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Transforming your luxury travel memories into a stylish photo book

There are many photo book printing services out there. Competition is quite fierce and buyers are often led by price. But don’t forget the old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ and you’ll quickly avoid the cheapest, with the realisation that, to cut costs, there must be some compromise on quality. Step aside MILK Photo Books. MILK have joined forces with Moleskine to allow you to create and print your own photo book with genuine Moleskine materials, and we decided to put it to the test with some pictures from our travels in South Africa. Choosing the style and look that you’re after is easy, thanks to a free iPad app that does all the work for you. You simply select the style of book that you’re after, the pictures you’d like to use and how you’d like them arranged, and then place your order. Our book arrived a week or so later, elegantly wrapped in a presentation box that immediately gives you a sense that you’re opening a quality product. The book itself has rounded corners and a simple elastic closure, plus a cover photograph and wording of your own choosing. Photo book Inside, the ivory-coloured Moleskine paper has been carefully bound with centre-stitched open-flat binding. I could have added text to the pictures I’d selected but chose not to, preferring instead to opt for images that filled most of each page. Photo book Through the iPad app, I could also choose multiple images per page, in a variety of different configurations, so I opted to do this on the odd occasion within the book, such as with these shots of a lion at Shamwari Game Reserve. Photo book These MOLESKINE+MILK photo books lend themselves perfectly to travel and are the ideal way to create a wonderful keepsake from a special trip. Of course, you can personalise them with photos of family as well as the sights you see, as I did here with pictures of our children having fun in the sea at Camp’s Bay near Cape Town. Photo book There’s something special about having a tangible book like this, as opposed to just swiping through a gallery on your iPad. And there’s a multitude of possibilities – you could create a book of your very best pictures from a number of different trips, add much more text than I have done, focus on a particular theme (portraits of people you encounter in your travels, for instance), introduce much more personalisation, and so on. The opportunities are really endless, but it’s by doing it with MILK+MOLESKINE that a good quality finish is assured. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by MILK Tailor Made Photo Books Ltd.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. I am still surprised to see no specific brand dominate this field, since we have been sharing travel memories for as long we have been nomadic. First, through stories and legends, then through photography on rocks and, eventually, art and photography.

    As social media came around, it’s been a different ball game. We share our photos via Facebook or Instagram, but tend to not take the time to build a proper album, either online or offline. So I truly hope a tool such as this one, by Milk & Moleskine, can get people to step back for a moment and cherish what made their last trip memorable. Or not. Either way, I know this is the kind of gadget I must use for upcoming trips, as I have been lazy in past years when it comes to travel albums…


  2. Good point, Frederic, but maybe that’s almost why there hasn’t been a dominant player. There are so many ways that we can share travel memories, be it through social media or a simple slideshow on an iPad or whatever… but that said, there’s something nice about having a tangible book that people can look through or read at their own leisure. However sophisticated our technology becomes, and however many more ways of sharing pictures develops, I think there will always be a place for something like this.

  3. Certainly an interesting concept and a nice counterpoint to the numerous online depositories for photos. Do you think this kind of product is for special holidays (say a honeymoon) or do you think it will be viable for every break that we go on? What does the market look like?

  4. I guess it depends on the individual but the pricing is such that it wouldn’t be prohibitive to do on a regular basis. Of course, being a lovely finished product, it certainly lends itself particularly well to something like a honeymoon memory or a special once-in-a-lifetime trip, but could equally be used more frequently or for themes from multiple trips. Let’s say you were really travelled and had a great collection of photographs of waterfalls from all over the world… you could use it for someting like that, rather than necessarily for just one trip, so I guess the opportunities are endless.

  5. I’ve toyed with the idea of collecting my favourite photos for a book like this for sometime now but never actually done it. This one sounds a particularly good choice to go with. I’d love to produce one for every year of my travels but that would add up to one hell of a lot of books!

  6. Excellent post, Paul. With other photo books, I always get the mass-marketed “we produced 100,000 of these the same day” kind of feel. The Moleskine, MILK ones look like more TLC was put into them. I enjoy the inclusion of a bookmark as well.

    I agree with Frederic that I’m surprised no one has emerged as a leader here. With Moleskine being a favorite of many – as long as MILK can market these properly, I’m sure they will be able to look to that established community for support.

  7. Interesting, this would make a gorgeous gift. I have always used Apple in the past but the binding is often poor – for a special trip or an important gift this is a far better idea!

  8. I know a lot of people who do this despite the cost. It becomes equivalent to the slide night :) However I can see that maybe for special occasions it would be ideal.

  9. I’ve been creating keepsake books of the travels I take with my 10 year old grandson ( Turks & Caicos and Costa Rica) at Blacks but last time I ended up with photos of someone else’s trip in our book and the reorder has been 6 weeks. Moleskin has a great reputation so I’d be willing to try this.

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