Current Wedding Album Resource Guide and Comparison
For "Do It Yourself" Clients
Coffee Table Style Books
What is a "Coffee Table Style" book? It typically has a hard cover, is sturdy. Here's my bias for photo albums. I'm a HUGE fan of large landscape oriented books. I love the 14x11 size. I don't photograph in squares and have a huge bias against square albums (unless you're only using Instagram photos.. but that would be silly). So much wasted space. I also love lay flat pages since you can see the entire photos and they are great for creating really dynamic spreads across the center of the page, for better layout options and of course, for panoramic photos. I also personally love creating photo covers for my books. I mean, I'm a photographer. Why won't I want a photo on the cover of any photo album I make?! These three factors are what I think take DIY photo albums to the level of looking pretty darn spectacular. By definition, coffee table style books look like a regular hard cover book, but unless you're planning on having over 100 pages, I don't think it exactly looks like what I would call a "coffee table" book! I've got a version that I design and sell. The pages are thicker than I've seen in the consumer market and they lay flat. They call them "art hinged" paper books, but they are in the same vein as the ones I talk about below. If you'd like to see my sample of a coffee table style wedding photo album, feel free to check it out. Here are my top picks that fit my top criteria along with pricing. The yearbooks I create for my own family are usually 100 pages, so I've tried to include pricing to reflect that. Most wedding albums are much shorter (like 40 sides), but I wanted to give you a good guestimate for pricing. These are in no particular order.
PikPerfect - Their site is; www.pikperfect.com - has enormous 16x12, photo cover layflat options. $129 for first 24 pages, $14 for every 4 after that.
Shutterfly - The behemoth "Shutterfly" took over for "My Publisher" incorporating the large size we love, but so far, the quality control isn't nearly the same as the original company. They did keep My Publisher's 14x11 size and their lay flat options though. You can also almost always find a 50% off coupon online by googling "shutterfly coupons". 14x11, layflat options, photo cover. $89 base price, $144 for layflat with photo cover + $2.39 per 2 sided spread. They're site is www.shutterfly.com. Another benefit is that once you've uploaded your favorite shots and sent out the link to friends and family, then you can simply click on the "make a book" option and voila, in an hour you can make a marvelous book that will arrive a few days later!
Mixbook - 14x11 size is available, but layflat is only available in the smaller 8.5x11 format, and they do have photo covers. Their site is; www.mixbook.com
Picaboo - 14x11, photo cover, layflat option available; $120 first 20 pages, $2.25 every page thereafter.. They are at www.picaboo.com
ZNO - www.zno.com 14x11, photo cover option, layflat options. Max is 100 pages for $360.
Photo Book America - 14x11, photo cover, layflat options. $97, $3 for every two pages thereafter. Also have two even larger sizes with layflat!!! Gotta try it!!!. Their site is www.photobookamerica.com.
Wink Flash - 14x11, photo cover, layflat options, was $150, sale for $60 for first 20 pages, $1.75 for extra pages (max. 100 pages). Their site is www.winkflash.com.
Mail Pix - EXACT same photos as the site before this which is Wink Flash?!? Same pricing, etc. hum.... Their site is www.mailpix.com.
Flushmount "Chunky" Style Books
What is a "Flushmount" book? They have thick, cardboard pages and always remind me of the books my girls used to chew on when they were babies! They are quite the rage right now, but remember that they often have a maximum of 20 pages (40 sides) because they are so very thick. I've got two examples of the ones I design and provide. I have a sample of what I offer on my site; which is a more contemporary photo wrapped flush mount wedding album.That will limit the number of photos you can put in your book to around 80, so keep that in mind if this is a style you're considering.
Montage Books - For best DIY flushmount option... I believe they only have square shapes. Most pricing is around $100. Check out www.montagebook.com.
Pictobooks - You have to be a client in order to get prices, but they do offer flush mount books. How are you supposed to compare products when you have no idea what the costs are? Hum. Their site is www.pictobooks.com.
Storybook Pages - Looking to have professionals design your book and are you looking for the chunky "zookbook" style books? Check out www.storybookpages.com. They're a great resource and are familiar with and use all the major book making companies, so they can tailor a book to fit your needs and do the layouts as well. I believe their prices start at around $725.
These Didn't Meet My Criteria, But Check Them Out Anyways!
These companies that either don't quite offer the styles of books I like, or didn't have layflat or one charge 25 % more just to take their logo off every page! But since my criteria might not be yours, here they are;
Artifact Uprising - Their site is www.artifactuprising.com. No photo covers, only cloth, but large sizes and layflat options I believe.
Hi Folks, you can quit reading now, all the good stuff is listed above! I'm offering up this section as a listing of some of the wedding albums options I've seen out there. I've only been able to use some of them because many of the flush mount album companies charge a fortune for their books and that's not something I want to order just to check out the quality. I've listed as many coffee table style books and flush mount albums sites as I can think of and I've let off a few that I know I don't like or that were reviewed terribly, but have never made in into the knot lexicon. More "do it yourself" wedding album companies are popping up every year. Also, many of the traditional wedding album companies are starting to realize they're losing money by not dealing with couples directly. Hopefully the reviews of these coffee table wedding albums and flush mount wedding albums will point you in the right direction for your Michigan wedding. Most wedding albums are now very easy to make yourselves and they've kind of taken a lot of the need out to have a professional photographer do the work and that's fine by me! Thanks for checking my wedding album resource page and I hope you do click on some of the MI wedding ablum pages that I've supplied.
Michigan wedding photographer's guide to wedding photography and photo albums