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Demystifying Photobooks

A photobook is an ideal way of preserving your memories. There are enough options available in the market to leave anybody confused. Here is my attempt to simplify the entire process.

What is a photobook?

A simple answer would be a book containing photographs of any event. But it is much more than that. A good point to start is to understand what all goes into the making of an ideal photobook. The three most important elements are the binding and the cover; the sheets used for printing and the design of the album.

Let’s take a closer look at each of them

Binding and cover

While every book manufacturer has different options in terms of the material they use for the cover and binding, they all can be loosely divided into a couple of sub categories.

The first and most basic division is a softcover binding and a hardcover binding. The advantage of a softcover binding is that it is extremely light and convenient to carry around, but durability is an issue, especially if there are a lot of sheets and if the individual sheets are heavy. The other advantage is the price. It is considerably cheaper than a hardbound book.

So a softcover book is ideal for mini-events that take place in the run up to any event, say a wedding, such as the mehendi, sangeet etc. It is also ideal for making an album of the couple’s pre-wedding shoot. The cover and back page of a softbound book usually has a photograph or collage.

A hardbound book, on the other hand, has lots of options in terms of the material used and that usually depends upon how much you are willing to pay. The most common and usually the cheapest option is getting a photograph or collage printed on the cover which is made of high-quality cardboard-like material. This also has a dust cover, which is a photo paper with the cover printed on it and its purpose is to cover the cover.

The other options are leather binding and cloth binding. Every manufacturer has a limited number of options under these and it makes sense to check up with the manufacturer and choose the option that best suits your taste.

The quality of the paper

There are the usual glossy and matt sheets that have non-tearable versions (heavier sheets), and then there is a velvet sheet which has a nice wax-like feel to it. The paper is available in both gloss and matt finish. Then there is a pearl metallic sheet that has a metallic shine to it, which is perfect for showcasing ornaments, embroidery on sarees, etc. The pearl metallic sheets are the most expensive and are usually a little thicker.

Design: All books have to be designed. There are a lot of free as well as paid templates available online where you just have to place the pictures in designated spots. The other option is to go for a professional who uses dedicated pagemaking softwares such as Adobe Indesign or photo editing softwares like Adobe photoshop. Creativity is higher in these softwares and you can have unique designs for your book.

Now we come to the standard book sizes. The best way to see the actual size is by taking a scale and measuring the sizes on a newspaper or something. The standard sizes (all in inches) are 9X12 (A4 sheet), A5, 6X9, 12X10, 12X18, 12X15, 10X14, etc.


It is difficult to say how much you should invest in a photobook, but a good starting point would be around Rs 7,000. And you can expect to get your money’s worth till Rs 35,000. But I think anything more expensive is wastage. (The most expensive book I have seen is worth Rs 1,00,000 while the cheapest has been as for as less as Rs 3,000). Beware, however; that if you pinch on the book, then you may end up getting substandard quality.

Things to look out for

Check for the binding to see if it is reassuring. Checking out the binding is usually the best way to understand how long the book will last. Also, be sure of the paper quality… it matters a lot.

How we work

Typically, after a shoot, we take fifteen days to sort out the final photographs which I mail to my client. The client then does the second round of proofing and mails us the pictures they want to be used. We then make designs and mail them for approval. This process takes roughly two weeks. After confirmation from the client, it takes two weeks to get the book printed and delivered. We get my books printed from two companies: Canvera and Mazda. There are other options available as well.

I hope this will help you understand the process. If you have any queries, feel free to mail us at or call us at 0-9910061939 or 0-8800439413 .

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