Bride Guide | Press Print or Flush Mount?

Press Print and Flush Mount are two words you will see showing up often when you are searching for a photographer.  Some may use fancier terminology (like Coffee Table Book) and some (like me) use different names for their albums (like a Premiere Album or a Platinum Album).  Whatever words your photographer decides to use, knowing the basics about the differences will help you decide how much you are willing to spend on an album.

Before I begin, I want to give my speech that I give to every potential bride and groom that comes my way: An album is important!  I know that many want the disc, and that's fine, but I also think you should give serious consideration to buying an album.  I cannot tell you how many of my past brides and grooms come back to me a year or two later asking for me to design an album for them.  These were the days when I just gave away discs and not much else, and many brides and grooms had all intentions on making their own albums after the wedding.  But life can get crazy post-wedding and you may not always have time.  Why not just let the person who does it for a living do it?  I also believe albums are important because they give you something tangible to take home.  In all honesty, I rarely look at my wedding album.  I'll pull it out from time to time when we have guests over, but at this point everyone has seen our images.  That's not why I love that I have it.  I love that I have it because in 50 years when my Grandkids are digging through a closet they're going to find that album, and I'll be able to tell them all about the people who are in it and about our wedding day.  And they can laugh at how silly we dressed and how strange our hair styles were.  As that's what's truly fun about looking at your Grandparent's wedding images, right?

Alright, onto the real point of this post!

Press Print:

This describes the method of printing the image directly onto the paper in the album.  The pages of a press print album will typically be flexible and bendable, similar to any coffee table book you've seen in a book store or on your own book shelf.  This is the style of album you will get if you order from a consumer site like Shutterfly.  So why would you order from your photographer and not from a consumer site?  Hopefully that answer is quality.  Consumer sites gets thousands of orders a day and are mostly mass-produced.  There may be some exceptions but in general this is what you will get.  A professional photographer should be using a company that puts more care and effort into their albums, and has a better quality of ink and paper.  Many professional album makers will even hand-bind their albums for added quality and care.

Pros: More affordable, lighter, and smaller.

Cons: Easier to bend and ruin pages, without specific care can easily be ruined or warped, and not as elegant as a flush mount album.

Options May Include: Lay-flat or hinged, photo cover, leather cover, faux-leather cover, suede, or canvas/fabric cover.

Flush Mount:

A flush mount album will have thick, rigid pages.  The rigidness will vary based on the album company and options available to you through your photographer, but in general these pages will be very difficult to bend.  Think of some children's books out there where the cover and the pages are thick and rigid to get an idea of what this is like.  These are made by printing your images on actual photographic paper and then they are mounted onto archival board.  Having researched many album companies I am actually not aware of a flush mount album company that does not hand bind their albums, so you know that your album has been handled and cared for during its creation.  This obviously brings a higher price, but much better quality.

Pros: Lifetime quality, pages that won't get bent/ruined easily, many options including various print appearances/options, cover options, and page thicknesses.  Not all photographers will offer you these options, but usually photographers will do the research to determine which options are the best as to not overwhelm you with everything.

Cons: More expensive and usually much heavier.

Reading about albums can be helpful, but definitely feeling and seeing it best.  Be sure to ask your photographer if they have any studio sample albums that you can check out to help you decide which album is best for you and your budget.