Hola! I'm Marina from IFWEFILM! How nice to meet you here!
If you are reading this, you've probably been curious about how to start taking analogue photos and enjoying all that film photography has to offer. I can definitely understand that - the magic of taking pictures on film can make anyone fall in love!
So first of all, I want to give you a very warm welcome to the wonderful world of film and secondly, tell you that you've landed in just the right place. Let's get started!
It's possible that film photography might seem a little bit intimidating at first since there are a few new concepts to learn, but honestly once you have the basics crystal clear, the rest is pure experimentation and joy.
That’s why I created this guide for you!
This guide has been built to make your entry into the world of analogue photography as easy and clear as possible. That means that I’ve put aside complicated technicalities and simplified as much as possible to give you the essential information in a really easy way.
To help make it a fun and accessible journey into film I have divided the guide into these 5 simple questions across a three part series:
Part One: What are the basics I need to know about analogue cameras?
Part One: What analogue cameras could I start with?
Part Two: What are the basics I need to know about films?
Part Two: Which films are ideal to start with?
Part Three: What options do I have after shooting my film?
If you learn better watching a video rather than reading, here is the video version where I talk about processing films.
What options do I have after shooting my film?
Wooho! 🙌 Congratulations if you’re here and you have finished your roll of film! I hope you have had a pleasant experience :)
If you missed Part One: Beginner’s Guide to Analogue Cameras, click here. If you missed Part Two: Beginner’s Guide to Films and Formats, click here.
Well then, once the shooting adventure is over, there’s an indispensable part that we have to do if we want to see our photographs: Film developing! It’s recommended to develop our films as soon as possible after shooting them so for this, we have two options: either send our films to a photo lab or develop them ourselves.
Send Your Films to a Lab
Without a doubt, sending your films to a lab it’s the easiest option especially when you are just starting out. In addition, you can get from many labs a personalised service and a professional finish.
The type of services and options offered in terms of developing films will always depend on the lab. However, as a general rule there are usually have these basic options:
Developing Only: is the option where you ONLY get your film processed and receive the negatives back.
Developing + Scans: is the option where you get your film processed and, along with your negatives, you receive digital files of your photographs. Depending on the lab you can choose the quality (file size and type) of your images.
Developing + Prints: is the option where you get your film processed and along with your negatives, you receive your images printed on photographic paper. Depending on the laboratory, you can choose the print size and the photo paper finish
Developing + Prints + Scans: it’s a combo of the previous two options.
You can have your films processed by Analogue Wonderland through our WonderLab service - available here!
If you are unsure about how to select the right Lab for you, check out our blog called ‘How To Find The Best Place For 35mm Film Processing’.
Develop Your Films at Home
Developing at home is much easier than many beginners fear! In fact, in addition to being a great way to save on film developing costs, it's another great world worth exploring.
There are three main types of developing process depending on the film used: Colour negative film developing (C-41 process), Black and White negative film developing (BW process) and colour positive film developing (E-6 process).
If you finally want to make the jump and you have decided that it’s time to develop your own films, I always recommend you start developing black and white 35mm since it’s the easiest process.
I'd recommend you starting with the following kit - although note you'll also need a changing bag!
Well, we have reached the end of the guide! I hope the explanation of these five simple questions has given you a better overall picture of what you need to know to start in film photography.
If you really want to delve into the world of analogue photography, get the best out of your camera and your creative soul:
👉Follow me on my social media (I post regularly tips and reviews of films and cameras):
Instagram | YouTube | Facebook
If you liked this content and want to support me to keep spreading my love for analogue photography, you can help me on Ko-Fi here.