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.

 



November 28th, 2016

Photo gifts—direct from your mobile phone!

Check-out these How to Videos

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.

Instagram Easy Photo Books!

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.

Your phone: the instant personalized photo greeting card maker.

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.



September 15th, 2016

Preserve Old Photo Memories with the New Photo Scanning Box Available at All London Drugs Photolabs

Despite the fact that digital photography is now the norm, many people still have hundreds and thousands of original printed photos that are not backed up by a digital copy – childhood memories, family photos and historic images of ancestors that will be precious memories for future generations.

To help prevent devastating loss or damage to these cherished memories, we have launched a new service that allows customers to easily have these items scanned and digitized in bulk.

The new Photo Scanning Box is all about prevention, preservation and peace of mind. By allowing you to digitizing hundreds of photos at once, the process of backing up print photos is far quicker and painless compared to scanning the photos one-by-one at home.

Why It’s Important

Print photographs degrade due to environmental factors like light, heat, and humidity. Photos taken between 1936 and 1990 are particularly in danger of fading due to the processing used during that time. Digital restoration for these photos becomes more difficult with each passing year.

Moreover, without digital duplicates of printed photos, disasters such as a fire or flood can immediately erase a generation’s worth of irreplaceable photo memories – a devastating scenario many Fort McMurray fire victims were all too familiar with earlier this year.

Courtney Power lost hundreds of family print photos in the wildfire that destroyed approximately 2,400 homes and buildings and forced the largest wildfire evacuation in Albertan history. With only a few moments to pack up personal belongings before the evacuation, years of family albums were left behind.

“We lost so many photos in the Fort McMurray fire,” says Power. “I regret not digitizing them a long time ago: it would have saved us a lot of heartache. We would still have those photos today if we had had them scanned to keep in a safe place.”

Using the Photo Scanning Box

1. Pick up a FREE Photo Scanning Box from London Drugs, and bring it home to fill it with 800 photos and other precious documents.

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2. Return the full box to your local London Drugs Photolab, prepay for the service, and our technicians will then digitize the photos at high resolution.

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3. Your treasured photos will be returned to you along with all digital files on a USB flash drive.

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Once the files are digitized, you should back up the photos using an online drive or storing them in multiple locations in the same way you should with other digital photos. This will ensure that, in case of disaster, the photos will still be accessible. Plus, once you have the print photos digitized, there are endless ways to share them or reprint using modern printing methods. Send copies to family members, and create calendars, photo books and more. In this way, photos that were once relegated to the basement or tucked away in shoeboxes in the closet, can really come back to life.

Precious documents such as birth certificates and wedding certificates can also be included in the Photo Scanning Box. The service costs $179.99 per box (approximately 22 cents per photo or document) and Photo Scanning Boxes can be picked up at any London Drugs location.



March 1st, 2016

It’s Time To Build a New Photobook

The holiday season has past. For me at least, it feels like forever ago. New Years, Family Day, Valentine’s Day, all gone. In fact the entire ‘15-16 winter season will have passed before you know it. No question, we’re in a bit of a lull around this time of year.

Which makes it the ideal time for a new photobook.

Makes perfect sense if you think about it: Before long Spring Break will be upon us, then Easter…leading into the May long weekend and then BAM! Summer is here. This little reprieve at winter’s end is one of the few opportunities we have to reflect and look back through the reams of photos we’ve shot and uploaded, and single out the gems that will be even more amazing once turned into a beautiful photobook and shared.

As I describe in a previous post, creating a personalized photobook is easier than ever since the Photolab launched its all-new website and in-store kiosks. If you haven’t checked it out yet, let me say again—this is the perfect time to make a new photobook.

It seems we’ve looked at the new Photolab site on a laptop, a smartphone, and via the new Photolab kiosks; so far, the only device we haven’t covered is a tablet…until now. So, finally, here is what creating a photobook looks like using an iPad:

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As you can see, the site design adjusts to any screen size—meaning you can chill out on the couch and create your photobook.

READ MORE



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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October 5th, 2015

So…how about those holiday cards?

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Leisurely creating your holiday cards using Photolab Home Edition Software is a great post-Thanksgiving dinner activity.

October is upon us. The air has turned crisp, the leaves they are a-changing, and pumpkins are appearing on doorsteps all over the neighbourhood. It can all mean only one thing:

It’s time to start thinking about your holiday cards.

Seriously. Holiday cards are the kind of thing that can totally sneak up on you, so that the day of the December postal deadline you’re scrambling to get them printed. Sure, the Photolab can have the cards ready within one hour, but do you really want to add to your impending holiday stress by leaving it so late?

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August 3rd, 2015

Square Photobooks and Photolab software

photobook1Moments Custom Hardcover Coffeetable Photobooks let you print and share your square photos in a square format. The best thing about them is the fact that they are completely customizable, including the cover. In fact, you may find them so appealing that you’ll want to include some of your rectangular photos, but you don’t to disrupt the neat square aesthetic you’ve got going on. Well, here’s the good news: Using London Drugs Photolab Home Edition Software, you can adjust the framing of your rectangular photos to square—without distorting the actual image.

8”x8” Moments Custom Hardcover Coffeetable Photobooks can be pretty much anything you want, because you create them yourself using the Photolab Home Edition software. They’re a great way to display your square photos.

8”x8” Moments Custom Hardcover Coffeetable Photobooks can be pretty much anything you want, because you create them yourself using the Photolab Home Edition software. They’re a great way to display your square photos.

If you’re not at all familiar with the Home Edition software, please refer to this complete step-by-step overview, or check out the online user guide. There are two ways you can adjust your framing, but I’ll start with what I believe is the most foolproof option:

Frame-first:

From the file menu select Insert>New Picture>Portrait (or Landscape) Picture Frame. A blue box—the ‘picture frame’—will appear on the active page.

Click and hold the corner or the midline mark of the dark blue border. You will see gridlines appear. Using these gridlines as a guide, adjust the frame dimension until it’s square. You can adjust the square frame to almost full-page size.

This toucan shot is actually rectangular, but you can easily crop it into a square with the Photolab software.

This toucan shot is actually rectangular, but you can easily crop it into a square with the Photolab software.

Once your frame is square, drag and drop your selected image from the image browser into the square frame. You will notice the rectangular image now sits neatly inside it.

If you move your mouse to the centre of the image, then click and hold, you can move the image around while the frame stays locked in place. This way, you control the area of the image that will be visible.

Image-first:

If you choose to select a photo as your background, the software automatically crops it to square for you. (See that warning icon in the turtle photo? That’s the software telling me the image isn’t large enough and may not print well as a result. Just more user-friendliness from the Photolab software!)

If you choose to select a photo as your background, the software automatically crops it to square for you. (See that warning icon in the turtle photo? That’s the software telling me the image isn’t large enough and may not print well as a result. Just more user-friendliness from the Photolab software!)

The other method, for those of you who fancy yourselves to be freewheelin’ drag-n-drop experts, is to drag the image onto the page in its original rectangular dimensions, then go about adjusting the frame to square as described above in step two. Easier if you’re good at drag-n-drop, or if you happen to be using one of those stylus-tablet contraptions instead of a mouse. Otherwise, I find it tends to be the more imprecise method.

Or, if you want the image to go right to the edges of the page with no border at all (a.k.a. ’full-bleed’ in graphic design jargon), simply drag your image from the image browser onto the page, and when the ‘How to Drop?’ menu appears, select Single Page Background. Note, however, that this method doesn’t allow you to move the image around.

The Photolab Software is designed to be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible. Of course, if you’d nonetheless prefer to have an actual human being help you build the square book of your dreams, stop by your local Photolab where a technician will be happy to show you the ropes.



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