In my childhood, I loved going through the old photos which were carefully arranged into the large photo albums with soft paper pages. Things have changed today and we rarely print our shots, leaving thousands of them on the laptops and mobiles... Personally I find that a pity. Printing photographs is a good way to filter and systemise one's photo collection. And if we don't have the time anymore to glue photo corners like in the good old times, there is a new option: a photo book.

A good thing about photo books is that you can order them on the Internet and have them delivered at home. This is also a bad thing: you have to use special programs to create your project and you can't see how the photo book looks in reality before you get a parcel! Since I've recently ordered my first ever photo book and I'm really happy with the result, I decided to share my experience with you.

1. Choose an interesting topic for your photo book



Traditional topics such as vacation, birthday party or wedding photo books are always hot, but remember, you are not limited by them! Let your creativity inspire your project. A good idea is to create a photo book dedicated to your hobby - sports, painting, cooking, fashion... The list is long and everyone has things to add. As for me, I'm very fond of sunrises. This hobby is relatively new, I started it about two years ago and during these two years I saw more sunrises than I have in my whole life! With the quantity of sunrise photos becoming rather important, I decided to arrange my favorite shots into a photo book called "Sunrise Collection". This book is a materialization of the most beautiful moments caught by my camera and the cameras of the other people who shared those moments with me (since photoshoots often take place early in the morning, many of the photos, together with my sweetheart, were taken at sunrise).

2. Get familiar with the photo book creator software

The program on the MILK website has lots of possibilities, and you'd better take knowledge of them before starting. Isn't it a pity to loose some useful options just because you didn't learn about them? Start by watching the instruction videos, they are very clear and helpful. After that, load all the photos that you want to print and place them in a good order. In my experience, adding pictures to an almost ready project is more complicated than putting them in a good order from the beginning. Continue by playing with different spread designs: I really enjoyed the huge variety! Some of the samples contain text boxes but they can be easily hidden and you have no obligation to add text if you don't want to. Anyway...

3. Text matters!



Don't try to put into your photo book as much photos as you have - leave space for the short comments or even long text. It may be just a reminder of when and where the photo was taken or a story related to the shot or just your thoughts, a kind of notes in the margin. In several years these details will disappear from your memory, and you will find a pleasure in rediscovering them - and making the others discover them with you. Some photos tell a story themselves, but it's always interesting to know the backstage. And if like me you make a photo book together with your beloved ones, it might be a good idea to write text together and share different visions on the same moments. And a small but very important detail: save your text in Word before copying them into the photo book creator program. This will avoid disaster if your computer suddenly freezes (like it happened to me).

4. Quality is the key

It’s better to spend the time on editing your photos before printing them out than feeling disappointed because of the result. Light, brightness and contrast are extremely important and you can adjust them manually or even automatically in almost every photo editor software, such as Lightroom or Photoshop. Crop the photo to create a better composition and don't forget to straighten the horizon! Among thousands of digital photos these details might seem insignificant but in the photo book each single photo will be showcased and become itself an important element of the whole project. When we take in our hands a good quality photo book we want to go through it slowly and pay attention to the details of each picture, so editing your photos isn't a luxury but a necessity when you decide to print them out.

5. Don't try to fit all your photos in one photo book



You should prefer quality to quantity, which means that it's better to have only a limited number of shots and a good design than hundreds of pictures occupying the entire page. Some white space around the photo creates a matting effect which is necessary for the impressive visual presentation of the image. Several shots on the same spread should stay in harmony and complement each other. They can be a part of the same story or just good matching pictures but they should stay together for some purpose and not only because it's a pity to leave empty space on the page! An interesting effect can be created when using slightly different photos taken at the same place or of the same persons, placing the shots one after another... And don't forget to use an option of printing the most beautiful photos on the whole spread - it works particularly well for the landscapes.

The last, but not the least important thing about creating a perfect photo book - don't try to make it perfect! As a perfectionist I could hardly follow this advice and spent almost two weeks adding and removing the photos, changing texts and page design... Finally I understood that there are no limits to perfection except those that we determine ourselves. The process of making a photo book should be a pleasure, even if taken seriously, so enjoy your creativity and have fun!


This is a guest post by Anna Konevskaya. Follow her on Instagram: @annacossak

Feeling Inspired?









Finally! It's been weeks (maybe even months) since your wedding and the day has finally come for your photographer to hand over your much fantasized about wedding photos. And, what's not to be excited about? The dress, the day, not to mention how beautiful you look — one flip through those photos and you’ll be busting to get started on your wedding album.

And, while we know it's tempting to jump right in and get going — we have one piece of advice: make a plan first. We've seen so many brides' initial overexcitement quickly transform into being overwhelmed when faced with the reality of thousands of photos, book formats, cover materials and paper stocks.

We sat down with one of our favorite photographers, Kieran Darcy, to give us the step by step guide how she approaches wedding album design: here are the three questions to ask yourself before designing your wedding album (a hint: it’s all about telling your story).

Question one: What is the story that you want to tell?

“What are the moments you most want to remember from the day? What moments make you laugh? What moments make you cry? Flipping through the pages of your album should feel like you’re reliving the day. Don’t just choose the perfect and posed shots. The more candid shots the better. Don’t ignore the moments that didn’t go exactly as planned. They happened, and you’ll want to remember them despite their imperfection.”



 Question two: How do you want to tell that story?

“Another element to consider is text. Do you want to include captions and tell the story with both words and images or let the images speak for themselves? While I’ve never used text myself, I think it could be really nice to include your vows somewhere in the book (especially if you wrote your own). Maybe you could incorporate one line on every page, or have a couple designated text pages. Now that I’m thinking about this, it could even be nice to include messages from family and friends that you received.”



Question three: How does it start?

“Finally, which photo is going to be your cover photo? While it's not absolutely necessary that you chose before starting, I think it's helpful. Otherwise, you could end up deciding on something that is already placed within the book and you may have to do some rejigging. This will also help set the tone and force you to evaluate what your favorite shots are. I like to choose cover photos that capture the vibe, without showing people's faces. The cover should tease you and make you want to turn the page. Not that you need an excuse to constantly flip through your album!




Visit Kieran's Instagram: @kierandarcyphoto and website: http://kierandarcy.com/

Feeling Inspired?



Start creating your Wedding Album now




A photo is like a time capsule, a single moment frozen for us to look at over and over. With photos we can illustrate concepts, teach valuable lessons, show off the newest members of our families to people who have not met them yet and look back on our childhoods. Photos can stir up emotions, tug at our heartstrings and convey messages in ways that words alone cannot. Photos are powerful things, so stuffing them into shoeboxes or uploading them onto a digital platform is not the best way to enjoy them. 


Your photos are precious, so take the time to ensure that you can really enjoy them. This may sound like a daunting task - you probably feel like you have too many photos to organize, and wouldn’t even know where to start. You want to display your memories proudly, but there just isn’t enough space, and the whole prospect has just become overwhelming. Never fear! We are here to help. By the time you have finished reading this, you will know several ways to better organize your pictures as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each method. 
 

Photo Albums 
 

The most classic way to organize your pictures is in a photo album. These books can be picked up at most retail stores, and depending on the quality you want, they can be relatively cheap. However, photo albums have some severe disadvantages. Over time, the sticky back of the album pages can damage or stain the back of your pictures. Sometimes these stains even come through on the actual picture itself. Furthermore, that same adhesive sometimes breaks down, causing pictures to fall out or slip around in their pockets. It is quite possible to lose a picture from a photo album, and as albums get older it becomes more common for photos to fall out when you pick up the album, due to the failure of this adhesive. It can be quite difficult to find the exact picture you are looking for in a photo album, especially if it is a large one. Most of these albums do not feature contents pages. Therefore, to find any picture you must give all of the pages at least a cursory glance, just to locate the one you are looking for. It is for these reasons and more that photo albums may not the best way to organize your precious photo collection. 
 

Online Image Hosting 
 

A more modern approach to organizing your pictures is the use of free image hosting sites. These sites can create online albums of your pictures, which can be a space-saver in your home. You can also add caption text, create slide shows and much more. These online photo albums can be shared with friends or co-workers, giving them a glimpse into your life. However, as with classic photo albums there are several disadvantages to using one of these sites. To use one of these photo sites, you need a password. If you forget your password and then lose access to your email, you are locked away from your own pictures and may not be able to get them back. Those pictures may be lost to the depth of the Internet forever. Another problem with image hosting sites is the possibility of site crashes and data loss. If the site were to go down, your pictures would go with it. Data could be lost. Your whole album could be gone in the blink of an eye and you would be helpless to stop it. All of your precious memories would disappear, leaving you with nothing. Although these kinds of albums can be great for sharing with friends and family, there’s really nothing like pulling out an album and sitting with your friends, going through old memories. These special moments take place with a real, tangible photo book. 


Online Photo Books 
 

The disadvantages of the organizational methods we have discussed might seem daunting. You may be wondering if there is truly no great way to organize your pictures. Perhaps you are feeling that you would be better off putting your photos in a shoe box. If so, do not fret. There is a better way. Online photo books are the best of both worlds. They marry the flexibility of free image hosting with the classic elegance of the best quality photo albums. 
 

What is an Online Photo Album? 
 

In brief, an online photo album is a customizable photo book. You start your design online by making a few simple choices. When you have gotten everything to your exact specifications, you may submit your order and your photo book will be printed and bound. However, not all online photo album makers are created equal. Some simply do not have a good enough eye for detail. They may print your book using substandard papers or bind it with materials that will eventually fail, while still charging you the same price as a high-end photo album. 
 

The Best Online Photo Album Maker 
 

As a consumer, there is just one choice if you want to make a photo album online - a company which has been in the business of publishing books for twenty years…MILK Books. It is the labor of love of Geoff Blackwell, who has published several best-selling books of his own. It is the belief of the team at MILK Books that photos should be appreciated, not just left to decay in a box or disappear on the Cloud. We also believe that the world moves so fast that moments should be treasured, not just by you but by your family for generations to come. To that end, MILK Books uses the absolute best bindings, cover materials and papers, all guaranteed to be archival quality products. We are so sure of the quality of our personal photo albums that we guarantee they will last one hundred years. This is the reason you should trust MILK Books with the photos that really matter. 





How Do I Make A MILK Books Custom Photo Album? 
 

Working with MILK Books is super easy - your imagination is the limit! The site is also very user-friendly. This means you will not get tripped up and find yourself wondering just where to go. MILK Books is the best online photo album maker. To start your custom photo book, the first question you need to ask yourself is, “What kind of book am I making?” 
MILK Books has a wide range of albums. Some allow you to add additional pages on top of the album’s default base number of pages. Some do not. If you go for an album which allows the addition of extra pages, they will be added in groups of two. The cost of the additional pages is then calculated and added to the base price of the book. If you have a lot of pictures, for example a family album, you will need a large book. The largest of MILK Books’ album offerings can hold up to four hundred pages. That is plenty of room for many, many pictures. 
 

Choose Your Materials 
 

Now is the time to choose the materials that will be used in your album. MILK Books has a wide range of paper and cover choices. The papers are all guaranteed to be acid-free and are certified by the National Forestry Council, meaning they are guaranteed to come from sustainable sources. Because the papers are acid-free, they are guaranteed not to yellow or crumble over time. 
MILK Books’ cover options are also acid-free. They are made of linen, bukram or webilin. These three materials were chosen for aesthetic beauty, professional appearance, and fade resistance. These are covers that will last for generations. 
If you want something a bit more high-end than the linen covers, some albums have leather as a cover option. That is right. You can have your own personalized leather photo albums. 
 



Bindings 
 

Every MILK Books personalized photo album is bound with great care and center-stitched. We have been doing this for twenty years. This means we have had time to try out every binding out there, and now we are passing that experience on to you. MILK Books bindings are guaranteed not to break, and pages will not come loose. 
There are even two bindings to choose from. The classic binding is just what it sounds like. There is a gutter down the middle of your photo book. You will need to remember that there is a gutter when designing your album. 
The other type of binding is the lay-flat binding. This special feature makes your pictures come to life. The lay-flat binding allows the book to be opened flat, with no gutter between the pages. If you choose this kind of binding, you can put pictures on the back of one page and the front of the other without interruptions. Your friends will finally be able to look at the big picture in a two-page spread. 
 

The Fun Part! 
 

Now that you have picked your paper, binding style and cover, it is time to have some fun. Upload the pictures you want to include on each page of your album. Crop them to the desired size and decide the placement. Once you have that done, you can add text that will make your pictures pop. Feel free to annotate where that picture of Uncle George was taken, for example. Your grandchildren will want to know fun facts about the pictures they are looking at, and so will you. 
Do not worry about mistakes. This is only a virtual design of a page. If something does not look right, or if you are unhappy, simply fix your mistake or start over. Once your page is as you want it, you can submit it to the site and start on another. When all your pages are created, and are exactly as you want them, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Using our customized raised-ink process, MILK Books can add personalized cover or spine text to your new book. 
 

What Happens After I Place My Order? 
 

After you have ordered your photo album online, the MILK Books team gets to work. We meticulously print the pages you have designed, using our patented six-color printing process. This assures that your pictures will be as bright and vibrant as possible. Most online photo album makers only use four colors. We here at MILK Books believe that life does not come in four colors, so our pictures should not either. 
After your pages are printed, we center-stitch and bind them together in the manner you chose with our guaranteed archival-quality materials and the cover you picked. We pay meticulous attention to details in this step, making sure your family album is a book that you can be proud of. 
Finally, we add the finishing touches. If you have chosen personalized spine or cover text, we add that now, using our special raised-ink application. When the cover text is done, we send the book off to you. From creation till arrival, it takes about four to six weeks for one photo album to be completed. 


Digital Albums 
 

If you want your friends or family to see the book before it reaches you, MILK Books has you covered. We offer Online Photo Books, which is the digital version of your photo book. Feel free to show this to friends and family until the real, printed book is in your hands. 




Get Organized Today! 
 

Organizing your pictures can be hard. There are so many ways to do it that the whole process can seem quite overwhelming. 
Classic photo albums and free image hosting both have their advantages and disadvantages. However, MILK Books is the best way to organize a lot of pictures and make it look professional. On top of that, the process is really simple: choose the cover, binding and paper that matches the look and feel you desire. Upload and design your pages, and then let us do the rest. You will have a beautiful, high-quality photo book before you know it - an album fit for your coffee table, that will last for generations to come. 
It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. We here at MILK Books agree whole-heartedly with this philosophy. That is why we give you the customized photo book you desire, printed with six colors instead of the standard four. We want your photo book to look as true to life as possible. We want your MILK Books’ album to bring you joy now and for years to come.








It is that time of year again, the time when we set out to honor the strong female role models in our lives. That’s right – It’s Mother’s Day, and time to think about what you are going to get the important woman in your life.
Many people think that roses and chocolates are a great gift idea, but we all know that roses wilt and chocolates get eaten. Then they are gone! If you want to get your mother something which will last, these are not the gifts to choose.
So, what can you give your mother that will be both beautiful in the moment while lasting for years or even generations to come? How about a family photo album!

Advantages of Classic Photo Albums

A picture is worth a thousand words. They can provide a window into the past, as well as giving us a chance to bond with our relatives. Using this medium, we are given a unique view of the moments that took our breath away or were otherwise worth capturing. We are allowed to peek back at bygone times and imagine ourselves back there. Perhaps seeing the pictures will shake loose a few old family stories that had been forgotten as well or start a conversation that allows us to learn something new about the people we thought we knew best.

Disadvantages of Classic Photo Albums

Though classic photo albums are a good gift, they are not perfect. For one, it takes time to slot in all those pictures, and there is a limited design. Also, the pictures are usually forced into neat little rows with very few options for personalization. Some albums come with places for text next to the pictures, but that isn’t a common feature. Most of the time, it is just rows and rows of pictures, and everyone knows how boring that can be.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the typical photo album isn’t designed to last for a lifetime. Eventually, pictures start to fade and the pages yellow. The album becomes fragile, and pages can even fall out, further jeopardizing your family memories. Most photo albums are not made with archival quality materials. No care is taken to use papers and inks that won’t damage your pictures. Some albums even have sticky backing. If you need to remove a picture for any reason, you might simply destroy it instead.

Why Photo Books Are Better

Though classic photo albums do not last for a lifetime, there is a photo solution which will. Why not give your mother a photo book instead?





Photo books come in various sizes, shapes and designs. They are also highly customizable. In fact, the design process is quite interactive. You have a choice on almost every step of the way. This means that the photo book you produce is truly a one-of-a-kind work of art instead of just another album you picked up from the retail store. There’s guaranteed to be no other album like this one. Your mother will have a gift she’ll show her friends and family for years to come.

About MILK books

MILK Books is a love of labor for its founder Geoff Blackwell who, with his team, has published many award-winning and best-selling books over the past twenty years, under the name PQ Blackwell. Due to this, we have tried out every kind of paper, ink and cover material, and we are passing that experience onto you. MILK Books offers only premium materials, guaranteed to be acid-free. Acid free paper and ink may not seem very important, but they really are. The acid in the pages of a classic photo album begins to degrade your picture quality over time. Your photos can even start to yellow and disintegrate.




MILK Books Mission

There are many moments that make life worthwhile. Many times, in today’s hectic rat race we find ourselves losing sight of what is important. We capture pictures of those times and then they just wind up sitting on our devices or in the cloud, and we don’t think of them again, lulled into a false sense of security that our photos will always be safe. Only when it is too late do we realize that we did not back them up properly.

The team here at MILK Books takes those special moments seriously. You can trust us to make you an heirloom-quality photo book which will showcase your pictures in a design of your choosing and in a way where you will never have to worry about losing them again.


The Origin of the Name

MILK Books may seem like an odd name, especially if you are thinking of the stuff you pour on your breakfast cereal in the morning. However, there is a reason for the name. MILK is an acronym. It stands for Moments of Inspiration, Laughter and Kinship. This is the philosophy that inspired founder Geoff Blackwell. He was collecting photos like these long before the site we have today ever existed, and has published a number of photo books of his own.

How to Create a Photo Book

Now that you know a little more about MILK Books, perhaps you are wondering how to get started creating the best photo book for your mother.  If you are not the most tech savvy, do not worry. We are an easy-to-use photo book maker. All you need to get started is an account.
MILK Books accounts are free. You do not have to pay anything until you are ready to place your order.

After you have created your account, it is wise to spend some time thinking about the type of photo book you want. Do you want a small book or a large one? Do you want one with our special lay-flat binding which allows you to display pictures across two pages as if they were one without having to worry about a gutter? Whatever type of book you have in mind, we can help you pick the one that is right for you.

Once you have chosen the basic style of the photo book, it is time to upload. If your photos are not on the cloud, you will need to scan them into a digital format. When that is done, the real fun begins.
After the upload is complete, you will be given a page with previews of all your pictures. You can use this page to design your photo book.

The Design Process

Designing your photo book from MILK Books is a snap. After the photos are uploaded, you can drag them into any configuration you like. If you want to give your mother a time-lapse page of your childhood, for example, you could do that by starting with a baby picture at the top of the page and progressively older pictures of you as you go further down. Then you would put a picture of yourself as you are now at the bottom. This can be a fun way to show off how much you have changed.
Since MILK Books allows you to add text with your pictures, you could even leave a nice message for your mother, telling her how proud you are to have her in your life. A page like that is sure to make her day.

If something does not turn out properly, do not worry. This is only a virtual version of your photo book. Simply fix your mistake and keep on creating.



Cover

Once you have all the page designs created, it is time to choose the feel of your book. Choose from MILK Books’ nine cover options in linen, bukram and wibalin. These cover materials were chosen for both their aesthetic and environmental qualities. These covers are library-quality, perfect to display in your mother’s home, just as if you had payed thousands of dollars for them.

Binding

All MILK Books are hand-bound with archival-quality materials and center-stitched. The benefit of this careful attention to details in the binding of your photo album is that these books are guaranteed to last at least a hundred years. Imagine your descendants holding a photo book that you created for your mother and getting to learn about their ancestors.
There are two types of binding available, depending on the type of book you choose. The normal binding leaves a gutter or seam in the middle. This way, you can put pictures on both sides of the pages, and is how a book is typically bound. The other option, however, is something truly special.

Lay-Flat Binding

The other type of MILK Books binding is a lay-flat binding. This means that you can open the book and lay it flat. Pictures and text can spill across both pages, creating an uninterrupted visual field. It is no longer possible to tell where one page ends and the other begins.


Paper and Printing

MILK Books is very careful about what sorts of paper they print your photo book on. This means we only use papers approved by the Forestry Stewardship Council to be environmentally friendly. These papers are also guaranteed to be acid free and not to yellow or crumble over time.

Another advantage to MILK Books over other online photo book makers is that we use a six-color printing process. Most of our competitors only use four. This means that MILK Books are more vibrant and true to life than the competition. Life doesn’t come in only four colors, so MILK Books does not believe the moments you choose to put into an heirloom photo book should either.




Additional Pages

Depending on the type of book you have chosen to make, you may add additional pages. They come in groups of two, and each book has a different maximum number of pages. That way, you can really put all the pictures you want in your new photo book without having to worry about space requirements. Page costs are calculated from the base cost of your book for your convenience.

Cover and Spine Text

To put the finishing touch on your heirloom book, why not add cover and spine text? MILK Books makes this easy. Choose your text, and we will print it onto your book with our special raised-ink application.

This application gives your cover text a completely classy look, making your book perfect for display.


Presentation Boxes

If you would like the perfect box to store your custom photo album in for gifting, try out MILK Books’ custom presentation boxes. These stylish boxes come in linen or bukram which guarantees they will not crumble over time. Simply slide your photo book into the box and give it to your mother. There’s no need for wrapping. These boxes are beautiful and classy on their own.

What’s Next?

Once you have picked all the details of your book and submitted your order, we take over. The team at MILK Books carefully prints the designs you have created onto the pages with the paper you have chosen. Then we bind your book by hand, paying meticulous attention to detail. After that, we ship the book promptly off to you. Since we take so much care with the details, you can be assured your book will be perfect.
Delivery of your photo book takes four to six weeks, so do keep that in mind when ordering. Then sit back and prepare to be wowed by the masterpiece you receive.

What You Waiting For?

Mother’s Day is an important holiday, and the best way to let your mother know that you love her is with a customized online photo book from MILK Books. This book will not yellow or become brittle over time, and the six-color printing process assures pictures that are vibrant and as true-to-life as possible.

Using a custom MILK photo book, you can show your mother exactly what she means to you. You can help her relive her past or your own, or even make a family album of your children for her.

This isn’t just a classic photo album. This is a book created to your exact specifications, which is guaranteed to last at least a hundred years. A custom photo book from MILK Books isn’t just a gift for your mother. It is a gift that will keep on giving for generations to come.