Photo Albums

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Picaboo Madison Hardcover Photo Book in the box
I've finally completed our wedding album, using a sampling of our photographer's photos. I went with a Picaboo Madison Photo Book. It has a front cover with a photo, a glove leather spine and back cover, thick cardstock seamless lay-flat pages, black endpapers, and is shipped in a Picaboo box that my other Classic Photo Books definitely did not have.

Price-wise, the Madison Photo Book and the more expensive Flush Mount Photo Book have their own Groupon Deal: $120 for $200 to spend on a Madison album is pretty good. For Classic Photo Books, I usually go for the $35 for $100 or equivalent 65% off coupons/sales. Conversely, if I'm ordering several albums at a time, I wait for a 40% off + free shipping sale. Picaboo Photo Books take about one week from ordering to arrive, which is pretty speedy.

WYSIWYG Layout Editor

All photo books on Picaboo are designed through a What You See Is What You Get editor, which means you just drag and drop photos onto the pages. They have an auto-layout feature too, but I never use this as the software doesn't really have an eye for design or the ability to prioritize photos. Including every photo would create a prohibitively expensive (or prohibitively ugly) photo book, and the Picaboo Auto Layout doesn't really "select" photos, so much as cram them into any layout possible.

I provide considerable design care to the events before the reception dancing. Black and white layouts, calligraphy text art, song lyrics, no more than 3 photos on a single page. By the time I get to the dance floor photos of any wedding album, I basically just start plopping the photos into 1-9,9-1 photo page layouts.
Picaboo Photo Layout Software
Picaboo Madison Photo Book - seamless lay-flat page spreads

Protective Box

There's some features unique to the Madison Photo Book that are not shared with the Classic books. The first noticeable feature is the storage box that the Madison Photo Book is shipped with. It's a nice touch, especailly since the glove leather cover is a little delicate.
Picaboo Madison Storage Box Picaboo Madison Hardcover Photo Book in the box

Thick Pages

The Madison Photo Book is super thick compared to most Classic Photo Books and this is because the double-thick board pages are about the thickness of a penny. Our wedding album is only 82 pages, but it has the heft of a slab of marble.
Madison Photo Book thickness compares to some Classic Photo Books
Picaboo Madison Photo Book with Cardstock Pages (as thick as a penny!)

Lay-flat Pages

Below is a photo with a Classic (non-lay-flat) Photo Book atop the Madison which is lay-flat. It's a pretty big difference visually, but the price of a Lay-flat Classic Book is only about $20 more than a one without Lay-flat pages. When I have a little extra money on my Groupon/voucher, I most always upgrade to Lay-flat pages, before adding extra pages.
Picaboo Classic Photo Book on top of a Picaboo Madison Photo Book (with seamless lay-flat pages)

Seamless Pages

With Picaboo Classic Photo Books, it's possible to have Seamless Lay-flat, or just Lay-flat [with 1/2" black seams in the middle]. The Madison Photo Book is of the Seamless Lay-flat variety, and gives the option to make some dramatic 22" wide photo spreads. When the album has a seam, you just need to take a little more care to where the seam is, so that you don't cut down through someone's face or an important detail.
Picaboo Madison Photo Book - seamless lay-flat page spreads
Picaboo Madison Photo Book - seamless lay-flat page spreads


While not a super critical detail to me, the Madison book has an extra cardstock page before the endpaper, which are all in black. The Classic albums have a bit of wax paper and white endpapers.
Picaboo Madison Hardcover Photo Book with black endpapers

Glove Leather Cover

The spine and back of the Madison Photo Book are done in glove leather, color of your choice. It's a nice touch, but I care more for the paper quality than the leather quality of the cover. It is very soft, though.
Picaboo Madison Hardcover Photo Book with glove leather back cover


Price-wise, Classic Books start around $20, adding Lay-flat pages adds around $20 to that, and Seamless Lay-flat Books start around $65. The Madison Book starts at $200 and the Flush Mount Book at $400. Minus any coupon/sale. Do not pay full price for any Picaboo product! Check Groupon and the Special Offers page first. Settle for nothing less than 60% off. The marketing approach on these things is weird.
Half my collection of Hardcover Photo Books
Shutterfly & Picaboo Photobooks
More Photo Book discussion, here

So. Many. Photo. Books.

Lately, I've been putting together Classic wedding albums for weddings I've attended, along with an anniversary album for a wedding I formally photographed, two Lay-flat Seamless albums for our mothers, and then our own Madison book. An obsessive wedding album phase that took me on a tour of nearly all of Picaboo's album options. But now I'm all out of weddings to album-ify.
My Recent Picaboo Wedding Albums


rooth said...

Oooo those are some quality books. My sister and her bf got me an Artifact Uprising photo book for Xmas last year which was really nice as well

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