FineArt “Artiste” Photo Album

The FineArt “Artiste” photo album. 100% handmade

This album has been known by many names in the past but most who have seen this album would describe it as a “Photo Frame” photo album simply because every page is indeed a framed picture by itself. This is by far the most time consuming album to make and one that requires a lot of precision, but an experience that is immensely gratifying.

This article came about when I was making Charles & Jinny‘s (who got hitched at the Chijmes and W Hotel Singapore back in 2014) photo album. I thought it would be interesting to showcase a real wedding couple’s album. As with all handcrafted products, every album has it’s own distinctive character albeit imperfect which makes every album a truly handmade treasure.

Custom-cut matt boards

One of the most distinctive feature of this album is the custom-cut matt boards. I’m currently using the Crescent Conservation 4-ply matt boards. The 4-ply depth gives every page a three dimensional feel (I’ve always said printed photos touches all senses, not merely visual) while the conservation characteristic gives the album superior archival properties.

Lie-flat perfect binding. Opens flat.

While all my handmade photo albums are made as keepsake albums, the “Artiste” series is also designed as a show piece – it’s imposing, heavy and looks gorgeous under good lighting. The lie-flat perfect-bound feature of this photo album allows the album to open 180° flat.

It’s almost 3 inches thick!

Charles & Jinny’s photo album is unique in a way that it is almost 3 inches in thickness which makes it one of the thickest (and also the heaviest) albums I’ve ever made. It weighs a whopping 5kg .

I usually recommend this photo album be viewed on a flat coffee table (it’s also sometimes known as a coffee table photo album). It makes a more comfortable viewing experience and also a sturdy platform to rest on. Let’s face it, nobody likes lugging a 5kg book!


I’m a huge fan of the German-made Hahnemühle fine art paper, a medium I’ve been fervently using for almost a decade as a photographer as well as a fine art printmaker. Charles & Jinny’s photo album was printed mainly on 4 different kinds of fine art paper, each with it’s unique characteristics and texture – German Etching, Monet Canvas, Photo Rag and Photo Rag Satin. This gives the entire album a unique yet varied look depending on how I “blend and match” the paper type. This is one the things I love about the “Artiste” series – the creative possibilities are endless.

Hahnemuhle German Etching / 350gsm. There are many ways to describe the German Etching but for simplicity sake (although not very accurate technically), I’ll just called it a watercolour textured paper.
Hahnemuhle Monet Canvas /  100% cotton / 410gsm. This is by far the best canvas medium I’ve used. The woven pattern is simply so organic and real which to me as a very important aspect of printmaking

The making of the “Artiste” album has been documented in video before thanks to my long time friend and business partner Damon Low who thought it was a good idea to document the whole making process. While the video was filmed way back in 2013 at my now old defunct home studio (I have a swankier one now), I think the essence of it still remains relevant today. The things that are important remained unchanged.

[vimeo 107768536 w=500 h=281]