Sentiment and romance—they’re like the twin pillars of Valentine’s Day. And if your gift is lacking in one, you’d better hope it covers the other. Fortunately, the Photolab has been a solid go-to for occasions like Valentine’s Day for, well, I don’t even know how long. I guess all that matters is that the Photolab will be there for us again this Valentine’s Day, with a couple of simple gifts that score off the charts when it comes to sentiment and can also be as romantic as you want to make them.
To be a success, after all, a Valentine’s Day gift doesn’t need to be particularly expensive, but it does need to be thoughtful in nature (I suppose this is true of any gift, really). And what could more thoughtful than browsing through old photos of you and your significant other (S.O.), looking for just-perfect photos to build a personalized card or photobook around? That, friends, is the very definition of sentimentality. In fact, the only way it could be more sentimental is if the card could also somehow play ‘your’ song as it’s opened (hmmm…note to the Photolab…)
As for romance, that, my friends, is up to you and photo-choosing skills. (And also, I suppose, your photo-taking skills—because you need to have romantic photos featuring your S.O. in order to choose romantic photos.) The Photolab kiosk and website have a selection of themes to cover any mood you want to create, from light & breezy to super-smooth romance. So provided you have the right photos—you know the ones; the tropical beach, the moonlight shot, the embrace, the one from that special night—a photo card or photobook can be as romantic as the ‘candlelight dinner + dozen roses + Barry White playlist’ triple crown.
This is usually the point in the post where I bust into the walkthrough showing how to create the gift item in question using the Photolab in-store kiosks and website, but in this case creating photobooks and greeting cards have been covered in detail:
Do yourself a favour this V-Day: forget the clichés, forego dropping a fortune on extravagance, and stick with a simple testament to how well you know the special someone in your life and how fond you are of the memories you’ve created together. That, friends, is truly Valentine’s gold.
The London Drugs Photolab continues to expand its impressive line of photo gifts. This is very good news for people like me who are always struggling to find fresh and interesting gift ideas for occasions like Valentine’s Day. You can only give the same person a photo mug or a fine art print so many times, after all. Regardless of the quality of the print or the perfection of the chosen photo, after a while the recipient is going to wonder why you never bother to think of something new. It’s ok. They don’t need to know that the Photolab is happy to do this kind of thinking for you.
For example, the Photolab now boasts a robust selection of textile print gift items including t-shirts, hoodies, aprons, pillowcases and blankets. Textile gifts are perfect for a range of occasions including bachelor(ette) parties and company picnics, but to me at least they seem especially appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Giving jewelry or a vacation is a little overkill and candy/roses/dinner is lame and cliché, but giving a personalized photo blanket ticks all the boxes: sentimental, thoughtful, affordable, original and uncommon. Most importantly, if you choose something like a beautiful vacation photo of the two of you, it’s also very romantic.
And, as always, creating a textile gift is as easy as ordering prints. Here is a short walkthrough of some of the steps for ordering a photo blanket at the Photolab in-store kiosk:
Then, when you’re done, proceed to the Cart page and voila! Valentine’s Day all wrapped up in a personalized blanket.
Come to think of it, a personalized photo blanket makes arguably the best Photolab Valentine’s Day gift—because it’s the only personalized gift that two people can snuggle in.
Much like my estranged Uncle Larry, printed photographs do not age well. Unlike Uncle Larry, the cause is not poor life choices; it’s mostly due to environmental factors like light, heat and humidity. Photos printed between 1936-1990 are especially at risk of fading due to the processing technology used during those years. If you have photos from this era, you probably have a great many of them stored in old shoeboxes and musty photo albums—which, although it is very common practice, is pretty darn risky if you think about it. After all, in and amongst all those regrettable shots of you with a perm and bell bottoms or sporting a mullet while decked out in the finest Miami Vice pastel linen suit, there are probably some of the most cherished—and un-replaceable—memories of your life and your family history.
Even worse than gradual degradation over time, if you leave them in a box or a stack of photo albums, they are also vulnerable to fire, floods and other disasters we tend not to think about until they happen to us. People who have lived through such catastrophes almost always count their photos as the item of property they most wish they could have back.
Hint: It’s not the thought, it’s the personalization that counts!
We all know that one person who seems to always give the perfect, thoughtful and most unique Christmas gifts. How do they do it? Our Photolab Experts have the secret, and it’s easier than you think. It’s all about personalization. Adding a personal touch, like a photo or custom text, will give your gifts a unique quality that your loved ones will cherish. Our Photolab has virtually endless possibilities to customize your gifts for friends, family, colleagues and anyone else on your holiday shopping list.
Greeting Cards – Whether it’s your family’s annual Christmas card, or individual cards to give out to family, friends and colleagues, spreading the holiday cheer starts here. Rather than picking out a set of generic cards to send, why not create unique holiday cards with personal photos? Our Photolab can now customize Greeting Cards using a wide variety of themed templates on 6 new premium card stocks: linen, natural white, matte soft white, shimmer silver and shimmer soft gold. We are the only local Photolab to use these premium card stocks, so your greeting cards are guaranteed to be entirely unique.
Photographic Albums – Give a truly thoughtful and personal gift by curating a collection of special photos and creating a personalized photographic album for loved ones. The book’s photos are printed on thick photographic paper that will brilliantly display cherished memories in a high quality format. Share photos of a recent trip together, a collection of photos taken over the past year, or even old childhood and family photos.
Personalized Large Fleece Blankets – Brand new to the London Drugs Photolab, this is the ultimate cozy Christmas gift. Got a hockey player in the family? Customize a fleece blanket with a photo of their team, and parents can use it to show support and to keep warm at their next game. Grandparents would love a personalized blanket with a photo of their grandchildren, and a dog lover would be over the moon to see their prized pup immortalized on a super-soft fleece.
Photo Crystals – Choose a meaningful photo to share with your loved ones and gift it to them in the form of a crystal. Our new expanded selection of shapes includes heart, teardrop, moon, wave and rectangle-shaped crystal blocks, which can transform your photo into a unique, eye-catching Christmas gift. This would make a great personalized hostess gift for any of your upcoming holiday parties.
Express Books – Need to whip together a quick and easy Christmas gift, and need it right away? The 8×8 photographic Express Books can be made within 24 hours at any London Drugs location. Just choose your photos, and we’ll create a sleek photographic book complete with black leatherette cover. So if you forgot one last person on your list, or if you received an unexpected gift from your neighbour or colleague, don’t fret: we can take care of that.
Instagram Books – This small personalized Instagram Book makes the perfect stocking stuffer gift! Simply select your favourite square Instagram photos from your feed, and our Photolab will turn them into a beautiful square photo book you can easily pop into someone’s stocking. This is a great gift for hard to buy for tweens and teens and for hobby photographers who showcase their work on Instagram.
Photo Calendars – Have a few people on your shopping list that you’re just not sure what to get them? Our photo calendars are easily customized, which make them the perfect gift for almost anyone this Christmas. For family, feature images of your kids growing up, or for co-workers, perhaps feature some of your favourite landscape photos. It is useful all year round.
Personalized Mugs – Whether they’re a coffee person or a tea person, you can’t go wrong with gifting a personalized photo mug. Pick a colour, design, and then choose your photo: it’s as simple as that. You can even choose our Magic Mug that reveals your hidden photo when hot liquid is added. These personalized mugs make great stocking stuffer gifts, as well as gifts for colleagues or your kids’ teachers.
Holiday Order Deadlines
A great selection of products are available for same day or next day pickup, up to Saturday, December 24 including Enlargements, Canvas Gallery Wraps, Express Books, Photographic Calendars and Mugs. See a photolab expert for details.
Be sure to place your orders for the below products before the listed dates to ensure Christmas delivery:
Photobooks, Calendars and Traditional Greeting Cards: Wednesday, December 14
Creative Products: Wednesday, December 14
Crystals: Tuesday, December 13
Crystallize-it 3D Photo Crystals: Tuesday, December 13
Bobbleheads: Monday, November 14
Yes Video: Friday, November 25
Click here for information about order deadlines.
In addition to conveniently being able to upload photos to your Photolab account and ordering prints from your mobile phone, the new Photolab mobile app has received a sweet upgrade: now you can also upload your photos to a Photolab kiosk—from anywhere! And by “anywhere” I mean, “without having to be physically present at a London Drugs location and connected to its wireless network.”
In case the awesomeness of this upgrade is eluding you, allow me to present just one of many scenarios where it will make your life easier in an awesome kind of way:
Imagine you and a friend/sibling/spouse are out shopping for holiday gifts, and you stop at a coffeehouse to briefly collect your senses amidst the madness and chaos. Your friend/sibling/spouse takes a sip from their mocha and begins speaking to you without realizing they have a big dollop of whipped cream on their nose. In a flash, you grab your phone and snap a perfect close-up of them before they realize it. You realize that this photo is too perfect NOT to commemorate as a photo gift especially for their mother/other siblings/co-workers.
So what do you do, Hotshot? Here’s what you do:
With your prize photo uploaded and waiting, you can make a quick stop to your local Photolab right there in the mall or on your way home and order this comedically priceless gift photo mug or ornament in even less time than before. One little upgrade and your holiday shopping time was substantially reduced. More importantly, you were able to create and order a unique, spur-of-the-moment gift that celebrates and mildly embarrasses your friend in less time than it takes to get through a crowded holiday parking lot.
And that friends is why the Photolab app upgrade is so awesome. So be sure to give it a try before you embark on a long holiday shopping sojourn.
These days, something in the neighbourhood of 50% of all online retail purchases are made using mobile devices. In fact, it may even be more than that when you consider that I don’t like doing research about retail sales statistics and therefore didn’t bother looking up more recent data. But it’s absolutely plausible; more and more people are only using their computers at the office and their phones everywhere else. Whatever the actual statistics, the ever-proactive Photolab people are aware of them and have built a mobile site that’s easy to use and fast/stable enough to create and order anything from their entire catalog of photo products while you’re waiting for the barista to steam your latte.
With the holidays fast approaching, this feels like the perfect time to demonstrate exactly how easy it is to create and order a photo gift item (in this case, a holiday-themed printed beer stein) on a smartphone. How easy? Well, the video demo I created is a mere seven minutes from start to finish—which includes the time I take to (over) explain everything. As I usually do with my video demos, I pre-loaded all my photos and albums to save time, but of course that’s a very simple process as well. You can review it with this post if you need. Then, grab your smartphone and give it a try yourself, and see how simple holiday shopping can be. And once again, my sincerest apologies for sounding like a Simpsons character.
From your social networks to your favourite prints in a snap.
As we’ve mentioned many times here on the ol’ Photoblog, no one loves Instagram more than the Photolab. Well, the Photolab also loves Facebook and Twitter, plus any other social media that’s helped make photography such an essential part of the way we communicate and express ourselves in daily life. However, I’ve never asked but I’d bet Instagram is still the consensus favourite simply because of its emphasis on photography.
In fact, the Photolab has made it possible for people to engage via Instagram outside of the digital world with the new, specially-created Instagram photobook. It’s a simple 20-page booklet that can be either 4×4” or 6×6”—square formats that are perfect for Instagram photos. Simply choose your finish (glossy or pearl) and your binding edge (top or side), load your Instagram account into your London Drugs photo album and build your book. And as you can see from the video demonstration, it takes only a few minutes to create and order. These booklets have a very instantaneous, in-the-moment quality to them, and they exist to be shared with others—almost a kind of tactile version Instagram—yet made for actual life!
Have a quick look at the video. Then, start by taking what you consider to be the best images in your Instagram account and print your very own Instagram’s Greatest Hits photobook. And as you watch, keep this in mind—my tongue isn’t actually fused to the roof of my mouth with a wad of peanut butter. It only sounds that way.
Perhaps you’ve never made a personalized greeting card for anyone. Perhaps it’s because you believe it’s going to take too much time, and therefore it’s easier to just buy a pre-printed set from the store. Let’s set the record straight once and for all; this is a holiday myth—and it’s a bigger downer than the myth about getting coal in your stocking. The fact is, it’s always been quick & easy to make a personalized greeting card from the Photolab. It was easy back in the days of the Photolab home software, and it became even quicker & easier with the launch of the current Photolab website.
Also, since the new site is all responsive and adapts to mobile phone web browsers, you can create a personalized card from your photo album anywhere you take your phone. Do you happen to be somewhere with a nice outdoor light display? Snap a picture and make it into a holiday card, right on the spot in a matter of minutes. This short video demonstration shows you how. Actually, it serves more as proof that you can do it, because the process is so simple that you really don’t need a tutorial.
Have a look at the video, then try making a personalized card yourself. The recipient will certainly appreciate you spent the time—however little time you actually needed to take. And I apologize for having a voice that sounds like a failed audition for the pre-recorded Skytrain announcer.