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Photo books can be compared to traditional photo albums in the way that a hands-on "Grandma With Pictures" in her purse can be compared to her technologically savvy granddaughter, Smartphone in hand, showing her "My Pictures" file. Both are wonderful repositories of memories, available for sharing, but going about it differently.
Photo books are comprised of your digital photos uploaded to a photo book creation software program. The software can be used either on-line or downloaded to your computer. Your JPG format photos remain stored on your memory card in pristine condition. You may either use the software's template, clicking and dragging your photos into the software's predestined format, or you can design you own pages, and anything in between. It can be a process taking an hour of your time or quite lengthy, depending your level of artistic input.
Photo books are perfect for immortalizing a once-in-a-lifetime occasion or as a record of a body of work for an individual or group.
The backgrounds, pictures, captions, placement on the page and sequence of pages are easily modified until you are satisfied with your project's flow and appearance. Once the "send" button has been pressed by you however, everything is fixed in place, permanently. Done means done. And no one will be examining your photo book for errors - spelling or otherwise, omissions, poor placement and bad sequencing.
The next stop for your photo book creation is the print-on-demand company whose software you have used and electronically sent it. Your book will be printed by the company, on the quality of paper you have chosen, in the size you indicated, bound between covers you have selected. You can have as many copies printed as fit your needs and desires. The finished books can either be picked up or shipped to the addresses of your choice. Your photo book will look great on the coffee table and will stand up to a great deal of handling, gentle or otherwise.
On the other hand, traditional photo albums are one-of-a-kind artifacts chronicling a life or life event, not so often representing a group's efforts due to its singular nature. Often fragile, and not meant for anything but infrequent pursuing by respectful hands, traditional photo albums fall into the category of "irreplaceable".
Your real photographs, which can and do degrade, even when mounted on archive quality pages, can get damaged and do get lost over time. You may move around your hard copy photographs as often as you like, although the evidence of having done so will mostly likely be visible, unless you create an entirely new page to replace an old one. And in the event a person in one of your photos has ceased to be among your favorites, the picture can be removed entirely.
Both types of books offer a view of the moment in time in which they were created. But a photo book cannot be amended in any way, short of cutting a page out with a scissors. Traditional photo albums can be extended in time simply by adding pages.
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