Making Memories: Tips from a Pro Photographer on Taking, Printing and Preserving Cherished Family Photos

It’s true what they say: “the days are long, but the years are short.” Time can be a thief when it comes to freezing moments in time with family, specifically with children. They seem to grow up in the blink of an eye. One day they’re taking their first steps, and the next they’re starting their first day of school. Erin Brooke Burns, an award-winning photographer, is here to share her tips for photographing and preserving your family memories. Learn how to capture real moments with your kids and discover timeless ways to display and cherish those precious memories.

Get Priceless Results Even Without a Pricey Camera

Great photos are about real moments. Period. Yes, a perfectly composed shot with great lighting is a nice bonus, but when it comes to emotions, real moments bring it home. So you don’t need to spend a pretty penny on a big, fancy camera if isn’t not in your budget. A point-and-shoot or even your smartphone does a great job. What’s even better about those is that people tend not to freeze and fall into a rehearsed pose like they do when you raise a large SLR. Without a bulky camera to lug around, look for the “in between moments;” the moments in-between the rehearsed smile and pose, where the real emotions are. With children, these in-between moments come by relatively often, so just have your camera at the ready and bask in the hilarity of kids being kids. As an added bonus to using your smartphone, you have a plethora of apps to choose from to take your photos to the next level – just don’t overdo it on filters; less is more. You can also download the London Drugs Photolab App (available on iOS and Android) to easily order prints, enlargements and even create a Photo Book right from your phone or tablet.

Swing for the Fences

Digital photography has allowed us to make more mistakes, and in return, more wins. As a professional photographer, I might take 200+ photos to use and publish only one. That single shot that I choose will have the emotion that we talked about earlier, something none of the other 199 photos have. So swing for the fences, and take a bunch of photos to get that one fantastic shot. Digital files are cheap, so take advantage, practice, play around and get the shot. You can always delete the others later on. If you’re using your smartphone, take advantage of Burst Mode from time to time. Each phone differs, but generally it’s a sequence of photos taken at a rate of around ten frames per second by holding your finger on the shutter button.

Change Your Perspective

Have fun! This sounds obvious, but as adults, we fall into our go-to poses and smiles. When photographing your kids, we get into trouble if we expect them to behave like adults, so get down to their level and explore the world as they do. It will change what you see in your viewfinder. A different angle or perspective can change a photo dramatically, and getting down allows you to see angles you might otherwise miss. Catch your kiddos doing the things they love and you’ll have all kinds of success. Catch them on the swings, in the sandbox or even just colouring – candid photos have a beautiful reminiscent quality about them that can cause the viewer to stop and pause. So have fun with your camera and your kids. It’s a win-win.

Photographing Babies

Even the most seasoned of amateur photographers can find it a challenge to photograph babies. So, if ‘newborn in a basket’ photos are what you’re looking for, then I would recommend hiring a professional; it’s worth the investment. But when it comes to the average parent, here are some guidelines that will help you take a great snap:

  1. Keep your baby happy by photographing them on a full tummy.
  2. Dress your baby in comfortable clothes, or if you choose to photograph your baby in their birthday suit, keep a space heater nearby to keep them warm.
  3. Choose a spot in the house with a large window; preferably a north-facing window to get a large, natural, indirect light source.
  4. Always keep your baby’s safety at top of mind.
  5. As your baby grows, think about doing monthly photos to document your baby’s growth. It’s a good idea to keep the background consistent to emphasize their growth.

From Digital to Print

Photolab lifestyle

Don’t fall into the trap of taking fantastic photos and leaving them on your camera or phone like so many of us do. We end up taking thousands of photos without a feasible way to control the mess. Digital photos can be lost just as easy as they are taken so it’s wise to choose one of the many options to cherish and display them before things get out of control. In my home, we don’t have a ton of photos on our walls, but we love a good Photo Book. The reason we love the Photo Books is 2-fold. First, you can add as many photos as you like, and second, you can create an entire book of a single event: like a family vacation, or baby’s first year. We find the books offer great flexibility and the kids adore looking through them, especially the older books – it’s like a collection of visual encyclopedias of the family. There are so many different Photo Books available – you’ll find one that is perfect for your needs.

If Photo Books aren’t your thing, I’m really loving the Wall Clings. Wall Clings are adhesive matte paper prints that can be removed and replaced many times. I mentioned we don’t have a lot of photos that adorn our walls, but that’s not entirely true. We love these for our kids’ rooms. It allows them to choose how they create their own ‘gallery walls’ without creating damage to our home. They’re able to move them around how they like, and get creative without any frames, hammers or nails. There are dozens of ways to use the Wall Clings, long term or short term, like incorporating them into a birthday celebration. These are the perfect option for people who want to switch up their photos often or simply can’t commit to one image.

However you choose to cherish your memories, make sure you download the London Drugs Photolab App from the App Store or Google Play to get full access to everything from enlargements, Canvas Gallery Prints, and Calendars to Photo Books right from your phone or tablet. You can also hop onto their website to order online, or visit any London Drugs Photolab in-store.

Meet Erin

Erin Brooke Burns is an award-winning photographer and graphic designer based in Calgary, Alberta. You can follow Erin and see her latest works with Erin Brooke Photography & Design on Instagram: @erinbrookeburns.

3 Kid-Friendly Life Hacks for Back to School

Back to School Kids Backpacks Organized London Drugs

It’s that time of year again…the kids are heading back to school! It won’t be long before the chaos sets in (hello messy backpacks and busy mornings!), so we’ve compiled some smart kid-friendly ideas to start the new school year right—with less stress for parents. Here are three life hacks for staying organized and keeping your kids on time for school!

1. Keep your kids’ school backpacks organized

Are important things getting lost in your kids’ backpacks? It happens—especially with the little ones. Try creating a ‘post office’ and ‘bank’ to keep supplies safe! This life hack for back to school will eliminate any crumpled notices or lost money for field trips. Safe supplies, happy parents!

2. Speed up your kids’ morning routine

Trouble getting your kids to do their tasks and to get them out the door in the mornings? Make things fun and encourage them to tackle tasks with speed. Here’s one clever (and tasty) trick for kids to complete their morning chores. Perfect for those end-of-summer days—and your kids will thank you!

3. Use colour-coding to organize your kids’ notebooks

Do your children need some help keeping their school notebooks organized? If they’re in a rush to class, sometimes it’s hard to remember which subject is in which duotang, so they grab them all. Use this quick and easy trick to colour-code math, english, and science! Now they can find the notebook they need in their backpack—fast. Simple, easy, organized!

Are you looking for school supplies or other back to school essentials? You can find everything your children need at London Drugs in-store and online!

Must-Know Potty Training Tips from Kimberly-Clark

Potty Training Tips and Tricks London Drugs Blog

If you’re nervous about starting the potty training process with your child, don’t worry—we’ve all been there! Potty training can be a tough journey for parents. This is why we teamed up with Kimberly-Clark for an exclusive Facebook Live Q&A discussing the must-know tips to help your child as they potty train and how to make the process much less daunting for parents.

Potty training is an important milestone on the path to becoming a big kid. Kimberly-Clark’s Potty Training Expert, Renee Booms, is the Senior Marketing Research Manager for the North American Baby & Child Care Division. She’s been studying consumer behaviour for almost two decades with a focus on potty training in the last four years. This mother of two young children is here to answer your top questions and comments on the strains (and joys!) of potty training.

4 signs your child is ready to potty train

Remember there is no “right” age to start! Every child is different and will start potty training at different times. As a parent, look for cues from your child’s behaviour. There are typically signs of readiness that start to show up around two years old, but don’t be too worried if your child waits until two and a half or three years old. A few notable cues to look for are:

  1. Copying ‘potty behaviours’ of parents or older siblings—showing interest in the potty by flushing or asking questions
  2. Having a diaper that’s dry for a longer period of time than usual or waking up dry from a nap
  3. Tugging at a dirty or wet diaper, or verbally asking to be changed
  4. Verbally asking to use the potty themselves

Know your child’s potty personality

As parents know firsthand, there’s no one-size-fits-all method for raising children. This extends to potty training too! Each child has a ‘potty personality’ and working with their personality is one of the keys to successful potty training. Take the Potty Personality Quiz by Pull-Ups to find out which personality your child most resembles.

  • The Puppy: Ready, willing, and eager to please. A lot of energy but easily directed to what you want them to focus on. Once they learn the rules, they are quick to potty train!
  • The Owl: Careful, detailed, and likes to follow direction. It’s important to lay out what the expectations are and they will learn very quickly. These children tend to resist a bit if pushed too hard.
  • The Bear Cub: Independent, free spirited, and fun-loving. Usually busy playing with toys or eating food—too busy to be interrupted to use the potty! It’s important to make potty training fun and engaging. Try to be silly and change things up (plus: patience).
  • The Turtle: Shy, nervous, and resistant to change. Comfortable with the status quo—they might be interested in potty training but are skeptical about what it means to them. They may seem stubborn, but they have a strong sense of preservation! Treat them with kindness and patience. Introducing potty training concepts gradually without pressure can help.
  • The Squirrel: Driven, energetic, and highly distracted. Lots of energy and go from activity to activity—they can’t be slowed down to potty train! They may show interest but don’t take the time to pause and use the potty. Use games to keep things focused and make sure they get enough playtime to burn off some of that energy.

Learn so much more in the Facebook Live!

Watch the recap for more of Renee’s tips and tricks for potty training. She also covers how long potty training should take, nighttime bed wetting, and more tips to help along the entire journey. If you have any further questions about potty training, please let us know in the comments. Thanks for watching!

Losing Things in Your Kid’s Backpack? We Take Care of That.

With school in session, are important things like forms, documents, and money getting lost in your kid’s backpack? Try creating a ‘post office’ and ‘bank’ to keep supplies safe!

This LD Solutions life hack for your grade-school kids will help your child stay organized and eliminate any crumpled notices or lost money for field trips.

Safe supplies, happy parents! Follow these easy steps:

  1. Get two different sizes of clear zip envelopes.
  2. Create a bank and post office with each envelope using a label.
  3. Place field trip forms and cash needed into each envelope.
  4. Keep it fun for your kids to drop off their forms and money at school – and vice versa!

Need other great tips and tricks to make life easier?

Check out more of our helpful LD Solutions Videos on YouTube or here on the London Drugs Blog:

How to Fix a Cracked Makeup Palette

How to De-Wrinkle a Shirt in a Jiffy

How to Remove a Ring Stuck on Your Finger

How to Easily Remove a Stripped Screw

How to Peel Potatoes without a Peeler

How to Remove Nail Polish from Your Skin

How to Cure Bootflop

What Time Should My Child Go to Bed? A Sleep Guide for Canadian Parents

Exactly how much sleep should your kids be getting? Check our handy chart below.

If this four-year old girl went to bed at 20:30 and rose at 07:00, did her growing mind and body get enough sleep? Afraid not. Check out our guide below.

In Canada, the shortening days are upon us. In the six months between the longest and shortest days of the year, Torontonians, Vancouverites, and Edmontonians lose six and a half, eight, and nine and a half hours of sunlight, respectively.

If you have children, you’ll know that a 9:00 p.m. bedtime, more than reasonable during the summer, means putting a kid down some five hours after the winter sun. Is he getting enough sleep? Who knows? When many Canadian parents factor in the back-to-school routines of dinner, bath, and storytime (and later, after-school activities, homework, and team sports), it’s hard to imagine getting kids to bed much before nine o’clock. READ MORE

10 Nostalgic Snacks to Remember (And Their Healthy Equivalents)


Students of all ages are now back at school. Every day, at intervals, they dip hands into lunch boxes and paper bags, hoping to keep the hounds of hunger at bay.

And what’s inside? The sky’s the limit. Whether packed by a loved one or the student himself, the good old fashioned brown bag (or its more reusable equivalent) can contain a universe of choice–and memories.

Take the following 10 snacks, for example, which have stood the test of lunchtime, each paired with a healthful equivalent.

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Jell-O is a an old company with an interesting history. But is the proof of this snack’s value in the pudding? The presence of sugar, sodium, and saturated fat may disqualify Jell-O as a healthy snack for many (although it does have calcium, as noted on the box!). But then again, perhaps sometimes a treat is simply a treat.



If you like to break out the spoon at snacktime, yogurt is a clear choice. It’s a food so inclusive that it can be enjoyed both by those too young and too old for teeth. Plus yogurt comes with a suite of options: higher and lower fat content, drinkable and non, probiotic and non, flavoured and non. Steering clear of the more highly sweetened versions is the only precaution.

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