Building a Photo Album
The most popular type of photo album was once the coffee table book. This is a quality photo album that received its name from people proudly displaying these albums on their coffee tables. The most common type of coffee table book is the wedding album, and these are still popular today. However, as amateur and digital photography have become more prevalent, people have also taken a more casual approach to photo albums. Department stores still sell the bulky photo albums of old, but other forms of albums have become increasingly popular over time. Many albums are now inexpensive, soft-cover books into which people can easily slip their digital prints. Digital photo books are also very popular among professionals, because they allow the photography studio to arrange entire pages before printing, rather than editing the photos and then arranging them on to a physical page. These albums look similar to school yearbooks.
Another big trend is scrapbooking, which allows individuals to make their own albums in a way that suits their style and their needs. It is also a popular hobby, allows for more personalized albums, and encourages people to mingle other types of keepsakes with their photographs. These albums can be very affordable, because people can take their own pictures and print them at self-help kiosks or at home. Craft and office supply stores sell the other tools that are necessary for building a scrapbook photo album.
It is important to consider the purpose of a given photo album before beginning to put it together. If an album is meant to serve a short-term purpose, it can be made differently than if an album is intended to be a long-term family heirloom. The major concern is with the acidity of papers, plastics, and adhesives used in putting together the album. The PAT (Photographic Activity Test) was designed to help label products as safe for use with photos. Acidic tape, glue, and other products can destroy photographs over time, so it is best to use acid-free products if the album is meant to last. It is also necessary to use paper that is archival quality. This simple choices can help photographs last a long time for future generations.