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.

Celebrate World Photo Day by Sharing the Power of Photography

This August 19th on World Photo Day, we will be celebrating an incredible 179 years of photography!

Photography has come a long way in 179 years

In 1839, the Daguerreotype was invented by Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre—the first commercially successful photographic process. Each daguerreotype was a one-of-a-kind image on a silver-plated sheet of copper. Things have certainly changed a great deal since then!

With advancements in technology, we can now take photos digitally and duplicate them an infinite number of times. The diversity of print surfaces has also grown to photo paper, canvas, bamboo, aluminum, and everyday objects like water bottles and beach blankets. The options are endless!

It’s truly amazing just how far the art of photography has come, thanks to photographers like yourself who have kept it alive with your passion for the craft. Why do we continue to take photos 179 years later? We think it’s because photos have this seemingly magical ability to make our best moments live forever. They have the ability to bring back memories, transport you to places you’ve never been, make you smile, or even shed a tear. They even have the ability to connect people around the world. It’s all the power of photography.

How you can celebrate World Photo Day

Why not share the power of photography with someone special? Families and friends are sometimes around the globe. Keeping in touch when you can’t be there in person isn’t always easy, but photos can help. Here are a few ways to make someone’s day with the power of a photo:

  1. Make them laugh: send them a funny up-to-date snapshot of your family on a mug.
  2. Help them reminisce: have an old, cherished family photo digitally restored for them.
  3. Bring them tears of joy: share a photo calendar of your little one’s first years (human or pet!).
  4. Help them feel connected: send a small square Instagram book of all your latest adventures.
  5. Make them smile: surprise them with a framed print of your favourite photo together.


There are lots of other ways you can surprise a loved one with the power of a photo. Visit our London Drugs Photolab online, in-store, or on our London Drugs Photolab App for iOS and Android for more photo gift ideas.

Remember: there’s no need to send them the original photo – make sure you’ve digitized old photos first, so you can share the duplicates with as many friends or family members as you like!

World Photo Day: The Evolution of the Camera

Olympus film camera

Photography wouldn’t be possible without the incredible invention of the camera. According to Kodak, “the use of photographic film was pioneered by George Eastman, who started manufacturing paper film in 1885 before switching to celluloid in 1889. His first camera, which he called the ‘Kodak,’ was first offered for sale in 1888.”

It truly is amazing how much the camera has evolved since then. In came the digital camera, and the debate between film vs. digital began. Today, people appreciate the merits of both, and choose based on their preferred aesthetic.

If you love the nostalgia of film, you’re not alone. Film offers a creative challenge for photographers. Shooting analog photographs is an art form that truly embraces the candid nature of photography. The excitement of having your film photos developed, anxiously awaiting the final images, is a feeling many people love. There is something to be said about the simplicity of shooting with film too; without a Photoshop program to edit with, the result is a much rawer, visceral image. There is also a great deal more thoughtfulness involved in film photography, as you are limited by the amount of film you have. This is one of the reasons why many people recommend starting out on a film camera, even if you want to shoot digital. Being forced to be more selective with your shots will ultimately make you a better photographer, whether you shoot on film or digital.

Meanwhile, if you prefer to shoot digital, there are plenty of benefits that come with the ever-evolving technology of digital cameras. They are more convenient than ever, and are constantly being upgraded with more advanced features. Photographers can choose from point and shoots, DSLRs, and even compact mirrorless cameras, depending on what the situation requires. Today, many digital cameras also come with added features such as WiFi and Bluetooth. This allows you to directly transfer images to your smartphone or tablet, making it super easy to share all of your great moments.

Nikon camera and Nikon lenses

As digital technology has progressed, mobile phones have become the camera of choice for many people who wish to snap and share moments instantaneously. Some of you may remember seeing the #shotoniphone7 campaign, which inspired iPhone users to take incredible photographic shots simply using their phones’ camera. Today, millions of photos are uploaded every minute, allowing us to share our snapshots with the world in seconds, and find inspiration in the talent of other passionate photographers worldwide.

Whichever you prefer, London Drugs proudly offers a large selection of both digital cameras as well as film, and still offers film developing.

If you’re looking to upgrade your current gear, whether it’s a phone, film camera or DSLR, World Photo Day is a great time to see what’s out there and try something new. Our LDExperts can help you choose the right camera for your interests and needs. London Drugs’ selection of photography gear doesn’t end with cameras, either. We also have an extensive collection of lenses, camera accessories, photo printers and photo editing software to help you achieve the best images possible.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay tuned for our World Photo Day deals (including a very special drone offer, available exclusively on August 19th)!

World Photo Day 2017: Celebrating Moments in Time with Photofinishing

Even in today’s digital-centric world, printing has remained an incredibly important part of the photography process. Photography is meant to celebrate a special moment in time, and photo printing helps us to share that moment with the world. It’s worth reminding ourselves just how powerful a photo can be, especially while we celebrate World Photo Day.

Developing negatives has always been an exciting part of the process for any photographer, and for a long time it was the only way to share your captured images. It was the only way to tell your story. Henry Fox Talbot pioneered the process of chemically developing film negatives, patenting the process of ‘calotype’ in 1841. This calotype process made photography more practical than paintings and illustrations, with the new ability to make any number of prints from a single negative image. Suddenly, photography was accessible to the everyday person.

However while our options used to be limited to basic prints and enlargements, photographers now have all kinds of unique print surfaces at their fingertips. Thanks to digital technology, we can tell the story of each photo not just with the developed print, but through editing and the print surface itself. After all, a bright, vivid image won’t be conveyed the same way as a dark moody image on the same surface. You’ve chosen a moment in time that you want to celebrate, now you just have to find the perfect surface to share it. Here is a look at some of our favourite print surfaces.

Aluminum Metal Panels

These high-gloss aluminum metal panels have become a popular choice for photographers in recent years. We’ve had many professional photographers tell us these eye-catching prints have been popular with their clients as well. The coated aluminum sheets are infused with dyes that can make any image, especially detailed and rich landscape photos, come alive with vibrant colour.

The London Drugs Photolab has expanded the availability of metal printing technology from just one location to now several Photolab locations, which have the special presses necessary to create the aluminum prints on-site. The lightweight and durable surface makes these prints ideal for hanging on the walls of your home or gallery. They’re also an especially good choice for high traffic areas, thanks to their resistance to fading.

Local photographers Stacy William Head and Larry Hilderman have both printed their landscape images on aluminum metal panels. Stacy finds that the aluminum surface gives his rich, long exposures a very surreal feeling compared to paper or canvas. Larry appreciates the depth it gives his landscape images. You can read more about both Stacy and Larry’s experiences with aluminum metal panels on their respective blog posts here and here.

Canvas Gallery Wraps

Turning your most precious moments into a true work of art is easy with canvas gallery wraps. Using specially pigmented inks with archival qualities, the image is printed on a fine art canvas. The canvas is then stretched around the sides of a 1.75” wooden frame and secured on the back. This style gives the image added depth and dimension. Since the image is printed right to the very edge of the canvas (otherwise known as “full-bleed”), the print can be hung on a wall without an art frame. If you do want the look of a border, our LDExperts in the Photolab recommend a black or white frame, or a floating black frame.

Our LDExperts recommend keeping the canvas dry and avoiding water or liquid cleaning solutions. This will help to preserve the image’s colour and contrast, allowing it to last for many years without noticeable fading.

A new offering is the metallic canvas, which features a pearlescent finish and vibrant colour reproduction. If you’re looking for a unique surface texture, this is an excellent choice.

Bamboo Prints

The texture of bamboo prints really is unparalleled. Made of 90% bamboo fibres and 10% cotton, this ultra-matte, finely crafted white paper offers a unique look and feel to your image. The surface offers maximum aging resistance and an extremely large colour gamut. As an added bonus, bamboo prints are also environmentally-friendly, as bamboo is considered to be a highly renewable resource.

Local photographer Matt Ferguson was impressed after printing on bamboo for the first time. The “texture and physical feel to the print” made it stand out, and he felt as though he “could actually touch the trees and feel the coolness of the fog” featured in his image. If you’re curious to hear more about his experience you can, check out this blog post.

 

Hopefully World Photo Day will inspire you to experiment with your photofinishing options and try something new. Consider the image you have (portrait or landscape), the colours (vivid or dark), and the purpose (home décor or gallery display) and use those elements to help you decide which surface will best tell the story of your image. If you need a little extra help deciding which surface is the right choice, just speak with one of our LDExperts in the Photolab department in-store!

Happy World Photo Day 2017: The World’s Largest Photography Celebration

For photographers across the globe, August 19th is no average day: it’s World Photo Day! The world’s largest photography celebration highlights our communities’ passion for photography, amongst both amateur and professional photographers. World Photo Day reminds us of the significance of photography. It allows us to showcase the natural beauty of the world, including landscapes and subjects. Whether you’re using a cell phone, point and shoot, or DSLR, this special photography day is meant to encourage photographers of all skill levels to contribute to their craft.

For our LDExperts in the Photolab – many of whom are photographers themselves – World Photo Day is an opportunity to celebrate with customers and photography enthusiasts in the community, like you!

Many of our London Drugs Photolabs will also be celebrating World Photo Day in-store. You can sign up for all kinds of free workshops being held at select stores, devoted to tips, themes and new products. We hope they will inspire you to learn and hone your skills as a photographer. For details on celebrations happening at your local London Drugs Photolab, click here for locations and workshop details.

You can also get involved online by registering on the World Photo Day site and submitting photos to be eligible for prizes and even possible publication. World Photo Day’s global gallery is constantly growing and evolving: a striking mosaic of images captured by photographers from every background.

If you’re on Instagram, you can follow along and be inspired by the Canadian photographers we feature each day on our @LDPhotolab Instagram account, and we encourage you to use the hashtag #LDPhotolab to be featured! Of course, don’t forget to also check out the hashtag #worldphotoday to see how other photographers are celebrating around the world.