Photo Book vs. Photo Album construction

The Top 8 Differences Between Photo Albums and Photo Books

Whether you're a newlywed who wants to choose the right way to preserve your wedding memories or a photographer who wants to explain your product lines to a client, this guide can help you make the right choice between a Photo Album and a Photo Book.

Photo Albums vs. Photo Books: The Breakdown

1. Paper type

One of the most obvious differences between Albums and Books is the paper type. Photo Album photos are printed on Kodak Endura Professional Lustre photo paper, just like a traditional Photo Print. Lustre paper (the industry standard for photo printing) has a slight sheen, and is protected by a UV coating.

Photo Book images are printed directly onto your choice of press paper (semi-gloss, linen, matte, or pearl). Although it differs from photographic paper, press paper is a much better option for printing photos than typical computer paper. Plus, since it's easier to write on press paper, Photo Books are perfect for use as guest books and travel journals.

2. Construction

Photo Album images are printed on photographic paper that is reinforced by a premium substrate. This material makes the pages rigid, thus ensuring the finished product's long-term durability. Once printed, all of the Album pages are expertly matched with a handcrafted cover to create an archival quality, heirloom Album.

Album pages are available in two styles: "thin" (approximately the width of a dime) and a "thick" (approximately the width of a penny).

The pages in a Photo Book are printed directly onto press paper, and then bound with inimitable precision using our proprietary construction technology. The final steps in construction differ based on the chosen page style (which is discussed below).

3. Page style

All Photo Albums have what is called "lay flat" or "flush mount" pages, meaning there is no break or binding that disrupts the flow of a spread from page to page. This allows you to create striking panoramic spreads or to get creative with two-page layouts.

Photo Books are available in a classic style (with traditional book binding) or a lay flat style. The lay flat Photo Book style differs from an Album in that there is a small "gutter" between the two pages in each spread.

4. Cover options

Photo Album cover options include:

  • 9 types of genuine Italian leather
  • 2 shades of cotton linen
  • Custom Canvas Photo
  • Custom Lustre Photo


Hardcover Photo Book options include:

  • 2 types of genuine Italian leather (black and brown)
  • 3 shades of linen cloth
  • Custom Lustre Photo

Cover embossing is available for both products.

5. Pages available

Album builders can include up to 50 spreads/100 pages (after choosing thin pages) or 25 spreads/50 pages (after choosing thick pages).

Since Photo Book pages do not include a substrate, more pages can fit into a Photo Book than an Album. You can include up to 70 spreads (140 pages) in a single classic style book.

6. Size options

Photo Albums are available in the following sizes:

Photo Books are available in the following sizes:

7. Price point

Besides the overall look and feel, the price point is one of the biggest differences between Albums and Books. Photo Albums in our Album99 collection begin at $79.00, while Photo Books start from $26.00.

8. Finished product

Photo Albums are a substantial, heavier option, kind of like a formal coffee table book.

Photo Books, however, are more lightweight, and are thinner, thus taking up less room on the couch or on the shelf.


Regardless of which option you choose, the most important decision has already been made: to get those memories off of the screen and into your home. Happy storytelling!

Learn more about Photo Albums at Nations Photo Lab | Learn more about Photo Books at Nations Photo Lab

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