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The Photo Book Versus the Photo Album

Photo album

There’s a major difference between the traditional photo albums your grandparents pull out at every opportunity, and the photo books lining the bookshelves of your friend’s house, or scattered artfully over their coffee table, but which is actually better for you?

If you’re a staunch traditionalist, you probably know which side you’re leaning to already, but hear us out – there’s a lot more to it than old vs new. 


These days, creating a photo book is incredibly simple. Aside from the creative touches that require your input, the process is automated and, for that reason, able to be completed in seconds. It doesn’t require you to trawl through your physical archives, looking for particular photos, or to transfer everything across by hand.

When you’re creating an Instagram photo book, for instance, you can simply connect your account to our digital editor, add your own embellishments and utilize our layout schemes, then let us do the hard work for you.

And, while creating a traditional photo album isn’t exactly a chore, getting it to look exactly how you want it to can start to feel like a chore. There is an art to creating the perfect layout and, while it may well come naturally to some, it comes with plenty of hair-pulling and second-guessing, sticking and unsticking, to others.

Plus, beyond the creation itself, there’s the matter of actually keeping the book. Speaking of…


Our photo books are printed as a single piece, and that means that they are not weighed down by the extra bulk of glued-in photos, photo mounts, labels, and anything else you’ll need to ensure your special photos don’t slip out, get damaged, or go missing. Compared with a regular photo album, it’s incredibly easy to store photo books in bookshelves, or on the coffee table.

Every photo makes an album weightier and more cumbersome, and anyone who has ever owned one will know that they’re not the easiest items to store.


As with anything, the quality of any book will vary from service to service, and we can only speak for ourselves when it comes to standards, and the overall finish of your photo book.

At My Social Book, we print every photo book on 135gr satin touch paper, meaning that our books aren’t bulky or unwieldy, but the pages carry that extra weight and soft finish indicative of a high level of quality designed to last for many, many years.

Of course, photo albums are designed to last a lifetime, too, but the biggest difference is that quality doesn’t just depend on the book itself (which, again, will vary significantly between one product and the next), but also how and where you get your photos printed. For this reason, ensuring consistency between every one of your photo albums is difficult – unless you manage to bulk buy enough albums to last you the rest of your life.


We can’t speak for personal preference here, but we can offer an objective overview about the aesthetics each option offers. You’ll need to play the judge.

A photo book (aside from being totally customisable, which we’ll talk about in more detail below) has the sleek, fuss-free look of something that has been printed as a single piece. Nothing falls out, comes unstuck, gets dog-eared or smudged. It’s been designed and created as a whole, rather than the sum of many individual (and delicate) parts.

Photo albums can look just as beautiful, and be turned into something highly personal and unique, too. Whether or not they rival their counterparts is down to the creative skill and patience of the creator, so consider which side of the fence you tend to land on…


There are two sides to this argument. Photo books can be customised cover to cover, and every element can be made unique to you, your family, and the moments you want remembered, while photo albums are pretty much ‘as they come’ – aside from the photos you place within them, of course.

Then again, the argument goes that photo albums can be changed on a regular basis. While photo books will display the same photos forever, photo albums can be updated to ring in the changes, and the new phases of your life.

Ultimately, however, we’ve got to give it to the photo book for customizability. Yes, the photo album can be updated, but what are you going to do with the photos you remove? Why not just create another addition for your collection, rather than cycling out photos that are going to need to be stored somewhere

So, which is better – the photo album or the photo book? When it comes to compiling memories as you go – creating a new volume with every new milestone in life, and, over time, a collection to be proud of – we’re all for the photo book. From the convenience to the consistent look, feel, and quality, it comes out on top for us. 


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