September 29th, 2017

Save Your Photos Day: Tips for Safeguarding Your Most Precious Memories

Historic family photos are often relegated in shoeboxes to the attic or basement. Others are proudly showcased in frames hung on the wall, or in photo albums. Whether they’re hidden away or displayed in the home, the reality is that print photographs are susceptible to degradation. National Save Your Photos Day is September 30th, and it’s the perfect opportunity to stop and think about what you can do to protect your precious photo memories.

Environmental factors such as light, heat and humidity can cause photos to fade – especially those taken between 1936 and 1990, due to the methods of film processing used at the time. The other threat to your photos is a disaster such as a fire or flood. Generations worth memories can be destroyed in just moments. Without duplicates or digital backups, those memories will be irreplaceable.

For peace of mind, and to ensure your photos survive the test of time, our LD Experts recommend saving your photos using these helpful steps:

  1. Scan your photos and negatives

The first step in preserving and protecting your photos is to digitize them. You can either use an at-home scanner to digitize them yourself one-by-one, or our Photolab can help. Use our Photo Scanning Box service to have mass quantities of your photos digitized all at once. Just pick up a box from our Photolab, take it home and fill it with 800 photos, negatives and even old documents like birth certificates, and bring it back to any London Drugs Photolab location. The service is pre-paid for when the box is dropped off: $179.99 per box, which is approximately 22 cents per photo or document. Once our LD Experts are done scanning your photos at high resolution, you can pick up your hard copies as well the USB flash drive with all your digitized photos on it.

  1. Back up your digital photos

With your print photographs now digitized, the next step is to save those digital photos on to your computer as well as an external hard drive or USB flash drive. That way, if your computer crashes for any reason, or a flood destroys it, you’ll still have another digital copy that’s safe and sound. Ideally, store your digital photos on multiple external hard drives. Or consider uploading them to an online drive such as iCloud or Google Drive.

  1. Separate your hard drives

Even if you shoot digital and already keep your photos on a hard drive, our LD Experts recommend backing up your digital files on an extra hard drive and keeping it in a separate location. This will help to avoid losing your digital photos in a fire, flood or other disaster. Consider keeping one in the house and one at a family member’s home.

Once your photos are safe and digitized, the possibilities are endless! Make print copies using a photo printer at home, or easily order prints and enlargements through our Photolab. You can send them to family and friends so they can enjoy those cherished photos too. If you order from our Photolab, you can even have those prints sent directly to their home anywhere in Canada, or to their nearest London Drugs Photolab for pick-up. You can also get creative with all the different ways you can share your images: photo books, calendars, or wall décor just to name a few. Bring new life to old photographs that had previously remained unseen. After all, photo memories are meant to be shared.

To get you started, we’re offering 10% off everything in our Photolab, from Friday September 29th through Sunday October 1st! Just use the promo code SAVEYOURPHOTOS at checkout, when you order from our London Drugs Photolab.

 



November 29th, 2016

Giving Gifts They’ll Actually Love

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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

Order any of these gifts at our new Photolab website or by visiting any London Drugs location.

 

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.

 



September 16th, 2016

Creating a customized Photolab calendar

Customized calendars are one of the most popular items the Photolab has to offer. And why not? Their merits—specifically their customizability and their immense sentimental value, especially as gifts but even for oneself—have been covered frequently in past Photoblog posts like these.
However, since the last post about them the Photolab has rolled out its magical new website and in-store kiosks, making their creation easier and even more customizable than ever before. And if you doubt this claim for even a moment, I invite you to read at your leisure the demonstration that follows—

How to create a customized photo calendar
using the Photolab in-store kiosk:

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Begin by selecting Creative Orders, and then Agree to the Terms & Conditions on the next screen.

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Then choose where you want to get your photos from. This time, I chose to log in and access the ones I’ve uploaded to my Photolab account.

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Next I select Calendars from the Products page.

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On the Calendar page you can choose your calendar type, your binding…you can even choose a single page or a desktop. I’ve selected the traditional style of calendar, because I happen to be a traditional guy.

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In fact, I went even more traditional and selected the standard 8.5×11” calendar. As you can see, I’ve got nine styles available in this size to choose from.

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From the menu on the left I can also choose to start my calendar in October, November or December, or I can just choose the full 2017 calendar year.

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You can place your photos manually one-by-one, or you can select the autofill option. Usually when I post a demo like this, I choose the manual option so I can take you through it; but since I’ve gone that route so often, this time I’m going with autofill—you know, just to balance things out a bit.

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When you select autofill, it pre-loads photos from your album into the calendar template, and then you can proceed to edit them.

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From the top left of the screen you can choose your layout; you can also select whether you want to edit the calendar in page view, spread view or as a grid of thumbnails.

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Not only can you edit or add text to your photos, but you can also add and edit text in each of the individual date boxes on each page, for every month. Now you can give Grandma’s birthday the same official recognition as a national holiday!

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Once you’re finished with all your tweaks and edits, you can save the project to your account or add it to your shopping cart. As you can see, volume discounts are clearly pointed out. Then choose your shipping or in-store pickup preferences, and you’re done!

But the helpful advice doesn’t end there, dear readers! One thing the Photoblog hasn’t addressed much is the fact that however you want to make your Photolab calendar, great photos will make it that much better—except what do you do if you happen to have a dearth of quality photos? The solution is in this month’s companion post, which contains a helpful way to keep some handy DIY photography tips right close by whenever those perfect photo-ops present themselves.



November 30th, 2015

Personalized calendars: Made to share

calendarThis is generally around the time where every holiday shopping procrastinators’ mind starts turning with the eternal question: What gift to get Whom? If this question is indeed in the back of your brain right now, never fear—the Photoblog is here to help! (Cue heroic trumpets.) For I can recommend one single gift—from the Photolab, of course—that is appropriate for roughly 99.936% of the people on your list.

I speak of course, of the customizable Photolab calendar. The Photoblog has paid tribute to it in past posts like this one, but since you’re here and probably grappling with The Question (see above) here are just a few reasons why customizable Photolab calendars make such a great gift for everyone:

  1. They do an excellent encapsulating your whole year in pictures, especially if you have kids. It is simply mind-blowing to see how much kids grow within the span of 12 months. These calendars let people see those changes in one sitting, which is what makes them an ideal gift for proud grandparents and extended family.
  2. Whether giving or receiving, no one likes gifts that end up getting stashed away and forgotten after the holidays. Calendars are useful literally every day of the year, and since you can customize them for the recipient, they also offer something meaningful to look at each day.
  3. They are completely customizable. This probably should have been #1 on the list, because it’s the reason these calendars offer universal appeal: you can tailor them to each recipient’s specific interests.
  4. Photolab home software makes it easy and gives you complete control. For example, nowhere is it written that you have to use only 12 pictures. You can do split-frames or collages to include as many photos as you like—whatever your artistic muse dictates.

All your photos—from your hard drive, your storage media, the internet—are at your disposal. Use your social media posts, take the photos with the most likes and turn them into a calendar. It’ll make you feel like a social media celebrity!

Best of all, since the Photolab software is both easy and free, you can download it now and check it our for yourself, lest you doubt my sincerity here. But hey, the Photoblog is just here to help, as are the experts at your local Photolab should you have any questions or need additional tips. With their expertise and your creativity, you can put The Question to rest once and for all. Happy Holidays!



January 6th, 2015

Photo Publishing: An Easy Resolution to Keep!

Maybe you’ve taken plenty of awesome photos and can’t choose a favourite to print. Or you’d prefer to capture the memory of the whole holiday rather than one single day or event. The Photolab has your solution, with a wide selection of engaging Photobooks, or even a calendar. You can create any kind of Photobook you like; you may want something light, fun and portable, or perhaps you’d prefer a leather-bound coffee table book with a bit more gravitas. Check out this post to learn more about Photobooks.

In addition to the cover, you can also select from a variety of design templates for the actual pages—or you can opt for a clean, white page.

In addition to the cover, you can also select from a variety of design templates for the actual pages—or you can opt for a clean, white page.

Similarly, you have a wide range of calendars to choose from, as I’ve described in this post.

The best thing about Photobooks and calendars is how completely customizable they are. You can download the Photolab Home Edition software for free and use it to create exactly the kind of layout and page effects you want. You can build it, make changes and send it to the Photolab for printing without ever having to exit the software. For a full how-to or more information check out this post. (Oh… and before I forget, you can also use the software to create original greeting cards, which are a great way to send out personalized post-holiday thank you’s).

 



December 10th, 2014

Meaningful Photo Gifts

Well, the days of December are upon us, which means it’s time for another proactive holiday email. As always, I bring you good news, especially if you missed the nascent insanity that is “Black Friday”: there is still a vast selection of great gift options available from the Photolab. And you don’t need to elbow your way through a crushing mass of humanity to get them.

Personally, I would love to receive these beautiful, personalized photo gifts. And I don’t even know these people.

Personally, I would love to receive these beautiful, personalized photo gifts. And I don’t even know these people.

Photo gifts are fully customizable, highly personalized gifts that demonstrate that you truly know the recipients and enjoy sharing part of your life with them. Gifts that provide lasting value at a reasonable price. Best of all, gifts that are extremely easy to create using the Photolab software—and you don’t need to be a designer or tech expert to customize them to your taste.

Moments Photobooks: A wide variety of styles are available, from beautiful leather-bound hardcover to versatile, easily shareable softcover options. (See this post for a more in-depth review.)

Personalized calendars: Grandparents would rather receive a calendar filled with pics of the grandkids than pretty much any other gift on Earth. For the rest of us, a calendar containing images from recent vacations, or the year’s most memorable events, is a sure bet to lift spirits every day of 2015. And as I wrote in this post, building them is a snap—a great option if you’re pressed for time this season.

Personalized greeting cards: Now you can abolish those typical, generic greeting card packs to the Island of Unwanted Toys once and for all. No matter what you write in a personalized greeting card, the message they send is that you truly know and care about the recipient. Just as easy to create as a calendar using the Photolab software. Here’s a post that takes you through the process.

Now that we appear to be saddled with our dismal seasonal weather, it’s the perfect time to make yourself a hot chocolate and start browsing through your digital photo library for the perfect images to include. Because the more thought you put into your selection, the more the recipient will appreciate the gift.

Photolab-Holiday-Cutoff-Date-2014Reminder: Submit your personalized Photobook, calendar or cards for printing before Dec 17th to ensure they’ll be ready in time for Christmas.

 



November 10th, 2014

Personalized Calendars

London Drugs Photolab home software transforms the calendar from cheesy into a highly valued personal gift.

London Drugs Photolab home software transforms the calendar from cheesy into a highly valued personal gift.

No question: traditional wall and desk calendars are widely regarded as belonging in the pantheon of notoriously tacky holiday gifts—along with socks, neckties, and of course, the virtually indigestible holiday fruitcake.

However: what if, instead of the typical, generic store-bought calendar featuring kittens, landscapes or cartoons, you gave someone a personalized calendar featuring photos of them and their loved ones? Personalization transforms the printed calendar from a throwaway gift into a thoughtful and relevant keepsake that the recipient will appreciate every single time they look at it. Best of all, it’s something you can create yourself using the Photolab Home Edition Software.

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