Life at Home: Documenting Life’s Experiences for Future Generations

Documenting your life experiences is important. It’s a way of preserving your personal memories to share with generations to come – to help them understand what life was like. Now more than ever, during this unusual period in history, it is incredibly valuable to document what you have seen, heard, felt, and done. After all, life right now is like nothing we have ever experienced before, and is perhaps nothing like what future generations will ever experience. This pandemic has affected daily life in so many different ways, and has affected us all differently.

To help you document your perspective during life at home, our LDExperts are sharing tips for what moments you may want to capture and notate, and how you can turn those moments into a photobook you can preserve for years to come.

Moments to Include in Your Photobook

Life has changed. Routines have been altered, workspaces look different, streets are quiet, jeans have been replaced with pyjamas …how has life changed for you? For those who have had extra time to spend at home, social media has been a place of inspiration for new hobbies – everything from bread baking to elaborate TikTok dances. All of these changes and experiences can be preserved forever with the click of a button. So get your camera or smartphone ready, and start snapping!

Here’s a list of moments you might consider capturing with your camera:

  • Baking bread
  • Learning TikTok dances
  • At-home date nights
  • Kids making puzzles
  • Kids playing in the backyard
  • Trying whipped (Dalgona) coffee
  • Painting hearts in the window
  • Virtual paint nights
  • At-home workouts
  • Banging pots & pans during the nightly cheer
  • Kids ‘attending’ their online classes
  • Zoom calls (taking a screenshot might be easier than trying to take a photo)
  • Photos of your homemade face mask
  • Photo challenges (like the pillowcase challenge)
  • Lines at the grocery store
  • Social distancing stickers and signs
  • Empty store shelves
  • Makeshift work-from-home set-up


Bonus photo idea: clone yourself!

You may have seen photos like this circulating around the internet. Camera-savvy kids and adults alike have been creating ‘quarantine life’ images of themselves spending time at home. A photo like this would make an excellent cover for the front of your photobook! Want to create one yourself?

You’ll need:

Make sure your room has good lighting. Put your camera or phone on a tripod and set a timer or use a remote shutter. Take one photo of the empty scene without you in it. Then one photo at a time, make a pose in one spot in the frame, take a photo, and then change to a different pose elsewhere within the frame and take another photo. Continue this process several times – all without ever changing the position of your camera/phone.

Once you have your photos done, fire up Photoshop on your computer and create a canvas that is in the same size of your images. Then import your images all into Photoshop. Make sure that the photo of the empty scene is the bottom layer. Go through each of your photos one at a time, and erase the background of each of your photos (leave you in the photo!). You can hide the other layers as you go to make it easier to see what you’re working with. Once you’re done, toggle back on all of the layers. If you notice some layers aren’t perfectly blending, just toggle back to that individual layer to blur and clean up the image up a little. It’s a relatively simple process, but can take some time to erase and blend to make your photo look as believable as possible!

Keep a Journal

One of the best ways to ensure you can remember important past events is to write them down in a journal. These are the things you would tell future generations about this time if you could. For your photobook, you can reference your journal for particular entries, or reference dates/times that you want to include along with your photos.

Here are some questions to help you get started with your journaling:

  • Have you learned any new hobbies? What did you learn?
  • How are you keeping in touch with friends and family?
  • What do you miss the most right now? People? Places foods?
  • Are you cooking interesting new dishes? Or ordering takeout from restaurants you hadn’t tried before?
  • Have you created your own home workstation? What does it look like?
  • How has your grocery shopping experience changed?
  • How has your daily routine changed?
  • Are you or your kids doing virtual classes? How has it changed the learning experience?
  • Have you experienced any heartwarming moments that have shown you the best of people during this difficult time?
  • What are the biggest things you have seen change in day-to-day life? (wearing masks, social distancing…)
  • What TV show are you binge-watching right now?
  • What has been the hardest thing to adjust to during this time?
  • Do you participate in the nightly cheer for frontline workers? How does your household or neighbourhood participate?

Creating Your Photobook

Once you have your photos and your journal notes altogether, you can start creating your photobook! Our Photolab has a variety of photobook styles to choose from, as well as a number of templated themes for the pages of your photobook. You’ll be able to add text excerpts from your journal entries to personalize your book, as mentioned above, as well as include many of those great photos you’ve taken to capture this historic moment in time. Choose how to organize your photos in the book, where to include the text, and even customize things like the cover of your photobook. Once you’re happy with your photobook, order a copy (or a few, so everyone in your family has one!) and we can have it ready for you in the Photolab for pick-up, or ship it right to your door.

Years from now, when someone asks what it was like back in 2020…you’ll be able to simply flip open your photobook and show them!

4 Tips for Backing Up Your Photos While Travelling

It’s summer time! For many of you that means it’s finally time to jet set somewhere new and enjoy some much-deserved vacation days. You’ll travel by planes, trains and automobiles, cross countries and continents, experiencing incredible new places and taking hundreds of photos.

It’s important to take precautions while on your travels to ensure those irreplaceable photos are kept safe until your return home. Too often, we hear stories of friends or family members who have lost their precious travel photos due to a stolen phone, lost camera, or a damaged memory card. It’s something you hope will never happen, but it’s best to be prepared.

Before you take off on your summer vacation, our LDExperts recommend these tips for backing up and sharing your photos while travelling!

Invest in a Wi-Fi Camera

Left: Sony A5100, Right: Nikon D7500

Wi-Fi cameras are great for backing up your photos on-the-go while travelling. Depending on your preference, London Drugs offers Wi-Fi enabled DSLRs, like the Nikon D7500, as well as Wi-Fi enabled mirrorless cameras, like the Sony A5100. Mirrorless cameras are a particularly good choice for travel, as they are more compact, taking up less space in your bag, and are less conspicuous when out and about.

Just use the Wi-Fi feature and the accompanying smartphone app to send your photos directly to your phone to back them up as you go. You don’t need to have an internet connection for this to work – the Wi-Fi connection is actually just a wireless network connection between your two devices! Once your photos are transferred wirelessly to your phone, you can rest easy knowing that if anything happens to your camera or its SD card, you’ll also have them backed up on your phone.

Learn more about Wi-Fi cameras from our LDExperts Darren and Janice:

Upload & Order Prints From Your Smartphone

Whether you plan to back up your photos from a Wi-Fi camera, or are snapping all your travel photos on your smartphone, you can then easily upload those photos to our free London Drugs Photolab App! The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play, then just upload your photos and order prints on-the-go, wherever you are in the world. No more sifting through hundreds of photos on your return home – all your favourites will already be printed and awaiting pick-up at your local London Drugs (or you can have them shipped and waiting for you at home!).

Plus, if you create your own LDPhotolab account, any photos you upload to order prints of will be saved to your account. So if you happen to drop your phone in the Mediterranean Sea (knock on wood), you’ll still be able to access all those photos through your LDPhotolab account.

Use Multiple SD Cards or Hard Drives

If you plan to take your laptop along on your travels, consider backing up your photos to your laptop, a portable hard drive, flash drive, or multiple SD cards as an extra precaution. Try to do this every evening if you can, so that if something happens to your phone or camera during the next day, you’ll still have all those precious photos backed up.

Some cameras also have dual memory cards built into the camera, such as the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, so that you can automatically save to both cards simultaneously while shooting. Of course, if you’re going to use this method, make sure to put that second card somewhere safe when you can, to avoid losing both of them in one go.

Share Your Travel Photos in a Photobook

Once you’re back home from vacation, you’ll have a whole collection of beautiful travel photos to share! You can create photobooks, customized with vacation templates, and you’ll also be given the opportunity to add text like locations and dates.

Need a little help creating your photobook? Our Photolab Experts are ready to help you with all of your travel photo projects and prints – 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.

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.

Stocking Stuffer Gift Ideas from Blogger Melissa Cartier: Express Books & Book-It Mini Books

Hi everyone, Melissa from Melissa Cartier here again.

My husband and I have a little tradition where our only gifts for each other are meaningful, within a budget we set and must fit in our stockings. I love opening my stocking each year, and some of my favourite memories as a kid was Santa placing my stocking at the foot of my bed for me to find when I woke up. As for buying stocking sized gifts for my husband… it’s a challenge. He’s very practical and doesn’t really like chocolate (we are very different haha).

While looking at the different creative projects on the London Drugs Photolab App (iOS version only), I noticed the Book-It Mini Books. The price easily fit within our set budget and they are small enough to fit in a stocking. Kevin and I have created so many memories with our son this past year that it was so easy to put together a little book of some of our favourites. While I didn’t need the quick timeline, I was really impressed these Book-It Mini Books can be made in 24 hours!

The Book-It Mini Book I made is adorable. I chose the black hard cover, pearl finish paper and a single image on each page. I also chose the centered square image option which I love because it reminds me of a little book of Instagram photos.  It’s going to make a great stocking stuffer but if you’re looking for smaller gifts that are still meaningful the Express Books and Book-It Mini Books are a great option. They are quick, easy to make and budget friendly, so they are perfect for co-workers, your child’s teachers or anyone you’ve travelled with.

I love getting photos developed and putting them into photo albums (with each photo dated, of course) but I could see myself using the Book-It Mini Books as little keep sakes after notable events where we take quite a few photos. Family trips, birthdays or even holidays. I have so many photos from Thomas’ first Christmas that would be so sweet to compile in a Book-It. I know Kevin is going to love finding this little book of memories in his stocking this year!

Holiday Gift Ideas from Blogger Melissa Cartier: Coffeetable Books & Photographic Albums

Hi everyone, Melissa from Melissa Cartier here!

On my blog, I recently shared my process for developing all of my photos quickly and directly from my phone using the London Drugs Photolab App! After hearing how much I love their app, the lovely team from London Drugs asked if I’d like to talk about some of the creative products their Photolab has to offer. The first thought that popped into my mind was trying some of them out by tackling a few names on my Christmas list and I quickly agreed.

One person on my list that I have a really tough time buying for is my Dad. His Christmas list every year is black socks and golf balls. I wish I was kidding. While I don’t mind working from a Christmas list I can’t say I’m eager to buy him black socks every year. Besides, isn’t the best part of Christmas shopping finding thoughtful gifts that have meaning behind them? One of my favourite gifts to get for my dad is a framed photo. Two years ago it was a photo from my wedding and last Christmas it was a photo of him and my son.

After scrolling through all of the creative products I could make in the London Drugs Photolab App (how fun would it be to make a recipe book or a book of Instagram photos for a gift?), I settled on a Coffeetable Photo Book. I loved the traditional look of the Photographic Albums as well. It didn’t take me long to create a quality book full of our favourite memories from this past year all from photos on my phone. I really liked that I could choose a layout for each page and while I had the option of including text, for this book I wanted more of a picture book feel. I chose a 10×8 muslin cloth book with a window for this project, but on my next one I think I’ll get a custom photo cover because those look really impressive

If you have a photographer, or just someone in your life who is sentimental like I am, these photo books are both fantastic gift options.

My Coffeetable Photo Book was ready in 5 days and I’m so happy with how it turned out! The quality of the pages didn’t disappoint, and I know my Dad is going to love flipping through all of the memories our family has created this year.

Your Best Travel Photos

Travel opens a whole world of photographic opportunities for those of us who love to take pictures. Your travel photos can be dynamic, meaningful, and visually stunning with a little preparation before your trip and some new perspectives while you are on the road.