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.
The holidays are all about enjoying the company of friends and family, and if you’re celebrating together from the comfort of your own home, there are a few creative ways to make your home feel even more festive and inviting. Spread holiday cheer from the moment your guests walk in the door with unique and personalized holiday décor items from London Drugs Photolab.
Christmas Ornaments – Christmas Ornaments are what make every Christmas tree unique. Often, ornaments are passed down through the generations, and many tell our family stories, from ‘First Year Married’ to ‘Baby’s First Christmas’. You can customize your very own Christmas ornaments to share your favourite memories. Choose from our extensive selection of ornaments, made from aluminum, pewter, crystal and ceramic – all of which come in a wide variety of shapes. Add a personal photo and some text to create a special keepsake you can hang on the tree for years to come.
Canvas Gallery Wraps & Aluminum Panels – Just as you change the pillows and other décor in your home for the holidays, why not switch up your artwork, too? Get creative and have your own personal holiday photos printed on a Canvas Gallery Wrap or Aluminum Panel. Deck the halls with a fine art print of your family’s annual Christmas photo, or if you consider yourself skilled with a camera, why not take one of your own wintery landscape photos and have it printed?
Our Canvas Gallery Wraps are hand stretched onto deep wooden frames for easily placement or hanging, and are printed using specialty pigmented inks with archival qualities, so your holiday photos can be displayed as works of art.
We now also offer our high-gloss Aluminum Panels in a larger format, up to 40 x 60, which makes them great for creating your very own holiday wall décor. Thanks to their mounting, the vivid images appear almost three-dimensional, seemingly jumping off the wall.
Personalized Placemats – A lot of time during the holidays is spent around the dinner table, so why not add your own personal holiday touches to your tablespace? Customize placemats using our Photolab to match your Christmas theme: our experts recommend using a photo of last year’s Christmas tree, the gingerbread house your kids made, or even a snapshot of the snowman you built. You can even personalize with text (a simple ‘Merry Christmas’ works great).
Photo Coasters – If you’re planning on entertaining, it’s the details that will really impress your guests. Instead of pulling out your usual old coasters for guests to use, customize your own holiday coasters with some personal photos and the help of our Photolab. Make them all the more festive with some text: “Eat, Drink and be Merry!”, for example.
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.
Welcome to our annual Don’t Wait! blog post, 2016 edition. It seems every year we here at the Photoblog encourage you, dear readers, to rise up during the month of October and get a jump on your holiday gifting. We are happy to continue doing this year after year even though it might be construed as nagging. Why? Because the Photolab keeps making it easier to create astounding and memorable personalized photo gifts, leaving you with ever fewer reasons to procrastinate. That’s why. Hey, I get it: you keep getting busier and busier. Luckily, creating awesome photo gifts from the Photolab just keeps getting easier and easier. The Photolab in-store kiosks and website make it incredibly simple to not only to aggregate and manage your online photos and keep them handy for photo prints at a moment’s notice; it’s also a great resource for original, personalized products that make perfect gifts. The process is intuitive, fast, stable and robust with no downloading necessary. Most importantly, they are extremely user-friendly and simple, as you’ll see in the video demonstrations provided below. Their purpose is not only to show you how to create some unique and meaningful gifts for the holidays, but also to show the doubters among you just how simple the process really is. Overcoming skepticism with a show of wonder and magic…now there’s a tried and true holiday theme!
Everyone loves personalized gift ornaments. Even those people who decorate their trees with uniform bulbs and lights, who stick to a predetermined colour palette throughout the entire tree with absolutely no exceptions. That is, until you present them with a photo ornament that brings a smile to their face. You’re darn right they will make an exception for that. Heck, they’ll probably hang it right in the centre of the tree so everyone can see it, colour palette be darned. Even though, as you can see in the video, you can create and order it in a matter of minutes.
By itself, the standard ceramic mug is one of the least exciting objects in all of human history. Therefore, you probably assume there’s not much you can do to customize, personalize, or make it interesting in any way.
Well, as this video demonstrates, if this indeed is your assumption, you are wrong. You can make a fun and totally give-able mug in minutes. Check it out.
I may have mentioned this before in previous holiday posts, but there is an unspoken hierarchy of holiday cards that goes like this:
Lowest level: e-cards. Really. No matter what its message is. Honestly, why even bother?
Next level: printed store-bought greeting cards.
Second-highest level: homemade cards or ‘artisanal’ cards found on sites like etsy with wax paper snowflake collages glued on them or whatever.
Highest level: personalized photo greeting cards from the Photolab. This isn’t a case of bias here: personalized photos help greeting cards do what they were created to do: remind the recipients that they are part of your family or circle of friends, and that you value that relationship.
Note that this hierarchy doesn’t apply to price. Photolab-made cards are priced comparable to most regular store-bought cards, especially if you order higher quantities. And they’re a lot less than most fancy-shmancy etsy cards, probably because they’re much easier to create. No glue gun necessary…just watch the video!
Few holiday gifts are as appreciated as a photo book, especially for the price. And the more thought you put into choosing the photos and customizing the style and layout, the more appreciated it will be. As this video demonstrates, the Photolab site and kiosk allow you to do as much of both as you wish.
The Photolab is here to help you create both
Many posts here on the Photoblog involve showing our readers how to create beautiful, quality products that are ultimately produced by the Photolab. Pretty much all that is required on your end is a little time and a few photos. However, whenever we show you how to create these things and describe how amazing the end product will look, we always make the same assumption: that you have at your disposal an array of quality digital photos that would look beautiful on any given Photolab print or product. And while I’d be willing to bet that is the case for most Photoblog readers, I’m sure there are also some of you who feel you are lacking enough quality photos to create certain products. There may even be some readers who lack the photography know-how to take the kind of photos you want. In fact, in certain cases I would even count myself among you! Truth be told, sometimes while writing these tutorial posts on how to create certain prints or products, I look through my own photo libraries and get frustrated by the lack of quality photos I can use when taking screenshots of the Photolab kiosk or website. Yup, I admit it: a great number of my photos are too crummy even for demonstration purposes.
Calendars are a good example of a product that can be both beautiful and easy to create via the Photolab tool of your choice, but finding the perfect photo for 12 different months can be challenging for anyone. That’s why we’ve resolved in this post to help make it a little easier for you to capture those ideal shots, in-season, right at the moment when the photo-op presents itself:
Introducing the Photolab Quick Advice Cards
12 seasonally appropriate tips for taking photos that can make your Photolab calendar (or any Photolab product for that matter) look more polished—even, dare I say—professional-calibre. Simply click the link to open the PDF, print it, cut on the dotted lines so they’ll fit neatly and conveniently into your camera bag, and use at will. Obvious advice: print them on card stock or by the London Drugs Photolab on Photo paper so they’re more durable. Just follow the advice on these cards and soon you’ll have a stockpile of images so incredible, so printable, you’ll wish there were 64 months in a year.
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:
Begin by selecting Creative Orders, and then Agree to the Terms & Conditions on the next screen.
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.
Next I select Calendars from the Products page.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When you select autofill, it pre-loads photos from your album into the calendar template, and then you can proceed to edit them.
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.
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!
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.