6 Ways to Savour Your Summer Memories

As the days begin to shorten, we become more aware of the fact that summer is starting to wind down. But while summer will inevitably come to an end, you can still relive your summer memories all year round…with the help of your photos! If you’ve been taking snapshots of your best summer moments with your smartphone or camera, it’s a good idea to have a plan for those photos so they don’t end up simply collecting metaphorical dust on a hard drive or your phone. Instead, you can reinforce your summer memories by making those moments into something tangible – like a photo book, a puzzle, or even a blanket!

Here are 6 ways our Photolab can help you savour your summer memories:

1. Staycation Photo Book

This summer has been far different than most. People are spending time closer to home, exploring their own backyard and going hiking, doing local road trips, hitting the beach or just enjoying time at home. It’s been the summer of the staycation. A great way to preserve all of those staycation memories in one place is to create your own photo book.

Printed on high quality photo paper using exceptional inks, our Photolab Technicians review every image and correct as necessary so you know your photo book will be just right. If you have tons of photos to choose from, not to worry! You can add extra pages to any of our photo books to accommodate. While customizing your photo book, you’ll also be able to choose from some great summer-themed templates. Personalize even further with text to help tell the story of your summer adventures.

For ideas on how to capture your summer staycation memories, check out this blog here.

2. Instagram Books

Are all of your best summer photos on Instagram? You can easily share those #Summer2020 memories, straight from Instagram! When you order an Instagram Book through our Photolab, you’ll be able to upload photos directly from your Instagram account. The books are available in 4×4 and 6×6 to best display your square Insta pics. All of our Instagram Books are ready within just 24-72 hours.

3. Puzzles & Playing Cards

With more time being spent a home this year, we’re all looking for new activities to keep us entertained while indoors. You can personalize puzzles and playing cards with your favourite summer photos so can play games with family and roommates while also reliving your summer memories. If you’re looking for a challenge, some of our puzzles have 1000 pieces! They also make a nice gift to include in a care package that you can send to family and friends.

4. Blankets

Wrap yourself in your summer memories by personalizing a photo blanket! Cozy up this fall in a fleece or sherpa blanket with a favourite photo from your summer staycation printed on it – why not send one to the grandparents too? Or add a snapshot to one of our beach blankets and use it to soak in the last days of summer. If you can’t decide on just one photo, you can also choose our blanket collages, which allow you to personalize your blanket with multiple photos!

5. Photo Mugs & Bottles

Reminisce about your summer with every sip! You can personalize your own photo mug or water bottle with a little help from our Photolab. We even have stainless steel tumblers, beer steins, and latte and espresso mugs that you can add your own photo to. Why not customize a mug or bottle for each member in your household, so you’ll never argue over whose is whose again?

If you want one in a flash, our 11oz designer mugs are ready for pick-up in up to 24 hours!

6. Summer Holiday Postcards

You’ve made some great memories this summer, and our personalized postcards make it easy to share them with loved ones! Just pick a size and quantity (you can order individually or in 25-packs), upload a photo, and choose from a wide variety of fun templates. Type your message on the back or add a handwritten note once your postcards are printed; update your friends and family on how you’ve been spending your summer and let them know you’ve been thinking of them. It’s a nice way to keep in touch while also creating a great keepsake.

 

Find even more creative ways to savour your summer memories by checking out our Photolab online, or by downloading the London Drugs Photolab App (available for iOS and Android)!

How to Capture Your Canadian Staycation Memories this Summer

Canadians will be sticking closer to home this summer, but there are still plenty of places to explore right in our own backyard! It’s time to play tourist in your own town, while local destinations are relatively tourist-free. Here are a few ways you can enjoy your staycation at home in Canada, while still capturing some great summer memories.

Road Tripping

Swap out a flight abroad for a road trip in your own province this summer. Canada has an abundance of natural beauty, so there is plenty to see right here at home! In BC, do a quick day trip up the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler, or a longer drive up the Alaska Highway to Mile 0 in Dawson Creek. For Alberta residents, The Cowboy Trail or the Trans Canada from Lake Louise will make for good road trip memories. In Saskatchewan, Cypress Hills and Grasslands National Park are both worth a scenic drive. Meanwhile, recommended road trips in Manitoba include a drive to Steep Rock which has lots to see along Highway 6, and Yellowhead Highway to Minnedosa Valley.

If you’re planning to vlog the experience, having a Panasonic LUMIX G100 Vlogging Camera with Tripod Grip (available for pre-order right now) in tow will make capturing the journey a breeze. It has features for both beginners and experts, including 4K video, Frame Marker, V-LogL recording, audio tracking that auto-adjusts, and a lightweight design that supports one-handed recording. The Sony VZ-1 Camera for Content Creators and Vloggers, and the Nikon Z50 Creators Kit (now available for pre-order) are also great choices for the budding vlogger. You can check out our full selection of gear for vlogging and streaming here.

If you have a dashcam, you can also turn that video into a time-lapse video to add to your vlog!

When documenting your road trip in photos, don’t forget to snap photos of mile markers, small-town city signs, scenic views, a couple of good shots of the windy road (we love a photo with some leading lines), and any unique stops you make along the way. Oh, and a group shot of your road trip crew, of course!

Hiking or Camping

Explore Canada’s stunning outdoor destinations this summer with a hike or some camping (or both!). There are lots of great hikes you may have seen on Instagram but have yet to venture out to – like Joffre Lakes in BC, which has spectacular views and a campground at Upper Joffre Lakes. For some picture-perfect hikes in Alberta, check out these suggestions in the Rockies. Saskatchewan is home to Meadowlake Provincial Park which boasts the province’s longest developed hiking trail and has 12 campgrounds with over 800 campsites. In Manitoba, the Spirit Sands & Devil’s Punch Bowl hike at Spruce Woods Provincial Park is a must, plus the park also offers some great camping spots.

When hiking or camping, it’s a good idea to take a camera along that is rugged enough to withstand the elements, while also offering you great image quality to capture those spectacular views while out in nature. Especially if you’re planning to venture into the wilderness quite a bit this summer, it’s worth upgrading to a camera like the Nikon Coolpix W300, which is dustproof, shockproof, freezeproof and waterproof. It also offers stunning high-resolution photos, 4K Ultra HD videos, time-lapse videos, superlapse videos and even music montages! The onboard GPS, eCompass, Altimeter, Depth Gauge and more will also help you easily track and view your course, steps taken, altitude, depth, and even atmospheric and water pressure. It’s the perfect hiking and camping companion.

From camping candids to wildlife sightings and landscape views, having your rugged camera by your side will ensure you capture every moment of your time in the outdoors.

Adventuring

Looking for an adrenaline rush? There are plenty of great options locally – from surfing on the West Coast in Tofino, to mountain biking and ATVing in the Rocky Mountains and on the Prairies. You can capture the exhilarating ride hands-free with a GoPro strapped to you for a unique perspective.

If you’re mountain biking, try the GoPro Seat Rail Mount which captures the action from the back of your seat, or this Handle Bar Mount for a front view. For ATVing, fasten your GoPro with a Vented Helmet Strap if you have a vented helmet, or use one of the Helmet Front and Side Mounts to help capture all the action. Surfers can mount their GoPro right to their surfboard, with the GoPro Surfboard Mount Kit.

Of course, the camera itself is the most important part. We have a selection of GoPro cameras that are rugged and waterproof – exactly what you need while adventuring. With Voice Command, just say “GoPro, take a photo” or “GoPro, start recording” to capture those extreme action shots hands-free.

Pool, Lake or Beach-Going

Summer vacation wouldn’t be complete without a trip to your nearest pool, lake or beach! Take advantage of spots that are close to home this season – check out some of our favourite beaches across Western Canada here.

Of course, if you’re going to be by the water, a waterproof camera is a must to avoid any smartphone mishaps. The Panasonic DC-TS7 Waterproof Camera can go down to a depth of 31 metres, so you can not only get it wet, but you can dive right in and get some great shots underwater without an additional waterproof case needed! The viewfinder is also designed for intense sunlight, so no matter how bright it is at the beach, you’ll always be able to compose the perfect photo. You also may want to add a floating strap to your camera, so if you become separated, you’ll be able to spot it floating on the surface. If you’re looking for some tips for taking better photos at the beach this summer, check out our blog on capturing beautiful beach views.

We hope your summer is full of new and exciting experiences this year, even if your plans are a little closer to home than you may have originally envisioned. Between driving, camping, hiking, biking and beach-going, we’re sure your camera will be full of photos of your summer adventures in the great outdoors! To preserve those memories, compile your photos into a personalized photo book from our Photolab that you can look back on for years to come. They’re printed on high-quality photo paper with exceptional inks, and every image is reviewed and corrected as necessary by our professional Photolab technicians. You can even customize your photo book’s cover, with linen, leather, soft cover and photo cover options. Text can also be added to help document your road trip stops or notate where you caught that breathtaking sunset.

If you took some beautiful scenic shots while on your summer road trip or hike, then you may want to think even bigger! We can print your images as enlargements up to 44×96 in size. Or really take your wall décor to the next level by printing your image on an aluminum metal panel or a canvas gallery wrap.

Click here to get started with printing your summer memories!

2 Creative Ways to Revisit your Best 2019 Memories in 2020

Before you fully jump into 2020 with exciting new goals and ambitions for the year ahead, why not take a look back at 2019 to appreciate all of the moments and experiences that made up the previous year? Photos are, of course (in our humble opinion), the best way to do that. And with a little creativity plus the help of our Photolab, you can preserve all of those ‘best of’ memories to appreciate over the coming year. Keep reading below to see how you can create your own 2020 calendar and 2019 yearbook!

2020 Calendar

January is the start of a new year, and if you didn’t have the time over the holidays to order a calendar for 2020, it’s not too late! You can still create one – our Photolab’s personalized 12-month calendars can start on any month, in fact. And the process is much simpler than you realize.  We’ve broken it down to 3 easy steps.

1 – Source your images

Sourcing your images can be a little daunting. What do you want the calendar to look like? Do you want it monthly memories from the previous year? Would you prefer your favourite landscape images? Or perhaps a highlight reel of your best vacation images? Whatever you decide, curate the 12 images and you’re ready to go. If you can’t whittle down your photos to just 12, not a problem! You can also feature a collage of various images for each month on your calendar, so you can include all of your favourites.

LDExpert tip: If you use Google Photos, they have created a ‘Best of 2019’ feature that automatically curates a series of ‘Best of’ albums so you can easily find your favourite moments of the year to include in your calendar. You can find it by opening Google Photos and tapping on the “For you” tab.

2 Source your important dates

The best part about making your own calendar is you can print all your important dates right in the calendar. Think of all the family Birthdays, anniversaries, or special memories and compile your list. That’s all, step two is complete. If you’d like to get extra fancy, you can add an image to the date, for a visual reference.

3 Log into our Photolab and start building

Now that you have your images and dates, the only thing left is to build it! Our online platform, London Drugs Photolab App (iOS and Android) or in-store kiosks provide a quick and simple interface that allow you to build your calendar with ease. Create your own account or sign in, so you can save your project as you go. You can even choose from a variety of themed templates and colours, and add text, to fully customize your calendar.

2019 Yearbook

Now that you’ve gotten the calendar off your list, and you’re feeling inspired, why not move on to your 2019 yearbook? For most of us, our phones tell the story of our lives best, as it’s the camera in our pocket at all times. Building a yearbook of last year can be a fun and rewarding job. Again, we’ve broken it down into 3 easy steps.

1 Map your book out

The first step is to make a plan. Having an idea of what you want your book to look like will go a long way to simplify the design process. There are some questions to consider. What type of book will you build? (Browse the many options here, and decide what one is best for your yearbook.) How do you want the book to be broken down? Some ways to do that are monthly highlights, major milestones (like a wedding or graduation), vacations/trips, or other memorable experiences that require their own chapter.

2 Pick your images

Once you’ve mapped out the plan for your yearbook, the next step is pulling the photos you’d like to consider for the layout. Be generous when doing this first pull. Remember that having a vertical and a horizontal option might help when laying out your book. This won’t be the final curated selection, but the images you will be working from for your layout. You can skip this step and go directly to your layout, but you might be overwhelmed by the number of images you have depending on your shooting habits.

3 Lay it out

To create your yearbook’s layout, you can do so at home using software like Photoshop, InDesign, iPhoto or others, or you can use our website, which has a wide selection of templates and layout options. Remember to create an account or sign in to your London Drugs Photolab account so you can save your yearbook project as you go. Tell your story by combining your images to speak together cohesively. A detail shot combined with an overview can tell much more of a story vs single image. Remember to tap into your creative side, enjoy the experience and reminisce as you go!

We hope these tips help you bring your images to life, and remind you of all the amazing experiences you had in 2019. With these two projects complete, you can look forward to capturing even more great memories in 2020! And having designed your own this year, you can shoot with that in mind, and even curate your images by the month to make compiling next year’s calendar and yearbook even easier.

Grad 2018: Preserve Your Graduation Memories

As the school year comes to a close, many graduates begin to look forward to the end of classes, graduation festivities, and the future ahead. Graduating is an incredible milestone – one that often takes a great deal of blood, sweat and literal tears (and perhaps some sleepless nights studying) to get there. And all of that hard work culminates in that special moment when you – or your child – walks across that stage in their cap and gown. It’s a moment that is most certainly worth preserving.

 

Graduation Cards

This special milestone is only made better by being able to celebrate it with your closest family and friends. Invite them to attend your graduation, or your graduation party or dinner, with personalized graduation cards.

To start creating your own unique grad cards, choose from flat or folded, single or double-sided cards, and our selection of specialty papers. Then browse our large selection of graduation-themed templates. Lastly, add some personalization with a photo and the details of your graduation celebration.

To preserve this special date, keep one of your grad cards tucked away for yourself that can be added to a scrapbook or memory box. It’ll be a special moment you can look back on years from now!

As a parent of a graduate, you may want to customize your own graduation announcement cards. Is there really anything better than bragging about your kids’ accomplishments? These certainly help. Personalize them with photos of your proud graduate and a personal message that you can hand out or mail to family and friends.

 

Prints & Enlargements

The day of graduation, you’ll likely be snapping a lot of photos, whether it’s using your smartphone, a point-and-shoot, or DSLR. Luckily, with the help of our new London Drugs Photolab App for iOS and Android, you can order prints of your favourite graduation pics right from your smartphone – or upload your photos to our Photolab website or in-store kiosks. While digital photos are great, for special milestones like graduation, it’s always best to have some hard copies – even if they’re just as a backup.

You can also share this academic achievement with all of your family, near and far, by sending them a few copies of your graduation photos. You know grandma is going to love showing off her super smart grandchildren to anyone who will listen, after all. We ship across Canada, so you can even send them your graduation prints directly when you place your order with our Photolab.

If you had professional graduation portraits taken, we can also create beautiful prints of those images. Order prints or enlargements you can frame, or a fine art print like our aluminum metal panels. We even offer graduation-themed collage templates for our aluminum metal panels, so you can customize a unique and treasured graduation keepsake to hang on your walls.

 

Graduation Photobooks

When there’s just too many great photos to choose a favourite, a photobook is a great way to preserve all the best moments from graduation day. We even have special themed grad templates so you can just pop in your photos, add text, and voilà! You have a beautiful, professionally printed photobook you can keep front and center on your coffee table.

Need a little help getting started? Speak with one of our Photolab Experts at your local London Drugs! Or, you can make your graduation print order through our Photolab website, at any of our in-store Photolab kiosks, or using our London Drugs Photolab App for iOS and Android.

Celebrating Life and Special Milestones Through Photos

Life is filled with all kinds of defining moments and milestones. From birthdays to anniversaries, and even funerals, these moments in time are an opportunity for us to appreciate and celebrate the life we have lived.

For over a hundred years, photos have been an essential way of preserving life’s moments, allowing us to look back and celebrate each and every one of them. What has changed in those one hundred years, however, is the expanded variety of ways to showcase those precious photos.

 

Milestone Birthdays

Every birthday is special, but milestone birthdays, like the 30th, 40th, 50th (or even 90th!) birthdays, are extra special. A great way to commemorate that special year is with a Poster Collage or Photo Book of their best moments – from birth to now.

Dig through old snapshots to find some adorable baby photos, some of the awkward teen years, and some that are more current. In the end, you’ll have compiled a collection of photos that tells the story of their life…so far! We even offer a variety of birthday templates, to help design and customize your Photo Book. Wrap it up as a gift, or put it out on display at their birthday party so guests can flip through it.

If you need some help digitizing a collection of old photos to add to your Poster Collage or Photo Book, our Photo Scanning Box Service will make the process seamless. Just fill the box with up to 800 photographs and documents, bring it back to your local London Drugs Photolab, and our Experts will digitize them for you.

You can even use those digitized photos to create all kinds of other birthday gifts, from personalized t-shirts and puzzles, to photo calendars and jewelry boxes.

 

Anniversaries

Whether it’s your first wedding anniversary or your 15th, you’ll want to make that relationship milestone special. Why not celebrate by surprising your significant other with a gift that truly captures your love?

If you’re planning to give your hubby or wifey a traditional anniversary gift, we have a few suggestions that will show them just how much you appreciate the time you’ve spent together.

 

1st year: Paper

Don’t just go with regular old paper for your first anniversary, gift them luxe, glossy photo paper! Choose from any of our Photo Books, Enlargements, or Poster Collages and customize with your favourite photos together. Your wedding photos are a good place to start. In fact, we have lots of wedding-themed templates you can use while personalizing your photo gift.

2nd year: Cotton

Get creative with your second anniversary gift by ordering a Canvas Gallery Wrap. The textured print surface is made of cotton, so you’ll be on the dot with the traditional anniversary gift, plus your other half will be super impressed that you’ve turned a photo of you two into a piece of fine art for your home!

 

9th year: Pottery

A Photo Mug is the perfect way to fulfill that traditional ‘pottery’ anniversary gift, while also making them something thoughtful and personal. Just pick a mug colour (their favourite colour, perhaps?), a few photos, and some text (your anniversary date?) to completely customize your gift. It’s sure to impress!

 

10th year: Aluminum

The traditional ‘aluminum’ anniversary gift is meant to reflect your marriage’s resilience. What better way to share that than with a beautiful photo, printed on one of our highly durable Aluminum Metal Panels? Pick one memory you’d like to showcase from your 10 incredible years together, or if you can’t choose just one, create a collage with all your favourite moments.

15th year: Crystal

Just when they think you’ve run out of great anniversary gift ideas…you gift them a beautiful, personalized Photo Crystal for your 15th anniversary! A truly unique gift that showcases a favourite moment in time together. Choose from our selection of photo crystals, or our crystal ornaments (we think the heart-shaped ornament or crystal with base would be especially fitting).

 

Funerals

There’s a reason funerals are often called a ‘Celebration of Life’. It’s a time when family and friends can come together, in memory of someone special, to celebrate a life well lived.

A very touching way to help preserve and celebrate their memory is with photos. Start by combing through old photo albums and digging through shoe boxes full of old photographs. To make things a bit easier, use our Photo Scanning Box Service to have up to 800 photos and documents digitized for you by our Photolab, so you can easily personalize all kinds of beautiful photo keepsakes with the digital files.

To create a truly sentimental and heartfelt memento, personalize a Photo Book with images of their life, and blank sections for family and friends to add personal message and stories by hand. It’s a keepsake the family can take home at the end of the funeral service, and read over the kind words from supportive family and friends.

Another thoughtful gift for the family is a personalized Fleece Blanket. The cozy blanket will feel like a warm hug, as they cuddle up in the memories of their loved one. Choose one photo, or a selection of photos, to feature as a collage on the blanket’s surface.

 

Need a little help creating your photo gift? Speak with one of our Photolab Experts at your local London Drugs! Or, if you’re ready to go, you can start personalizing your gift on our Photolab website, or at any of our in-store Photolab kiosks.

4 Truly Heartwarming Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

What do you get the woman who gave you life?

Of course she’ll say that you don’t have to get her anything, because “you just being here is enough.” Moms… right? She’s selfless, she’s kind, she’s your biggest fan. Flowers or chocolate just doesn’t feel like enough, so give her something that really says, “Thank you for being you.”

Posters and Collages

She dressed you on your first day of school and she lit up every graduation photo. Mom’s greatest hits and proudest moments are meant to be displayed. Whether you compile the best of the great women in every generation (daughter, mom, grandma), or a series of family vacations, birthdays and holidays, a poster or collage is a sentimental keepsake, and the perfect Mother’s Day gift this year.

Just order a selection of glossy or pearl prints, and pick a collage frame that best showcases them. This kind of frame will also give mom the flexibility to change out the photos periodically with new ones, as the kids grow up, and there are new memories to share.

Or, if you’d prefer to print all your photos as one collage poster, you can do that too! Just choose a size and background colour, then drop your photos into one of our collage templates. Easy peasy.

Photobooks

Sometimes it’s hard to pick just one, or three, or five of your favourite photos. Over the many years of milestones, trick-or-treating and BBQ’s, you’ve filled drawer after drawer and box after box with glossy prints. We can take your photo story and print and bind a photo book, just for her. Flip through memory lane or compile her favourite recipes – either gift will be a hit with your #1.

Photo Mugs

Nothing is better with eggs and toast than a cup of Joe printed with love. Get personal with a Mother’s Day photo mug. You can add the kids’ handprints, or a photo of them shining their pearly whites, plus add a heartwarming message just for mom. To get started, either scan and upload your handprint art or photo at home, or visit us in-store for a little extra help from our LDExperts.

Mother’s Day Cards

Sometimes the little things speak louder volumes than something wrapped and boxed. Personalize a Mother’s Day card with photos of you together, a special message from the heart, and a theme that will fit her wildly individual spirit like a glove.

Be ready with the Kleenex, these gifts are sure to tug at Mom’s heartstrings! Order your gifts online at the London Drugs Photolab.

Valentine’s Day Gifting Ideas: A Guide to Getting Personal

So… you give chocolates every year on Valentine’s Day- that wouldn’t be a problem if half the box wasn’t missing. This year, ditch predictable, and get personal. Contrary to popular belief, the stomach isn’t the only way to someone’s heart. Show your sweetheart how well you know them, or take a couple’s stroll down memory lane.

Whether you’re a seasoned romantic, or feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to spicing up V-Day, the London Drugs Photolab has everything to make this year one you and your partner won’t forget.

 

Fleece Blanket – Personalized with a Heart Photo

You know those photos that warm you from the inside out? Match that feeling from the outside in with fleece lining and a little love. Wrap them up in a moment frozen in time- and give the gift of comfort, in the form of a personalized fleece blanket.

 

Personalized Valentine’s Day Cards

Is any holiday complete without that Hallmark touch? Your relationship is an original. Nothing down any “greetings” aisle could ever really capture the sarcasm, unique brand of humour, and feelings that make you and yours so special. Speak from the heart, or let a photo do the talking for you- the choice is yours! You can fully customize your card with Valentine’s Day-themed templates, text and personal photos.

 

Photo Mugs

They might be a caffeine connoisseur or a tea enthusiast – either way, keep things steamy by gifting them a unique, personalized mug. Pick a size that matches their sipping routine: a 14oz for long days at the office, or an 11oz for lazy Sunday mornings.

 

Aluminum Metal Panels

Make sure your photos withstand the test of time, through even the harshest conditions… just like you two crazy kids! Bright and crisp photos printed on sturdy aluminum metal panels come hang-ready, and are resistant to fading.

 

Heart Puzzles

Spend a little quality time together this Valentine’s Day. A board game for two is unheard of- instead pour a glass of wine, order a pizza and get puzzling! Put together the pieces to recreate an anniversary, vacation or wedding photo. Our heart-shaped puzzle design makes it extra special for the occasion.

 

Photo Books

You two wrote your love story, now tell it with vibrant prints, beautifully bound in a hard or soft cover photo book. At the London Drugs Photolab, we review and correct every image, then print them with exceptional ink on high quality paper. Watch those memories that were once just scattered throughout social media or sitting on your hard drive, come to life.

 

Posters and Collages

Because you just can’t pick one favorite.

Choose the best of the best for a thoughtful photo collage. Liven up any room, and give a heart melting gift of your greatest hits.

 

Break the cycle of giving the same gift, without having to break the bank! All of our Valentine’s Day products are 10% off  (valid February 2nd-7th, 2018) which is just as sweet as the box of chocolate you’ve already eaten half of…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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