How to Send Your Film to be Developed
By Karen Freer
Sending off film to be developed can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. With the right information and steps, you can send off your film safely and securely, with confidence that it will be professionally processed and developed for the perfect results.
Select a Film Processing Lab
The first step in sending your films to be developed is to choose a film lab. It's important to choose a lab that specialises in film development and has a good reputation for quality and customer service. Make sure that the lab you select offers services for the type of film you are sending, such as 35mm film or Super 8, and double check their turnaround time. You'll also want to be sure to get detailed information about their payment and shipping policies, so that you know exactly what to expect from start to finish. Read our article for more information on How To Find The Best Place For 35mm Film Processing.
Place an Order and Submit Payment
When you have decided which lab to send your film to, you will need to place an order with the lab. Once your order is approved, each lab will have a different method for submitting payment for development services. Some may offer online payments, others may require check or money orders. Be sure to ask when placing your order and collect all forms of payment or billing information prior to sending off your film.
Pack Your Film
Once you've chosen a film lab, it's time to package your films for shipping. Start by gathering your films, a shipping envelope or box, and any necessary paperwork or instructions from the lab. Make sure to label your films clearly with your name and contact information.
Next, place your films in a protective sleeve or envelope to prevent damage during shipping. You may also want to include a note with any specific instructions for the lab, such as developing the film in a particular way or scanning the negatives.
@analoguewonderland When customers go the extra mile to securely send us their lab orders 😍🤤💖 #filmisnotdead #filmphotography#analogphotography #ishootfilm ♬ original sound - Analogue Wonderland
Seal your package securely and attach the shipping label provided by the lab. At Analogue Wonderland we have a film processing lab that offers free tracked 48 shipping labels that you can use to send your film to us.
Our team also request that inside the box you post your film in, you write down your order number so that when the lab receives it they can quickly identify which order goes with which film. Finally, when packaging up your shipment be sure to include any special instructions or requests so that the lab knows how you would like the film processed. Here is a really easy guide on how to send film to the WonderLab.
Send Films To Be Developed
Once your films are packaged and labelled, it's time to send them to the lab. Drop off your package at the post office or arrange for pickup by your chosen service. Keep track of your tracking information and be sure to follow up with the lab to confirm receipt of your films. Royal Mail now has an online service where you can arrange to have your item collected before you pay, or you can drop it off at a location near you.
(c) Karen Freer
Wait For Your Scans
After your films are received by the lab, they'll be processed according to your instructions. Depending on the lab's turnaround time and your chosen shipping method, it may take several days or even weeks to receive your scans.
Once your films are developed, the lab will typically provide you with digital scans or prints of your photos, along with the original negatives. Take some time to review your results and share them with friends and family.
Conclusion: How to Send Your Film to be Developed
Sending film off to be developed should not be stressful. Once you know which lab you want to send it to, it should be a simple case of packaging up your films securely, popping in any details such as; order number, or special instructions.
Then sit back and wait for that blessed day when you get an email to say your scans are ready to be viewed.
Subscribe to our newsletter 💌
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on film photography news, sales and events:
- Opens in a new window.