World Photo Day: Celebrate Your Family’s Legacy Through Photos

World Photo Day falls on August 19th this year, and it is an opportunity for us to celebrate the incredible power of photography. Working in the London Drugs Photolab, our LDExperts are able to see the impact of photography first-hand, as they help bring cherished moments to life through photos.

It’s pretty special that our photos have the power to bring back memories, transport us to places we’ve never been, and make us smile—or even shed a tear.

Another way we can use photography is for visual storytelling. One of the most important stories you can tell is your family legacy. In honour of World Photo Day, our LDExperts will show you how to use photography as a storytelling tool for crafting your family’s legacy. We’ve compiled some tips below to walk you through the process of gathering your photos and preserving your family’s story for future generations.

Gather information and photos ASAP!

There’s no better time than World Photo Day to finally get started on documenting your family legacy. The idea of chronicling your family history may seem overwhelming—it can be a massive undertaking, with thousands of old photos to dig through and hundreds of distant family members to connect. But it’s worth it to be able to pass down your legacy to the next generation, who can then one day pass it down to their children.

It’s especially helpful to gather photos and documents while grandparents and great-grandparents are still alive, as they can help you find what you need and explain the photos and documents they have in their possession. Being able to add details of personal stories will help to enhance your photos.

Contact family relatives and ask if they are interested in contributing photos, documents, and stories. If they can share specifics about each photo, even better! You may find details written on the backs of photos as well, which helps pinpoint people and dates. If you’re adding info to the photo yourself, make sure to use a Standard #2 graphite pencil only.

When collecting items and information from your family, consider asking for photos and documents relating to:

  • Births
  • Deaths
  • Marriages
  • Military service
  • Family portraits
  • Schools and jobs
  • Pets
  • Achievements (graduation, sports, etc.)
  • Other special and historic family moments

If you dig up an old photograph, but there’s been some damage (scratches, water damage), we may be able to help restore it. Speak with one of our Photolab Experts to see if we can digitally restore the image for you.

Of course, don’t forget to include current photos from your life as well! You may want to pull from photo albums, computers, cameras, as well as online sites like Facebook or Instagram.

Organize your family photos and documents

Once you have everything you need to get started, it’s time to organize all those scattered photos, documents, and stories from the various family members. If you’re working with both digital and physical items, you’ll need to organize both separately, but try to keep your organization methods the same.

Here are some ways to consider organizing your photos:

  • By generation (great-grandparents, grandparents)
  • By period of time (the 60’s, or 1940-1960)
  • By individuals (mother, father, self)
  • By family (ex. ‘The Johnsons’, ‘The Macdonalds’)

It helps to separate your photos and documents into boxes or large envelopes as you pick where each one should go. Once you’re done organizing everything, it’s time to go through once more and decide which ones you’ll actually want to feature when you begin crafting your family’s story.

Digitize your photos with the Photo Scanning Box

Now that you’ve organized what you have, it’s time to digitize any old photographs and documents. You can either do this at home, using a scanner, or use our Photo Scanning Box service. To use our Photo Scanning Box, just pick one up at your local London Drugs Photolab, fill it with up to 800 photographs and documents (up to 8.5”x11” in size), and bring it back to us in-store, where we’ll digitize everything for you. Then pick up your originals as well as the digital files on a USB drive!

What sort of files might you want to digitize? Think old black and white photographs, photo prints, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. Digitizing these items will not only give you the freedom to work with them digitally, but will also ensure those valuable memories are preserved, in case something were to happen to the originals.

Put on your storytelling hat

Once you have all of your family’s history in digital form, you can start to craft the story of your family’s legacy! It’s all about telling the story of where your family has been and what they have done in their lifetime.

Our Photolab offers a variety of different photo book designs that are perfect for showcasing your family’s story. Our Photographic Albums and Coffeetable Photo Books are both great options, and are printed on high quality surfaces that your family will be able to enjoy for years to come.

You may want to create multiple photo books to organize your photos as you did earlier. You can choose to create a photo book for each part of your family (ex. ‘The Johnsons’, ‘The Macdonalds’), or for each generation (ex. the great-grandparents, the grandparents), or by time period (ex. the 60’s or 1940-1960). Once you’ve chosen the photos and documents you want to feature in your photo book, you can also add text to identify people, places and dates…or even personal family stories.

Share your family’s legacy… with your family!

The best part about having all of your photos digitized, is that you can easily share copies with all of your family! No need to split up valuable old photographs between family members anymore. Once you’ve created your family legacy photo book(s) on our Photolab website (or in-store at our kiosks), you’ll be able to order as many copies as you like. Send them directly to anywhere in Canada, or pick them up in-store and hand out to them in person.

Don’t forget: your legacy isn’t over! Continue to collect important photos and documents in the years to come. You can always add more photo books to your family legacy collection as life goes on. Your family is sure to be grateful that you’ve preserved their legacy and brought their memories to life!


Need a little help creating your family legacy photobook? Our Photolab Experts are ready to support—just visit us at your local London Drugs. Or you can get started right away by uploading your photos to our Photolab website, our London Drugs Photolab App for iOS and Android, or to our in-store Photolab kiosks.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Organizing and Storing Your Photos

March brings the sun, the greenery, and of course the allergies! It reminds us to dust off some of that hibernation clutter that has collected over the last few months. Tis’ the season for spring cleaning!

It starts with the dreaded junk drawer and ends with moving around the furniture, but somewhere in between, you’ll find that ever-growing collection of family portraits and candids in boxes or old photo albums, and like the bedroom Feng Shui, they could probably use a little TLC.

Spring cleaning, organizing and maintaining your treasured snapshots is as easy as pie—with only a few steps to a lifetime of crisp (and easy to find) images.

Back-up and Digitize

The easiest way of ensuring your photos really last, is by simply scanning and backing them up to a disk, hard-drive or USB. The Seagate 1.5TB Expansion Portable Hard Drive is a great option; it has drag and drop file saving right out of the box, and lots of room to store your photos. Running the risk of your memories cracking or becoming discoloured becomes virtually impossible- and clutter free!

Make this process even more efficient with our Photo Scanning Box – preserving childhood memories or historic family images has never been easier. Fill the FREE photo box (found in-store or online) with up to 800 photos or documents, return the box to a London Drugs Photolab, prepay and our LDExperts will do the rest. They’ll digitize your keepsakes at high resolution, then return the hard copies to you, along with a USB drive full of all those photos you hold dear.

Once you have those digital copies, you’ll want to make sure they’re backed up safely. To avoid losing all your precious photos due to a fire or flood, power surge or hard drive failure, it’s best to use the 3-2-1 back up rule.

This means that you should have:

  • 3 copies of your digital photos
  • Stored on 2 different media or devices
  • With 1 copy located off-site.

For example, you could store your photos on two hard drives and on the cloud (a service like iCloud), and take one of those hard drives and store it at your parents’ home. That way, even in the worst case scenario that one or even two of your storage methods fail, you’ll still have a failsafe copy.

Organize and Store Safely

Of course, after making digital copies, you’ll need somewhere to store the originals – it’s important to take necessary precautions in order to avoid misplacement or damage, and it helps to keep them organized.

Suggested items before beginning any photo organizing project include:

  • Cotton gloves: Oily residue naturally found on your fingertips can lead to deteriorating your photos. Avoid this by handling documents with a pair of gloves.
  • Soft lead pencil: Including the date, year, or name on the back of a photo is a must when organizing your photos, because you’re not always going to remember if you took that photo in ’86 or ’87, or who that person third from the left is. Make sure you’re using a pencil that isn’t permanent so it doesn’t harm or indent the photo—never use a pen!
  • Photo-safe storage box: A good quality storage box with labelled index cards can make a world of difference, in the event that you’re looking for a specific photo. It sure beats rifling through old shoeboxes and drawers!

Obey the Two-Second Rule

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is all while going through old photos is to obey the two-second rule.

It’s okay to take a walk down memory lane—but it’s important to prioritize your time. Spring cleaning doesn’t need to take the entire season. When cleaning and organizing your old photographs, remember not to linger longer than two seconds before determining its place. You’ll have plenty to enjoy them after they’re organized!

Save Your Photos Day: Tips for Safeguarding Your Most Precious Memories

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:

  1. Scan your photos and documents

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 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.

  1. Back up your digital photos

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.

  1. Separate your hard drives

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.