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:
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.
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.
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.
Photography wouldn’t be possible without the incredible invention of the camera. According to Kodak, “the use of photographic film was pioneered by George Eastman, who started manufacturing paper film in 1885 before switching to celluloid in 1889. His first camera, which he called the ‘Kodak,’ was first offered for sale in 1888.”
It truly is amazing how much the camera has evolved since then. In came the digital camera, and the debate between film vs. digital began. Today, people appreciate the merits of both, and choose based on their preferred aesthetic.
If you love the nostalgia of film, you’re not alone. Film offers a creative challenge for photographers. Shooting analog photographs is an art form that truly embraces the candid nature of photography. The excitement of having your film photos developed, anxiously awaiting the final images, is a feeling many people love. There is something to be said about the simplicity of shooting with film too; without a Photoshop program to edit with, the result is a much rawer, visceral image. There is also a great deal more thoughtfulness involved in film photography, as you are limited by the amount of film you have. This is one of the reasons why many people recommend starting out on a film camera, even if you want to shoot digital. Being forced to be more selective with your shots will ultimately make you a better photographer, whether you shoot on film or digital.
Meanwhile, if you prefer to shoot digital, there are plenty of benefits that come with the ever-evolving technology of digital cameras. They are more convenient than ever, and are constantly being upgraded with more advanced features. Photographers can choose from point and shoots, DSLRs, and even compact mirrorless cameras, depending on what the situation requires. Today, many digital cameras also come with added features such as WiFi and Bluetooth. This allows you to directly transfer images to your smartphone or tablet, making it super easy to share all of your great moments.
As digital technology has progressed, mobile phones have become the camera of choice for many people who wish to snap and share moments instantaneously. Some of you may remember seeing the #shotoniphone7 campaign, which inspired iPhone users to take incredible photographic shots simply using their phones’ camera. Today, millions of photos are uploaded every minute, allowing us to share our snapshots with the world in seconds, and find inspiration in the talent of other passionate photographers worldwide.
If you’re looking to upgrade your current gear, whether it’s a phone, film camera or DSLR, World Photo Day is a great time to see what’s out there and try something new. Our LDExperts can help you choose the right camera for your interests and needs. London Drugs’ selection of photography gear doesn’t end with cameras, either. We also have an extensive collection of lenses, camera accessories, photo printers and photo editing software to help you achieve the best images possible.
London Drugs has been a proud supporter of the Capture Photography Festival in Vancouver since its inauguration in 2013. The festival features both local and international lens-based artistic talent through high-profile gallery exhibits throughout the city of Vancouver. For the second year in a row, London Drugs printed the festival’s entire National Pictures of the Year Awards exhibit, displayed at Vancouver’s Pendulum Gallery.
London Drugs Photolab Technicians worked closely with the News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC) to print the exhibit, which features finalists for the largest photojournalism competition in Canada. Thirteen categories are represented, including news, sports and social issues.
London Drugs Photolab Technicians collaborated with NPAC and the 2016 National Pictures of the Year coordinator Ric Ernst to print each of the finalist’s photos in gallery quality, to each photographer’s specifications.
“This is our second year having the London Drugs Photolab print our exhibit for the Capture Photography Festival and once again the quality of our exhibition prints are superb. I have to admit, the first year I was somewhat skeptical about London Drugs printing our images but was blown away by the quality of work they produced for us. I had no doubts this year and was not disappointed,” says Ernst.
Among the photos printed by the London Drugs Photolab was an image of CrossFit athlete Lindsay Hilton, captured in her element by Canadian photographer Darren Calabrese, as part of a series he was working on for ESPN. The photo was selected as a Picture Story Feature finalist for the National Pictures of the Year Awards.
“The project with Lindsay Hilton began after I had seen a local story about one of her workout videos going viral. That story was a straightforward news item, but I was interested in learning more about her as a person rather than just an athlete,” explains Calabrese. “I shot the series over a span of five or six months. At first, I rarely shot any pictures. I would show up at the gym with just one body and a lens, but would just chat with her and the coach/gym owner. I would help with the weights sometimes and every once in a while I would jump in and try the same workout or exercise out of curiosity.”
Ernst appreciates the trust that the photojournalists, including Calabrese, put in him and the London Drugs Photolab team to ensure the photos printed are as true to the original as possible. The goal is to maintain each personal art aesthetic which helps to convey the photo’s story.
“The most important part of printing our images is getting the tonal qualities and colour balance correct and as close to what the photographer achieved with the original file. The quality of the paper is important and the stock London Drugs Photolab used for our prints was premium,” says Ernst.
Ernst believes the Photolab Technicians’ own passion for photography is what makes working with London Drugs an exceptional experience. “They know what we expect and they speak the same language which makes it very easy to communicate our needs.”
London Drugs Photolab Technician John Goldsmith, who worked with Ernst to print the exhibit, used London Drugs’ new Epson P-9000 printer for many of the finalists’ photos. Authentic Epson inks will provide a lifetime of enjoyment, with an archival stability of 200 years. These new printers can now be found in every London Drugs Photolab, and will be used to print customers’ photos in gallery-quality, whether it’s for an exhibit or to hang on their walls at home.
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.