Selecting an Album for your Photography
Now-a-days there is an abundance of of photography, and preservation products on the market, and choosing the right photo album is not too difficult. However, there are a few things which you should consider before getting an album. We all have different preferences for how we present our photographs. Of course, your ultimate selection will be warranted by the final destination of the album.
Recently, coffee table books rich with beautiful photographs have been gaining more and more popularity. Selection of an album for your coffee table will differ from one you would use to store your family photos, ore one used to showcase your work.
Selection of Materials
We all know that you get what you pay for, and this applies to photo albums just as well. No matter what you are going to be using the album for, always make sure that the pages are acid-free, and that materials which were used to make the album cover are non-acidic as well. Leather bound albums are always a good choice. However, pay attention to the labels and the fine print. Leather making requires acids, and if not properly treated, these acids will remain and will affect your photos over time. Make sure the label states that the album is made with ALL Acid-free Materials. Most albums are made overseas today, few in the states. Most albums from Asian countries, China comes to mind, are not very good. Unfortunately, because of world trade, and the continuous off-shoring of manufacturing, it is becoming too difficult to find quality American made albums. Nonetheless, when shopping around, look for albums made in Europe. If you are lucky you will find albums made in Italy. If the budget affords it, the quality in workmanship and materials is definitely there.
Choosing the Correct type of Album
Most people will be looking for one of these two, or perhaps both: coffee table book, or a family album/scrapbook. Typically, coffee table books are slimmer, and the pages should allow for a variety of different sizes. Stay away from albums with factory perforated pages. You want to have flexibility in the type and size of pictures which you will be displaying. Look for an album which protects each individual page with either transparent film, or translucent sheets of paper. You do not want photographs on opposing pages from being pressed against each other, you always want something separating them. In most cases, coffee table books will be wide, and comfortable to keep in your lap. This sounds silly, but take it into consideration. If a family album is what you are looking for, your requirements will be somewhat different. Typically, family photos are either 4×6’s or 5×7’s. Neither size is big, and does command having a spacious album. Of course individual requirements will vary. Always, plan ahead, and make sure that all bases are covered. Again, choose an album which let’s you separate the photos. Make sure there is space on every page to add notes. Most people like to add comments as a way to record events. Family albums should be thicker, as they will store a lot of memories. Try to get an album which allows additional pages to be added, because you are going to run out before you know it.