View Full Version : Album making for photographers...

21-Jan-2015, 07:45
In a previous thread there seemed to be some interest in how photographers can make/bind their photographs/prints into books or albums.

As well as photography, I come from a bookbinding background and have written several binding tutorials as well as a manual for photographers on how to make flush mount albums.

I thought I might offer descriptions of a few of the different types of albums that can be hand made with photography in mind as well as links to examples, information and tutorials.

I am also happy to answer any questions you may have.

Japanese Stab Binding/Album: These can be done two ways. The photos can be printed on fiber based paper leaving extra space on the binding side or the album can be created with blank pages and prints tipped in afterwards. Good for silver or alternative prints.

(For a tutorial see link below)

Traditional style bound photo album: As with the Japanese style album pages can be created with printed photos or made blank and photos attached afterwards. If printing onto the pages it's best to use a matte or fiber based paper. If making blank pages any type of prints will work.

Several books on traditional album binding:

Handmade Photo Albums by Tami Porath
A Handbookbinder's Guide to Making Albums by Richard W. Horton

Traditional post and screw album: Made with individual leaves and held together by metal or plastic post and screws. Printed or blank pages can be used.


Flush Mount Album: This style album is used by many photographers for client albums. There is no sewing involved in this style of binding. The style of album made using this guide is considered "gutterless", meaning that the page spreads are printed on one side of the paper, folded in half and adhered to the adjacent pages in the book. Pages can also be created with a stiffner such as heavy cardstock between the adhered sections. Any photo paper works with this style binding. Best for Inkjet or lab prints.

If interested,there are a lot of companies doing these type of albums. They will either us your prints or print your photos for you.


Stiff Leaf Album: Also called a double guard album, with this structure the photos are mounted onto boards or heavy cardstock and then bound together. This is a great binding for using original prints. Photos can be mounted edge to edge or smaller on the page. Any type of print will work. Good for silver or alternative prints


Accordian Fold Album: Made blank or with printed photos. Pages are folded to make an accorian then covers are attached.

(For a tutorial see link below)

Also, you may want to consider boxed editions for your prints. Boxes can be handmade by you or a bookbinder.

Here is a link to some free bookbinding tutorials that I have written that might be helpful. http://www.tjbookarts.com/guides.htm

Bookbinding links from around the web. If you scroll down towards the bottom there is a list of album making links.

A link to books on bookbinding and video instruction: http://www.tjbookarts.com/books.htm

Most of these albums can be made with a few simple tools.


21-Jan-2015, 09:32
There is a wealth of useful information here and I certainly look foreward to following the links. I am very keen on the idea of putting photographs into books. I have done quite a few over the last couple of years, and am totally committed to this way of working. It gives you a focus. It is a great way of preserving your photographs. And it somehow makes photographs special. When a friend or visitor asks to see some photographs and you hand them a book, you can see their interest and expectation level rise (and you cross your fingers and hope the photographs will match their expexctations!)
So far I've tended to work on themes for each book. I've got one on sheds and fishermen's huts taken along the North Yorkshire coast, another of photographs taken in a particular valley in the Yorkshire Wolds, and others on different themes. Some come together quite quickly; with others the photographs seem to be slowly gathered over a period of time.
It's a great way of working. I find it gives my photography a point. And it makes it personal.


21-Jan-2015, 11:24
Thanks for the links.

I am a large producer of hand printed artists books. (Maybe the largest in the world?) I've produced many hundred of them in any case. They are in 90+ museums and special collections libraries around the world.

Here are a few of my latest books.







In the old days we used to dry mount silver prints back to back and bind them. Now I run 2 to 3 ink jet printers and pop them out like pancakes...well kinda. Sometimes the printers wreck prints with overspray and marks. In any case, light-years better than doing with wet printing.

I've had book side stitched hardbound and it was expensive and time consuming getting it all regulated for binding. I prefer to go with spiral. I've tried a number of other binding methods. Some are OK for albums. But for artists' books I settled on spiral.

Bookbinding is a wonderful art I'd like to learn, but alas no time to do it all. I have 2 years of pix I haven't even looked through.