November 6th, 2015

Connecting the Photolab to your social media accounts

There they are on the Photolab source page…the best social media sites for photography, all ready to print!

There they are on the Photolab source page…the best social media sites for photography, all ready to print!

As we’ve said many times here on the Photoblog, we like social media. More than that, we are actually grateful for it; as it has made photography part of everyday life for more people than ever. This, in turn, has spurred huge technological advances in both cameras and printing. And now that your favourite photography social media accounts are accessible in your online Photolab account, it’s never been easier to turn your photos into high quality, highly customized prints.


I recently did a step-by-step post outlining how to access your Instagram photos through your Photolab account. You can also access your Facebook photo albums. From the source page, choose the social media account you want to access. A pop-up will allow you to log in and access your social media account (I believe it’s called an ‘API’, for you computer-savvy types), and you will instantly be able to see and select your social media photos!


November 5th, 2015

Photo Gift Ideas for the Proactive

If you wait, before your know it Dec 24th will be here and you’ll have missed your chance to get Aunt Rita this customized photo pet bowl for her Shih-Tzus.

If you wait, before your know it Dec 24th will be here and you’ll have missed your chance to get Aunt Rita this customized photo pet bowl for her Shih-Tzus.

So…who’s up for being proactive this holiday season? Hmmm. Okay, I don’t see very many hands… What’s the matter? Oh, I understand: being proactive can be a hassle, which is probably why so many people don’t bother with it. Being proactive requires thinking ahead, and who has time for that? Speaking of time, that’s another big reason people aren’t more proactive with their holiday shopping: we’re too busy being proactive with other things to be proactive shopping for a holiday that’s still so many months/weeks/hours away.

Fortunately, as a lover of all things photography-related, you’re in luck; the Photolab has great gift solutions for pretty much everyone. Keep in mind, these are personalized gifts you create especially for the recipient, from your own computer or mobile device. Again, to recap: personalized gifts that are convenient, require very little of your time and involve photography—your photography, in particular—which is something you enjoy. See that? The Photolab has just removed all of your barriers to proactivity.

On top of all that, the Photolab has made it easy to customize the type of gift based on the recipient’s known preferences/lifestyle/etc. In fact, the selection of items you can put an image on via the Photolab just keeps on growing. Here are just a few of the many gift ideas you’ll find:

Mugs—Sure, we’ve covered these before and you already knew photo mugs have been around forever. My personal favourite is the latte mug. Not only can it display a larger image, but it also holds more coffee. I like lots of coffee.

Coin bank—Help the recipient save by printing a picture of their savings goal right on the coin bank itself. That’s motivation, right there! Or, buy one for yourself and put a picture of someone for whom you’re saving up to buy a more expensive gift. Either way, everybody wins. Available for square or panoramic images

Water bottle—Say you know someone who wants to get back in shape, and they’re doing it ‘for the kids’, or ‘the kids deserve a fitter, healthier parent’ or something to that effect. So give them a water bottle with a picture of their kids on it, so their motivation is always right there, in a cupholder on the Stairmaster. Available with 4×4 or 8×4 image.

Heart-shaped puzzle—This isn’t just for couples who aren’t too cool for heart-shaped things. I bet the grandparents would love a heart-shaped puzzle of the grandkids. I bet the kids would love a heart-shaped puzzle of the family pet. Think outside the box, dear readers. Start thinking more heart-shaped.

Photo pet bowl—It’s a good thing dogs can’t see two-dimensional images. Otherwise, they might think a food bowl with their picture on it is kinda vain. Fortunately they care more about what’s inside the bowl. Your cat can see photos, however, and cats feel entitled to such glorification. Available in small and large sizes.

So there you have it. The Photoblog has just provided you with the inspiration for probably half your shopping list. And this is only a partial list of the Photolab’s gift ideas. Do yourself a favour and check them all out; you never know what may jump out at you. While you’re at it, give yourself a gift, too—give yourself the time to be proactive.

November 4th, 2015

The best of mobile printing

Choose a photo, take a photo, print a photo. The Photolab’s mobile site makes it just that simple.

Choose a photo, take a photo, print a photo.

Mobile phones seem to have replaced the computer as people’s go-to technology. It used to be that you had to first upload your images from your camera to your computer, and then order prints (side note: I can hear myself beginning to sound like my Dad, my Uncle, and every other old guy in my family who seems to start every sentence with “it used to be…”). However, thanks mostly to flash memory and ‘the cloud’, people don’t need to bother storing their photos on a computer hard drive. So shouldn’t you also be able to order prints directly from your mobile device?

Well, now you can. In fact, the Photolab offers two ways to print your favourite photos directly from your mobile device:

Order Online

Featuring the same-day service, shipping and pickup options available through your computer. Because it’s the exact same Photolab site, only optimized for your mobile dealie.

  1. Open your favourite browser on your mobile device and go to
  2. Browse the Photolab’s great selection of products.
  3. Click GET STARTED
  4. Choose the photos from your mobile device by selecting your device
  5. Order your products and pick-up in-store or have them delivered.

Order in-store at Photolab kiosks with a cable


The Photolab’s mobile site makes it just that simple.

By connecting to the Photolab’s in-store kiosks, you can do things like make edits to your photos and order bulk images (100 prints or more at a time).

  1. Plug in your mobile device directly into our in-store Photolab kiosks.
  2. View and edit your photos on the monitor. Use the enlarge and crop tool to edit the photos just the way you like them!

These two options make ordering prints as simple as any of the thousands of other types of mobile shopping. Now, anywhere there’s internet connectivity, there’s a Photolab to serve you.

October 27th, 2015

Halloween photos? Make a Boooooook-It

Book-itSo… did your Halloween contain any of the following (and did you manage to get pictures?):

  • Kids
  • Trick or treating
  • Costumes
  • Parties

If so, it’s always a good idea to commemorate them. And here at the Photoblog, whenever we say ‘commemorate’ what we really mean is ‘go ahead and have at least some of them printed at the Photolab, because you’ll be really glad you did.’ Since Halloween is really a multi-stage seasonal celebration—with all the pumpkin-choosing, pumpkin-carving, costume-wearing, trick-or-treating, school parties, neighbourhood parties—printing your favourite photos of all these events in book form probably makes the most sense.

However, you may argue that Halloween, while fun, is not a big or important enough event to warrant a big fancy Photobook. Well, as always, the Photolab has the perfect solution: simply turn your prints into a quick, convenient book with Book-It. All you do is order your prints from the Photolab like you normally would, and when you go to pick them up, ask the technician to make them into a Book-It. You can read more about them in this post, but that’s essentially the gist of it. And that’s all it takes to create a handy little book that’s easy to share.

And who knows? One day, when the kids have outgrown the dress-up stage, or you’ve outgrown the crazy adult Halloween party stage, you may want to turn all those photos into one big collective Photobook. In the meantime however, Book-It is the ideal year-to-year memento.

October 26th, 2015

Your first DSLR camera

Maybe it was your love of posting stuff on social media. Or perhaps it was having your smartphone camera handy and at the ready at all times. Whatever the reason, you have officially become a photo-snapping, Photoblog-reading photography buff. And now that you’ve admitted this (or at least allowed me to admit it on your behalf), perhaps it’s time to do what everyone does as soon as they upgrade their photography interest from just another thing into a full-on passion: invest in a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera.


You may be a beginner, but the super-sweet Nikon D5200 will have you looking (and shooting) like a pro

Purchasing your first-ever DSLR camera can be a daunting experience. Even the cheapest ones will run you a few hundred dollars, and the selection and number of different features available between different brands and models ranges somewhere between innumerable and infinite. That’s why—particularly for first-time buyers—I definitely recommend speaking to someone who is both knowledgeable enough to answer all the questions you should have when making such a purchase and respectful enough to understand how overwhelming such a first-time purchase can be. The good news is that you’ll find plenty of such people at your local London Drugs Camera Department.

In researching this post I was fortunate enough to speak with Ashley at the Georgia & Granville location. Not only did she make the process 100% less intimidating, but she could also immediately recommend a number of entry-level models from both Nikon and Canon that each featured different ways of addressing a number of needs that the newbie may have.

Ashley’s first recommends were Nikon models: specifically the D3300, D5200 and the D5500. Each of these comes standard with a helpful ‘Guide Mode’ that helps you select the best settings for the kind of image you want to capture. Best of all, at the bottom of each menu is a ‘?’ icon that provides a definition of each option in the menu. It’s basically like having a built-in manual right there on-screen.

Ashley also recommended the Canon T5 and T5i, suited for beginner to mid-level photographers. She noted that, while these didn’t offer on-screen features like the Nikon models, their lower price point (at least at regular price) made them a good choice for beginners to wet their feet. She then pointed out that many locations also offer workshops for novice photographers to learn the basics of DSLR photography—free with any London Drugs camera purchase. Check with your local London Drugs to see where they are offered in your area.

Whether it’s for yourself or as a gift for someone this holiday season, if you do your research and buy from a knowledgeable seller who’s focused on your needs, your first DSLR will be something you always remember fondly. A word of warning, however: as your skills improve, DSLR photography can become downright addictive. Your first camera may soon have you looking for your first lens, flash, maybe even your first studio kit. Don’t worry though—no matter how consumed you become, the LD Camera Dept. will always be there with friendly, helpful advice.

October 26th, 2015

Metallic Silver Prints

We’ve mentioned metallic silver prints here on the Photoblog, but unlike the other kinds of photo prints, we’ve never given them their very own feature post. I’m not sure why this oversight has continued to occur, but it’s an injustice that must end today! After all, they are certainly no less impressive than the Photolab’s other fine art prints.

Metallic silver paper has a fine surface, with a scratch-resistant high-gloss metallic finish that allows for exceptional image clarity and brilliant colour reproduction. The paper has tiny metallic grains in it that reflect the light in each colour differently. This means that no two colours will pop in the same way, and the contrast between colours really stands out. The Photolab technician I spoke to also mentioned that the metallic silver prints would work incredibly well on a black-and-white photo.


My iPhone photo of the metallic silver print sample from the Photolab sample book. On your screen, it looks like any other photo. You can’t see the incredible vibrancy, colour reproduction or unique look of the paper – which is why you need to see it for yourself at your local Photolab.

Metallic silver paper also really accentuates the depth of field, because it gives the image a very three-dimensional quality. You can especially notice this when you compare it to a standard glossy print. The Photolab’s sample print (shown below) does an excellent job demonstrating the paper’s particular advantages:

The row of trees that disappear into the horizon line really showcases the 3D effect, while the red leaves on the ground are quite striking set against the green of the lawn.

There are many different gradients of red in the leaves on the trees, and they all burst in different ways.

The paper even makes the grey pathway more vibrant, and the bride’s white dress absolutely shimmers.

The clarity, definition and visual effects these prints provide make them incredibly engaging to look at on a wall. However, you won’t notice these things on your screen, which is why I highly recommend checking out the sample with your own eyes at your local Photolab.

October 6th, 2015

It’s October and Photobooks are in season

Photobooks are fun to create, but you’ve probably got thousands upon thousands of photos you could use. The selection process could take a while, so get started now!

Photobooks are fun to create, but you’ve probably got thousands upon thousands of photos you could use. The selection process could take a while, so get started now!

It’s October. You don’t need to tell me, I am aware. In fact, I just finished round one of Thanksgiving grocery shopping, in which I calmly purchase all the trimmings (round two is where I run around madly trying to find the turkey I should have ordered weeks ago). So why, then, am I writing a post encouraging you to get started on holiday Photobooks?


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