Today, it seems as if people are moving faster than ever before. Children grow up before we can even blink, or so it seems. Everything is changing faster than it ever has before, leaving us feeling as if we are on an amusement park ride that is spinning out of control. However, photos can make it better.

Photos are like little windows to the past. They can show us times that we forgot, memories of our family and friends frozen in time like an insect in amber just waiting for us to look back and remember.

Today, it seems like everyone has a cell phone. They’re necessary devices for keeping up with our clients, families, and friends, as well as making sure we get to where we are going on time, as well as providing us places to write notes to ourselves, and a million other things to make our lives easier. Most cell phones also come with something very important, a camera, and most of us have taken tons of pictures on our phone, silly things, serious things, and even pictures of what you had for lunch today. Sometimes, a cell phone is the only way to capture a moment that really matters, but what are we to do with those photos then? Most of us just leave the pictures hanging around in our phone. If we do put them somewhere, it tends to be the Cloud or another service that allows photo uploads such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Most phones even encourage this type of sharing.

But what can you do if you want to make something more amazing? What if you want to display your pictures in a more beautiful and artistic way? What if you want to show the pictures to a friend who doesn’t have Facebook or other social media who lives far enough away that driving to visit them and bringing your phone might be impractical or impossible? Sure, you could use an instant messenger, but there is a much easier way. You can create an online photo book for all your friends to see.

Creating a photo book may seem like a daunting challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little practice, you will know exactly what to do. That is exactly why this article exists. We want to show you how to properly make an online photo book from the pictures that may be lurking on your phone right at this minute, a photo book that you can proudly show to all your friends. This is an easy process, and it is time to demystify it. Let’s get started.

Important Notes

What operating system is your phone? This is an important question, since some of the apps are different for each type of phone. For this reason, where it is applicable, directions will be divided up by operating system. This method will allow you to simply scroll to your phone’s directions without having to skim through all the phone types that you do not have. Before you can create an online photo book that will stand the test of time, however, you must first get the pictures from your phone.

Benefits of Using Backup and Sync

If you have an Android phone, it is rather easy to sync. Furthermore, regularly synchronizing your photos means that they will be stored safely on your Google Drive and that they will no longer take up space on the phone. There are also a few more benefits to using backup and sync.

The first benefit to using the Google’s backup service is that it works quietly in the background. Simply turn it on, and all the photos you take in the future will be uploaded.

Secondly, the photos you back up are stored privately unless you choose to share them. This means that you will not have to worry about someone stealing your phone or finding private pictures among the shared ones in your library. You can set the security level for each picture.

Finally, if you make a change to a photo on your phone, such as editing it, the changes will take affect across all your devices. This means that if you remove red eye on a photo, you will not have to do it for every copy of that photo.

Syncing Photos from Your Android

To sync your photos, it is first necessary to turn on the Backup and Sync options from your device.

First, check that you are signed in to your Google account. If you are not signed in, do so now.

Then, open the Google Photos app on your mobile device.

Once the Photos app is open, tap the menu icon at the top left.

After that, select settings/backup and Sync.

Finally, tap on the on/off button at the top of the screen to turn sync on or off.

Now your pictures will sync to your google photo library, allowing you to download them to your computer. Once they are downloaded, you can make them into a beautiful online photo book.

What’s Next?

Once the photos are downloaded, it is time to turn them into a proper photo book using the MILK Design Studio. From the upload page, choose My Device. This will allow you to see all the photos on your computer. Unlike a lot of photo book software, you do not have to wait until your pictures are uploaded to sort or work with them. You only need to wait until they have appeared on the upload screen. There will be text beneath them indicating that they are waiting. At this point, you can start the sort process.

When you have figured out which pictures you would like to use, and they have been uploaded, you can then create the layouts for your pages, add text, and create your photo book.

Syncing Photos using iPhone

If you instead have an iPhone instead of an Android, never fear. Creating a photo book from pictures stored on your iPhone is also easy. The first step in this process is choosing where you would like your photos to be stored, and there are a few ways to do this, each with their own benefits.

Using the Cloud

Using the iCloud Photo Library, it is easy to store and access your photos. The main benefit of this location choice is that you can access photos from all your devices including your Apple TV, PC or Mac, other iPhones, iPods, iPads etc. Also, if you have different photos on each device, the iCloud photo library can keep all of them in one place. Much like the Google Photo Library, changes made to one copy of a picture will be applied to all other copies of that same picture.

Before You Use the iCloud Library

The first step in preparing to use the iCloud Photo Library is to make sure that the software on your phone is up to date. If you are using a Mac, it is also necessary to make sure that its software is up to date.

After that, make sure to set up iCloud on all your devices. If you have a Windows computer, you will need to download iCloud for Windows. Make sure your devices are connected to WIFI.

Warning! Your iCloud Photo Library uses your iCloud storage. Before you turn it on, make sure that you have enough space in iCloud for your entire collection. To check the amount of storage, tap the settings icon on your phone. From there, tap your name and apple ID. This will open a settings screen with your information. Tap iCloud. From iCloud, tap the available storage amount. This will show you a breakdown of what apps are using your storage space. You can then clear some space or buy more storage if necessary.

Using the iCloud Photo Library

From your iPhone, tap on settings. Then tap on iCloud. From the iCloud screen, tap on Photos. That will give you the option to turn on iCloud Photo Library. Tap the button.

Warning: If you have already synced pictures from iTunes, your device will give you a message saying those photos have been removed. Do not worry. They are still on your computer. You simply need to turn on iCloud Photo Library to get them back onto the iOS device.

Importing Photos Without iCloud Library

If using iCloud Library is not for you, there are still other ways to get the photos to your computer to upload into the online photo book.

Importing Photos to a Mac

If you are using a Mac, first make sure you have the latest version of iTunes. Then connect your device using a USB cable.

You might need to unlock your device. You might also see a prompt asking you to trust the computer. Tap trust on your phone to continue. The Photos app on your Mac should open automatically. If ti does not, manually open it.

The photos app should show a screen with all the photos on your connected device. If it does not, click the device name in the Photos sidebar or the import tab at the top of the page.

As we discussed in the last blog, you can then import a collection of photos or all new photos. When the import is complete, a message box will appear asking if you want to keep the photos on your device. If you do not want to keep them, click delete. If you do want to, click keep. After that, you can disconnect your device. You can then go to MILK Books Design Studio and upload the photos you imported as we have discussed before.

Importing to a PC

If you do not have a Mac, and instead have a PC, you can import to that as well. Follow these simple directions.

Before you Import

First, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes on your PC. Importing photos requires iTunes 12.5.1 or later. Connect your iPhone to your PC using a USB cable. You may need to unlock your iPhone. You may see a prompt asking you to trust the computer. Tap trust, or allow to continue.

Importing to Windows 8

Open the Photos app. Swipe in from the bottom edge to see the app commands. If you are using a mouse as opposed to a touch screen, right-click within the app. Select import. From there, select the device you want to import from. The app automatically selects all the pictures it has not imported before. Swipe down or click to select the pictures you want. Select import. When the pictures are finished importing, you may disconnect your phone. Then go to MILK Books and upload your photos to the Design Studio.

Windows 7

Importing pictures to a PC running windows 7 is easy.
First, connect the phone to the computer using the USB port. In the auto-play box that appears, click import photos and videos using Windows. To tag your pictures, type a tag name in the tag these pictures box. By default, the folder on your PC that the computers are imported to will be tagged with the date the photos were imported as well as this tag name.
Once you have done this, simply click import. A new window opens, showing your imported photos. Close this window, go to the MILK Design Studio and upload your photos.

Creating a photo book from the pictures on your phone may seem like a daunting process. However, it does not have to be. All you need to know is how to import and upload those precious memories, and how to make sure that the photos are safely and privately stored.
It is our deepest hope that you have found this blog post useful, and that it has helped you figure out how to get your photos from your phone to your computer to your MILK Books account, right where they need to be for you to create the next great online photo book.

It is a lovely day. You are outdoors on a hike, breathing the clean, fresh country air. Your camera is nestled safely in your pack and you are climbing a somewhat steep hill. With muscles pleasantly burning, you top the hill and stare down into the valley beyond, where a stream winds its babbling way between rocks. Your breath is taken away by the beauty, and you want to capture that moment so you can have it forever. You pull out your camera and prepare for the shot… only to have it come out blurry. Has this ever happened to you? If so, we can help.

Landscape photography may seem quite daunting, even if the conditions are perfect. So many things can go wrong. However, it does not have to be a nerve-wracking experience or a science experiment. You can get that wonderful shot - you just need a few tips to help you along the way.

By the time you have finished reading this article, you will know exactly how to take quick, methodical landscape photographs when time is of the utmost essence, landscape photos guaranteed to turn out perfectly. However, before we discuss ways that you too, can shoot like a professional photographer, we need to discuss some basic things that you might have forgotten.

The Basics

Plan Before You Start

A little planning will take you a long way in perfecting your landscape technique. In fact, planning just may be the most important step. in the entire process. Most of us know that checking the weather before you head out is a necessity. However, there are many more things that you need to be sure of.
Check the time of sunrise and sunset. These are beautiful times to take shots, but that is not the only reason to check them. If you know when sunset is, for example, you can plan your hike, drive or bike accordingly so that you get there while there is still light. After sunset, the light fades rather rapidly most of the time. You want to be there with plenty of time to catch the shots you need. If you head out before sunrise, you could get there too early and have to wait. While you are checking things, it is a great idea to check the direction of the sun’s movement in relation to your preferred shooting position. Light from different places makes different pictures. If the light is behind you, then the picture will be different than if the light is coming from your left.
At first glance this may seem like a lot of things to have to check before you can even begin having fun. However, there are websites and apps for your phone that will make the checking process easier by putting everything in one convenient place.

The Lens is Important

There are many lenses which can be used for landscape photography. These range from the wide-angle lenses most people are used to, all the way up to telephoto lenses. Which lens is the best? That depends on your location, as well as what sort of shot you want.
One thing is for sure, however. You will want an ultra wide-angle lens in your camera bag. These lenses are versatile and good for a lot of various shots, giving you a wide-open field of view.
The type of wide-angle lens to purchase depends on your camera. If you are using an APS-C camera, you will need a lens with a focal range of 10-20 millimeters. For a full-frame camera, consider one that has a focal range of 15-30 millimeters. These specific focal ranges will give you a wide, dramatic-feeling photo which you will be happy to share.

Pack Light

Do not pack every camera component you have unless you need them all. There is a possibility you will wind up walking several miles before you reach your shooting location. That full camera bag will get quite heavy hanging on your shoulder for that long. For that reason, pack only the lenses you are sure you will need, your necessary filters and your camera and lens-cleaning accessories.
Also, it is wise to pack clothing for every type of weather that would normally happen in your location at the current time of year. For example, if you are shooting in a temperate climate during spring, it would be a wise idea to pack a foldable raincoat or poncho to shelter under in case it starts raining suddenly.

The Tips

Now that we have gone over some of the basics of good landscape photography, it is time we got to the part you have been waiting for, the tips. Being a good landscape photographer is not something that comes naturally to most of us. It takes a lot of practice, and messing up a lot of shots. However, if you persist, and follow these simple tips, you will be shooting like a pro before you know it.

1. Setting Up the Camera

As with anything else, the settings for your camera aren’t something which should just be left to chance. You need to learn what settings work best for landscape photography. Thankfully, we can save you a lot of ruined shots by giving you the optimal settings.

First, put your camera in aperture priority mode. This gives you control over the depth of field while allowing the camera to control the shutter speed.
Once you have done that, set the aperture to F/16. This gives you a nice, large depth of field. This depth allows you to get more of the beautiful landscape in the photo.

Now it’s time to set the iso to 100. This will give you the best image quality possible.

Next, set the metering mode to Evaluative/Matrix. This setting allows your camera to read light from all around the scene and use that to calculate a correct exposure. There may be times when you need to lighten or darken the exposure. To do this, use Exposure Compensation.

With these settings and the filters you might have added to your camera, the shutter speed is likely to drop. If it drops to below 1/125 seconds, it may be necessary to attach your camera to a tripod and use a remote-controlled release to engage the shutter. That way you will not have to worry about camera shake. Camera shake is a type of blurring in your photos that happens due to tiny camera movements when you are shooting at slow shutter speeds.

2. Adjusting the Sharpness

Sharpness of an image depends on two things: the narrowness of the aperture and the proper focusing technique.

Even with a narrow aperture, focusing incorrectly on the wrong part of the scene can leave the foreground or background out of focus.

So, what is the proper focusing technique? Switch the lens and camera to manual. Then identify the point in the scene that is roughly a third of the way toward the horizon. Twist the focus ring to bring that part of the frame into focus. Look through your viewfinder or use the live view on your display while rotating the focus ring slowly. When the image looks sharp, take a shot. Zoom into your LCD screen and check for sharpness throughout the scene.

If the foreground is sharp but the background is not, it is time to adjust the focus back. Do not be afraid to play with your shots till you get it right.

3. Extending Time with Neutral Density Filters

Neutral density filters, or NDs, are used to reduce the amount of light entering the camera lens. This may, at first seem like a bad idea. However, in landscape photography, it can actually be useful.

If you use a ND filter, it allows you to creatively blur such things like clouds, water, and any other surroundings you might want, giving the photo a surreal, dreamy quality.

Because they reduce the amount of light entering the camera, these filters allow you to use slower shutter speeds than you normally could.

The light not allowed to enter the camera lens is measured in lens stops. Neutral density filters come in one, two, three, four, six, ten or even fifteen stops, so it is important to play around and find out what best meets your needs.

4. ND Grads

There is another neutral density filter that you need to know about if you want to take beautiful landscape shots. This filter, called a neutral density graduated filter, or an ND Grad for short, allows you to catch a perfectly exposed shot of the sky while leaving the foreground dark.

Perhaps you are wondering how this type of essential landscaping filter works. The design is simpler than it might seem. The filter blocks light entering at the top of the frame, much like a normal neutral density filter. This is what gives you that perfectly exposed sky. As you move down the filter, the effect lessens. When you reach the bottom of the filter, there is no effect at all.

Without this filter, capturing a perfect sky would be very tricky, and you likely could not manage it in just one shot. For this reason, this is another filter that your camera case does not need to be without.

5. The Blue Hour and Overcast

Days Let us say that the sun is setting. You sigh, sadly and turn to pack up your kit.
After all, there is not much of a photo opportunity after the sun has just set, right?
Wrong! It is a great idea to hang around for the blue hour.
The blue hour is not actually an hour. However, it is the time after the well-known golden period where blue and purple wavelengths of light are touching the Earth. The sky will still be light, but the ground will be bathed in the most amazing blue glow. This sort of ambience makes a wonderful backdrop for your landscape shots, something that is unique enough to impress your friends.

You might also think that an overcast day is a bad one for photos as well. However, it does not have to be! As long as the sky is not a boring expanse of black and gray, you can take excellent, dramatic pictures. Everything looks different when the sky is overcast. All the trees seem moodier and brooding.

An added bonus to this sort of picture is that if you happen to catch one when the sun is peeking through the clouds it looks even more amazing, a small bright spot in a huge, dark world.

Landscape photography does not come naturally to most of us. That is why we need lots of practice to learn the techniques that will help us do it properly. There is a lot to remember, and it may seem overwhelming at first. However, it does not have to be.

It is important to learn what tools work best for capturing the beauty of nature, and how to properly use them. This article is a good start toward that learning. We have covered some basics of landscape photography, and gone into several tips which will make your pictures look as if a professional took them.

Please note, we have only just touched the surface. If you are interested in creating better landscape photographs, there are plenty of sites out on the Internet to help you learn more. It might even be possible to find a camera club in your area and ask them for assistance. No matter which method you choose, you will need something to do with those awesome photos you just took. After all, these are not the memories you want to just stuff in a shoe box or leave on the Cloud.

Why not make a MILK online photo book to highlight them? Creating one is simple. Just upload your photos, choose your design, and get ready to enjoy the best online photo book ever.

After months of planning the finer details of your special day, the dress, the location, the guest list and among other things, your head may be spinning. To help you get picture-perfect photos that you and your partner will cherish forever, here are the do's and don’ts of wedding photography.

1. Don’t skimp on quality

Don’t compromise your memories from your wedding: the photographer that you choose will be as important as the dress. Look for someone that is highly skilled and who can align their style with the style of your wedding. Look at the top photographers in your area and get to know them. Flip through their portfolio, meet with them and be sure to ask lots of questions.
It really makes a big difference if you connect or not with your photographer. Of course, you’ll want to weigh your options in terms of price and budget but whatever you do, don’t skimp on the photographer otherwise your photos will pay the price.

2. Do follow up with your photographer a week prior the wedding 

Go through the nitty gritty details before the wedding: give your photographer a checklist and timings to make sure that the couple/bride and photographer are on the same page. If you have some people that you must have photos of, like your aunt and uncle who flew in from overseas or your grandfather who made the long trip, your photographer will thank you for being upfront about this and you won’t be disappointed.
Be sure to check in one week prior to the wedding so that all instructions are fresh for both parties.

3. Don't wait too long to book your photographer 

If you find a great photographer, book them! Photographers with good reputations tend to book out a year or more in advance so the earlier the better. Nothing is more frustrating than, after spending months researching and finally settling on a photographer, finding out that they are unavailable for your date.

4. Do create a photography “Wish List”

As a part of your pre-wedding catch-up, it’s also a good idea to give your photographer examples of some of the photos you’d like. Create a Pinterest board of ideas, whether you have always dreamed of a romantic photo on the top of the hill or walking barefoot holding hands by the beach, and show these as examples. This will help turn your dreams into reality when briefing your photographer regarding your expectations for the wedding. From this point, your wedding photographer will make them happen.

5. Don’t skip the engagement session

The best thing you can do to prepare for your wedding day is to set up an engagement photo shoot with your photographer. Apart from giving you the opportunity to create a beautiful engagement photo album, this also allows you to get comfortable in front of the camera and to get to know your photographer’s shooting style. Think about this session as a fun test drive that will make you trust in the photographer and help you relax when it comes to the big day.

6. Do consider hiring a second shooter 

Consider getting a second shooter as a part of your photography package as it would give you another unique point of view throughout the day. Having a second shooter will give you the chance to capture the moments that you missed while you were away getting your couple shots taken. Also having a second shooter will give you more chance to capture the small moments, special moments that are also not to be missed, like the little flower girls, smiling, or grandma making her moves at the party! After the wedding is over, you won’t regret investing a little more money in capturing these unforgettable moments of the day.

7. Don’t focus too much on taking photos on the day

Wedding day photos are among the most precious items that we hold near and dear to our heart. You won’t want to look back at your photos and look stiff and posed.
Of course, you will have formal photos taken but don’t forget to also include shots in a more relaxing setting. A good photojournalist can capture the story of your day as well as some artistic portraits while keeping time away from the celebrations to a minimum. Plus this will add some fun when looking back at your memories.

8. Do schedule enough time for the photo sessions

It really takes some time to shoot pictures of the entire family. To make your life easier, schedule some time first with the family before they enter the reception. Then, while the family is entertained at the party, you’ll have the time with your partner to go away and take the shots as a new married couple. Make sure that you have a plan in place with your photographer for this and let all the family know the wedding and photography schedule.

9. Don’t push your photo shoot until the last minute 

There are so many, uncountable things that you’ll need to get done on your wedding day. Despite this, don’t procrastinate and wait to take photos until after the sun has set. Lighting is the most important and powerful factor when taking pictures. To get as much flattering and natural light as possible, schedule your photo shoot just before sunset so that you can benefit from having the soft glow of ‘golden hour’ lighting (plus your makeup will still be fresh!). The later you get to start taking photographs, the higher the risk of you won’t get high-quality photographs.

Feeling Inspired?