I see a lot of confusion out there on the web among brides (and even some photographers!) about what exactly are the differences between the different binding styles of wedding albums. There are several kinds of book binding techniques, but primarily there are three main ones used by professional photographers. I've made this handy graphic to illustrate below, but essentially here is how they break down:
Matted: loose photographic prints (4x6, 5x7, 8x10, etc.), are inserted into pages that are made of matte board, which are thick (varying depending on the book maker) and have cutouts where the photos are mounted. If you have traditional matted portraits on display in your home the concept and materials are similar with the photo going in the matte which is framed. In this case, instead of framing matted images they are bound in an album.
Flush Mount: designed layout spreads are printed on photographic paper (or in some cases, specialty fine art paper), and mounted "flush" to hard-back pages. They have some aesthetic similarities as the traditional matted books, but with the customizable layouts can offer a more contemporary or modern look similar to digially printed books (see next). It is kind of the middle ground between traditional and modern techniques.
Digital Printed: images are printed directly onto the pages with digital offset printing. These kinds of albums are also known by various labels including "magazine," "coffee table," "book bound" and "hinge-bound." Depending on the album maker, the thickness of the pages and covers can vary greatly. For example, the mass-produced consumer-grade versions available on DIY photo websites use very thin pages, almost like magazines, and usually have very limited options for covers. However, in the last decade several professional album companies that work directly with photographers have also made professional-grade versions available, which have also become very popular. The paper quality, printing, layout designs and cover choices available with professional-grade versions are far superior to what you will find on consumer websites.
Do you still have wedding photos or other important occasions with photos just sitting on a disk or in a box somewhere? We may have a great solution for you to finally have those pictures rightfully on display, so pease contact us to find out what we can do for you.