We do a lot of work with photos in our office. We style them, model for them, take them on our phones, post them on Instagram, and oh yeah, publish tons of them. But like everyone else in the known universe, we don’t print nearly enough of our photos.
But because we’re knee deep in the world of photography, we know how important printing out photos is. Especially wedding photos. I got married ten years ago (stay tuned for me to freak out about being married for a decade all damn year). I’ve been a wedding publisher since before I got married, so I’ve always cared about my wedding photos. And yup, I have them printed: in photo prints, in an archival album, and even a giant outtake non-archival album. And thank God for that, because what I didn’t do back in 2009 is create rigorous digital backups of my photos. Since then, all of those unlikely seeming situations people warn you about have come true. Computers have gotten stolen. Back up photo CDs have gotten scratched (and how many computers even read CD’s anymore?). And digital files have gotten corrupted. In fact, as I’m typing this I’m resolving to go dig in our basement for our hard drive that has digital backups and upload them to Dropbox.
Suffice to say, I’m really glad I got all of those photos on paper before those files got corrupted. (And there is nothing better than watching your three-year-old, who’s newly discovered weddings, flip through your wedding photo album with saucer-sized eyes.)
But when it comes to creating wedding albums (and FIVE THOUSAND PERCENT YES, YOU SHOULD CREATE ONE), it’s hard to figure out what service you should use. Should you go through your photographer? Use a service that creates an album for you? Or use a commercially available photo book company?
The good news is that in the decade since I got married the price of photo albums has plummeted (think $200 for an album that’s nicer than what you could get for $2,000 ten years ago). The quality of what you can get has drastically increased, and creating albums has become so much easier. These days, there is no real need to go through an expensive custom album making process to get something good. The ability to create a good album is right there at your finger tips.
But y’all. There Are So Many Photo Book Companies. Where do you start? Who has the best quality? Which ones have software that leave you clawing out your eyes and spending hours moving photos around, until you realize you just simply cannot create what you want?
Inside our office we’ve had a long running debate. Who produces the best albums? Who has the best printing quality? Best software? Best layouts? Best price? So this year we decided to buckle down and spend the time creating an album with each of these services so we could rate each of their relative merits for you. We’ll be rolling out this series over the next few months (yes, I’ve spent a lot of time creating albums recently), starting tomorrow with MILK Books—which turned out to be a runway hit. Stay tuned!
Is there a specific album company you want us to review? Is there a particular part of album making (runs screaming) that you want us to cover with each company? Leave it all in the comments.