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.


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.


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.

Our generation has become use to uploading our whole life into the cloud - documents, photos, letters… But what would happen if it all crashed?
Perhaps you download your precious files onto your hard drive, but the reality is, a hard drive isn’t any safer than the cloud. If you store your pictures there, they could easily be lost if your hard drive were to malfunction, leaving you unable to recover your stored files. This would leave you with only the memories of those events, and memory is far more malleable than any of us would like to believe.

What can we do to fix this problem? How can we ensure the safety of our photographs? Sure, you could simply print out the pictures, but then what? You are left with a disorganized jumble of photos getting bent and banged around inside a shoe box or plastic container. Chances are, if you are like most of us, you toss your pictures into boxes, slide them under your bed and in to the land of dust bunnies, and they are not thought of for years to come. As the old saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” After a while, you forget what you have pictures of as the moments they represent fade into obscurity. Sometimes you will forget entire events in your life as they fade from conscious memory.

Being forgotten is not the only danger to these pictures. Most photo papers are not meant for archival. They contain acid and other chemicals that slowly break down the picture. Over time, these chemical processes take their toll, leaving you with pictures that are yellowed, brittle, blurry and faded.

In a traditional photo album, the pictures are a little safer, or at least more organized. However, photo albums aren’t meant to last for generations. Over time, pages loosen and may even fall out, causing you to lose the pictures on that page. If you are using the photo albums with the sticky-backed pages, the compound that makes the page sticky can break down, damaging the picture. It may seem like there is no good way to protect your snapshots, but there is still hope! A photo book from MILK Books will last for generations to come.

What is a Photobook?

Photo books are a lot like your classic albums. They are collections of pictures that you have grouped together. Captions are added, and the pages are designed… However, there is a brilliant high-tech twist. Every MILK photo book starts out on the Internet. Simply create your account, upload your pictures, and prepare to have fun editing. You do not have to spend hundreds of dollars on obtaining hard copies of your pictures. Even the account creation is free. You only pay when the book is finished and shipped.

How to Create a Photo Book

Creating high-quality photo books on is really easy. After account creation, you will be able to upload and edit your photos. This allows you to crop them as you would like them to appear in your book. After that, you can choose a template for your pages and insert the pictures, adding any captions you would like before you get to the exciting part. There are 2000 editorial templates for you to choose from, allowing you an almost endless amount of possibilities for page design.

Once you have your pictures and captions on the page as they should appear, you get to preview the finished project. Check to make sure that everything is as it should be and that the pictures look pleasing in their current configuration. If you do not like something, now is the time to change it. Drag images around, resize them, change which pictures are used, and customize the book as much as your heart desires.

Every MILK photo book has either a fixed number of pages or a set range of numbers of pages to pick from. That way, you can generally have some variation in the amount of pages that your book holds. If you need more pages than the basic number, you can add them in four-page, two-side spreads. The cost of extra pages is calculated starting at the base price of the book.
Next you need to choose your paper. We have five acid-free paper stocks in varying textures and glosses, available depending upon the type of book you are creating. These papers will not break down over time. They are guaranteed not to fade or yellow. The type of stock available depends on the type of book you are making. Pick the available stock that best suits the feel of your book. You will also need to pick a cover and cover design. Add a picture or text to the cover of your photo book to personalize it.
When everything is perfect, it is time for checkout. Place your order, provide a payment method, and you are set!
After you place your order, we get to work. We take your digital layouts and print them onto the quality acid-free paper or board you have chosen. Then we hand-stitch and bind your book using techniques passed down through the generations. We have had two decades of experience and we have tried every print technique and paper variety out there, so we know what works best.

The MILK Books Range

What sorts of photo books can you create at MILK Books? Take a tour of our offerings here. We will start with our newest variety of books. After that, we will move on to the range that started it all, the MILK Books Originals. Finally, we will end with the Moleskine range, a collaborative partnership between MILK Books and the most trusted notebook company in the world.

MILK Archival Photo Books

MILK A photo books have a base price of $65. They are center-stitched and hand-bound with archival materials that will not decay. However, that is not what makes our albums the best photo books on the market. Most photo books are printed in four colors. However, we at MILK books believe that since your life has more colors than four, that your pictures should, too. For that reason, we print most of our photo books using a six-color method, perfect for catching the true colors of people’s skin tones, foliage on trees, and even a beautiful summer sky.
These books can hold from 24 to 160 pages, making them perfect to replace large photo albums.

This photo book is totally customizable. Simply choose the size, paper stock, cover fabric and amount of pages. Then press that create button and start uploading pictures.

MILK A Wedding Photo Album

Are you getting married? Do you want to make a photo album to commemorate that special day? If so, the MILK A photo album is perfect. This book’s starting price is a bit steeper, at $256. However, the pages are board, not paper, which means they are even more sturdy.
This is a lay flat photo book, which means that you can spread pictures across two pages without that annoying seam in the middle, allowing you to tell a story with fluid grace.
The wedding album will hold from 24-40 pages, a perfect amount for archiving your ceremony. If you need additional pages, you may add them in intervals of two.
As with most MILK books, this album is done in the six-color print, and has nine cover materials to choose from. There is also an optional leather cover upgrade, allowing you to create a masterpiece worthy of your coffee table.

MILK Original Photo Book

If you would like to buy the photo book that started it all, this is it! The MILK original photo book starts at $54.99. It is center-stitched and lovingly printed on a quality art paper.
There are four linen cover materials to choose from to add that touch of class and each book is perfectly hand-bound. These are heirlooms that your children’s children will love.
Photo books in this range are printed with four colors as opposed to six, which brings down the cost to you. There is even a hand-bound presentation box available for the larger photo books.
This book also contains the most pages, up to 200. You could chronicle your family history in a book like this.

MILK Original Cream Photo Albums

The starting price for this photo album is $495. This starting price gets you board-mounted paper pages with two paper stocks that you can choose from. There are also two options for the type of cover.
Speaking of covers, this book features a three-quarter wrap cover image for added pizzazz. The cover comes in two colors, black or ivory.
Your photos will be perfectly preserved in a six-color print to capture all those tiny details and bound so it will lay flat. Display your photos across two pages instead of just one. Furthermore, the book can hold up to 40 pages.

The Moleskine Range

Do you adore Moleskine notebooks? If so, this is the range for you. We have partnered with the maker of these legendary journals. Thanks to the inclusion of actual Moleskine materials, these photo albums look and feel just like your favorite notebooks.

Moleskine Classic Photo Books

The evolution of the Moleskine journal is explored with this classic book. Add your own images, art and stories. Tell the tale of your life in the most elegant fashion possible. Moleskine classic books begin at $95.
Unlike most books offered from MILK Books, this one has 96 pages. That number is fixed and you cannot add extra. The binding is center-stitched, and lays open flat. This is another book where you can spread your pictures and writing across two pages as opposed to one.
This book features the elements Moleskines are famous for, the rounded corners, beautiful soft leather covers and ivory papers. Be prepared to wow your friends with this brilliant testament to the moments that really matter.

Moleskine Photo Books

These photo books are affordable, starting at $60. They contain classic Moleskine materials, as well as featuring the aesthetics you’d expect from a quality journal, including rounded corners and ivory papers.
The Moleskine classic photo book will hold 20-80 pages that you can cover with your photos and stories. They are also center-stitched, with a binding that will let the book open flat. This way, your content can scroll across the two pages as if they were one.
choose the format that best fits your needs. The book is available in either square or landscape orientations.

Monograph Moleskines

The Monograph Moleskine range starts at a price point of $125. For that price, you get a book that contains sixty pages. This number is fixed so you do not have the option of changing it. Like the other photo books in the Moleskine range, this one is center stitched with an open flat binding. Spread your pictures nicely across a two-page spread to create seamless, fluid layouts.
This book features genuine moleskine materials, and is protected by a black linen slip case. It is only available in landscape format, so bear that in mind when you begin your design.

Why Wait? Organize Your Photos Today!

Imagine that you were never allowed to take a picture again, or that any picture you took suddenly disappeared. There would be no more pictures of your children or snapshots of the important moments in your life. You would never be able to take pictures of your aging parents or other relatives and you can forget the exquisite pictures of places you love. Would that not be a sad world?

Pictures are sometimes how we remember. They take faded memories and bring them back into sharp relief. We look at a picture and remember where we were, who we were with, and sometimes even the smells and sounds of the place the picture was taken.
Thankfully, we do not have to live in a world where these precious mementos do not exist. However, we have to do our part to save them before they fade away, and a key step in that process is making a MILK photo book. Pictures are like a paintbrush for our memories, and when you make a photo book online, you are touching up the details of your life’s canvas.

Introducing the new MILK Design Studio, a revolutionary book-making software created to help you take your design to the next level. Unlike other 'book editors', our Design Studio highlights simple design and works exclusively in spreads -- just like we do in our publishing business.

The MILK Design Studio has hundreds of new features including 1000% faster book creation, drag and drop, background image uploading, a photo library with unlimited photo storage and thousands of internal design templates – just to name a few.

Everything has been laid out and composed with a logical and simple user experience in mind. Making a Photo Book has never been this easy.

To learn more about the features of our design studio we have a series of video’s to help make photo book creation easier than it has ever been.

6 steps to designing your first book

If you are ready…

If not, keep scrolling for more video tips on how to best use the design studio.

Learn how to upload and sort your images

Learn how to add images and layouts to your cover and title pages

Learn how to slice spreads using the image timeline

Learn how to re-arrange your image spreads

Learn how to set the last page in your photo book

Learn how to add upgrades and check the price of your book or album