Last time, we talked about why organizing your pictures is an important task everyone should undertake. This time, we will show you how to organize them using a Mac computer and the photos app. We will teach you how to use the app, including how to make albums for your various groups of pictures. After that, we will explain how you can upload those albums to the new Milk design studio. If you follow these steps, you will be well on your way to creating a new online photo book. Are you ready to do this? Let’s go.

Importing Your Photos

The photos app for Mac is the best place to organize, manage and see your photos, but before you do that, you have to import them. Do not worry. Importing is simple. You just have to pick which method you want to use.

Method 1: iCloud

iCloud allows sharing of data between all your devices, using a cloud network. It also allows you to import your photos. This method is especially useful if you have photos you have taken on your iPhone or iPad that you want to be able to manage using your mac. As a bonus, you do not even have to sync your phone or iPad for this to work. All you need to do is turn on iCloud photo library on your Mac and the other device. To do this on your Mac, go to system preferences. In the categories pane, click iCloud. This will open the iCloud pane. Look in the services list and check the check box next to "Photos".
On your iPhone or iPad, tap settings. Under settings, tap on your apple ID at the top of the page. From the resulting window, you can then tap on iCloud. This opens a window that shows you all your iCloud data and settings. If the switch next to photos is off, tap it to turn it on. That is really all there is to it.

Method 2: Sync

If you do not have an iPhone or iPad, or if your iPhone or iPad does not support iCloud photo library, do not fear. You can still import those photos! You will simply need to sync your device. To do this, first attach your device to your computer using the included USB cable. Make sure that your device is switched on and that it is set to the proper mode for importing photos. If your device has a sleep mode, make sure that either you disable it or that it is set for a long enough increment to give your pictures time to download.
On your mac, open the photos app. Click the device you are using under import in the sidebar. The import pane will open, showing you all your photos. Either click import all new photos, or select the ones you want to import by clicking on them and then clicking Import with a number behind it. That is the number of pictures you selected... If you are asked whether you want to keep the pictures, click keep to keep them on your camera or delete to delete.

Method 3: Storage Media

If you want to import photos from hard disks, flash drives or other storage media, this is the method for you. Begin by connecting the device to your Mac. When your drive appears on the screen, click on it to launch a finder window. Drag (or copy/paste) files from the finder window to the photos window.
Alternatively, you can go to the photos app and click file/import. Choose the pictures you want and click import with the number behind it to import only the selected Photos... If you want to import all the photos on the device, click Import All New. It is very important that you do not disconnect the device while the photos are importing. This can damage your device. Imported photos will appear in the “Last Imported”album in the sidebar.

Method 4: From Other Apps

Isn’t it a pain when you go to a party and forget your camera? If you can get someone to text or email you their photos from the event, you’re left trying to figure out how to get them organized into your photo library… until now. Photos allows the importing of images from other apps such as messages or mail, and here is how to make that happen.

If you are using a web-based mail client like Yahoo or Gmail, do not worry. You can still import those precious memories. If you are using Safari, simply control-click the image you want to import from the email and choose “Add to Photos.”
If you are using another browser, control click the photo in the email, and save it to your computer as you would if importing from another app.
You can even import from a text message. There are several ways to do this. You can either drag the picture from the message window to the Photos icon in the dock, drag the photo from the messages window to the desktop and then to the Photos window or control-click the photo in the message and then choose add to Photos library.

Editing Your Photos

If you are like most of us, some of your photos will have red-eye and blur. It is also possible you might want to remove something from a picture, for example the distracting billboard your friend was standing in front of. With Photos, you can recolor the picture, as well as cropping to get the best framing.
When you edit, photos keeps your original picture in memory. That way there is less anxiety and less fear of cropping something horribly. You simply have to click undo.
There is not even any reason to go edit every place that photo shows up in your library. Photos makes sure that your edits apply to all copies of that photo, no matter where it is.

Straightening Your Photos

Photos usually rotates the pictures during import, if you needed to turn your camera ninety degrees to take a photo. However, it may not always do this, or you may need to rotate a picture for another reason.
To rotate a picture, simply rotate the photo and choose rotate clockwise. That should put your picture right-side-up.

Cropping and Straightening

Sometimes, a picture is unintentionally taken at an angle. You can straighten these pictures. You can also crop your pictures to make sure that they look their best.
To crop or straighten a photo, double-click it and then click the edit button. From the edit menu, click crop.
If you want to automatically crop the photo, click auto.
If you would prefer to do it manually, drag the selection rectangle on this page to enclose the area you want to keep in the picture.
To crop the picture to a certain size, click Aspect, and then choose the aspect ratio that’s right for your project.
To flip the image horizontally click the flip button. To flip it vertically, option click the flip button. To remove the crop or straighten you have done, simply click reset.
Now that our pictures are straight and have the best framing they can it is time to discuss how they are organized by default and how you can customize things to best suit your preferences.

Automatic Organization

The Photos app automatically organizes your images in a number of ways to help you find things easily.
Moments are groups of pictures taken around the same time and at the same place, for example your child’s birthday party.
Collections are groups of related moments, for example several different birthday parties. The years view, just like the name suggests, puts together the photos from the current year.
However, some people don’t want their photos organized this way. For example, you might want to organize your pictures by the name of the person who is in them, a specific event, or any number of other events. If you want to organize your pictures in this manner, you will need to create albums.

Creating an Album

Creating an album is a really easy process. In this section, we will show you how.
If you already know which pictures you would like in your album, go ahead and select them before following the next steps as they will be included in your new album. If you do not know which pictures you want in your new album, create your album and then move on to the next step.
To create an album, first launch Photos if it is not already open. Then either click file/new album or click create in the toolbar and then choose album. Click the album pop-up menu and choose new album. A dialog will open. Type the name of the album you want to create, for example “Times My Dog Was Adorable" When you have typed in the name, click okay.

Adding Photos To The Album

Adding photos to an existing album is super easy! Simply open the sidebar, and drag the photos you want to add into the proper album. It’s really that simple. Now all the pictures you wanted to group together are just where you want them.

The Milk Book Design Studio

Now that you have your albums, it is time to import them from Photos to MILK Books’ new design studio. This is the next generation in online photo book creation. The interface is simple and intuitive. You can upload background images, drag and drop pictures to move them around, and work with actual image spreads just like a publishing company. But before you do any of this, it is necessary to import your photos.

Importing Your Photos to The Design Studio

Importing albums may sound daunting but it really isn’t. MILK makes it easy!
Simply click Photos in the media column on the left-hand side of the MILK Books import window. Choose the album you want to upload and the photos you want to import. Then click the open button, and you’re done! Your photos will begin importing.
Once the process is completed, it is time to have fun. You can use the design studio to play around with your images. It is possible to crop your pictures, edit to remove blur, red-eye and color.
You can also experiment using layouts. Create a page design and use the previewer to see what it will look like. If you don’t like it, you can change the parts that do not match what you are going for.
Text is an important part of any online photo book. Though the pictures should primarily tell the story, the text can add a lot of context. The MILK Design studio allows you to add text to your image layouts, as well as to cover pages.


Using the Photos app is easy. It takes all the guesswork out of importing, editing and managing pictures, allowing you to have professional-looking results, even if you have not had much practice with photo manipulation.
The new MILK design studio is a perfect partner for your Photos app. MILK takes the guesswork out of creating online photo books, making it as simple as importing your photos and creating your layouts. Using the MILK Design studio, a photo book of your family memories is right at your fingertips. You just have to reach out and grab it.

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:

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. 


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.