I have gotten a number of messages recently asking what photo book I would recommend. I wish I had the resources and time to try out all companies that make photo books, but unfortunately, I do not. Here’s what to look for in a photo book:
- A photo book is easy to create. For me, this means that the manufacturer accept generic page files or at least that the manufacturer provide blank templates that I can easily drop my pages into.
- A photo book is durable. The photo book must be stitched or assembled with PUR adhesive so that it does not fall apart over time. Hot melt adhesives are not acceptable. If a book is assembled with adhesives, you will need to verify that hot melt adhesives were not used. Companies that produce low-cost photo books frequently use hot melt adhesives. Metal staples are not acceptable, unless the photo book is manufactured with hinged lay-flat paper. Finally, PVC must not be used for the pages or cover.
- Accidents happen. The cover must be laminated to protect it from handling. The best covers are laminated with polyester. Uncoated traditional photographic paper must not be used for the pages. These pages will stick together if exposed to moisture or high humidity. Ink must not bleed or run if the pages get wet.
- A photo book is for photos. Photos should be high quality and printed to exacting standards. Some manufacturers will enhance photos; others will leave them unchanged. Pages must not have streaks or other print defects. Print quality is subjective and requires a variety of test prints to evaluate. The same photos must be used to compare photo books that different companies product.
I hope these guidelines help. I will continue to provide information on photo books that I am able to evaluate, and I encourage you to post your own views on what makes a good photo book in the comments section for What is a good photo book?