Photobook Vs. Scrapbook: Learn The Difference

by Alex Melen on January 23, 2023

Photobooks and scrapbooks are common ways of preserving memories, but they have different methods of displaying images, materials used to assemble them, and overall look. Even though they’re similar in many ways, there are five distinct differences between photobooks and scrapbooks you should consider when selecting the right one for you. In this article, we discuss photobooks scrapbooks, so you can make an informed decision when creating your memory book.


Photobooks generally cost less than scrapbooks due to the mass production capabilities. Photobook companies use technology such as automated printing to keep costs low, while scrapbook creators often make their books by hand. In addition, photobook materials, such as paper and ink, are cheaper than traditional scrapbooking materials, like cardstock and adhesives. These savings means a hardcover photobook can be created at a fraction of the price of a handmade scrapbook.


Photobooks and scrapbooks have many similarities, yet they differ in design. Photobooks are organized chronologically, allowing photos to be arranged by date or event. Scrapbooks typically include miscellaneous items such as ticket stubs, postcards, dried flowers, and other keepsakes that may not fit the standard photobook format.

In addition to photographs, scrapbook pages often feature embellishments such as stickers, ribbons, special paper cuts, and other decorations that create a unique look on the page. Additionally, scrapbookers often use creative techniques, such as stamping or embossing, to add dimension or texture to their pages.


Photobooks and scrapbooks have a purpose of collecting photos of memories, and commemorate special occasions. However, these books differ in several ways, including their lifespan. Photobooks have a longer lifespan than scrapbooks, due to the high-quality materials used in their construction.

Photobooks are made with high-quality paper, designed to last decades without fading or becoming brittle. Additionally, the binding of photobooks is stronger than scrapbooks, keeping pages together and preventing them from falling apart easily. Scrapbooks on the other hand, generally use lower-quality paper and adhesive glue, making them prone to tearing, or becoming discolored over time, if not properly cared for.


One major distinction between the two is the quality of their construction. Photobooks use high-grade materials and a professional level of craftsmanship, to ensure they will last for years. At the same time, scrapbooks may be composed of less durable components that break down over time. The printing and binding processes are also important in softcover photobook quality.

Photobooks feature high-resolution images printed on archival paper, ensuring colors remain vibrant over time. Scrapbooks typically rely on lower-end papers that fade or discolor after extended exposure to light or moisture.


Photobooks and scrapbooks offer unique ways to preserve and display your photos, but come with different levels of convenience. Photobooks are more convenient for those looking for an effortless way to store their photos. Most photobook companies offer easy-to-use software that allows you to upload photos from your computer or phone, customize them, and have them printed in minutes. You don't need special materials, or knowledge of design principles; just select the size and layout you prefer, and you're good to go.

Scrapbooking is more involved when it comes to the level of convenience. Because scrapbooks require specialized materials such as stickers, ribbons, cardstock, etc., they require a greater investment of time than photobooks.