo books.

Here’s an example of one of her books that she using on her site for customers to view. The book is actually what she uses a photolio.


Post # 13
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

It didn’t upload


Post # 14
775 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’m not getting mine from a photographer. Too much money for me!! I’m gonna customize mine from photobook america 🙂 I love having the ability to customize whatever I want to my taste

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