Film photography is alive and well in the digital age, but film processing is not as simple as connecting your camera via USB cable to your computer or downloading images from a memory card. It does offer a lot of satisfaction to those who put in the time to learn about lighting, aperture, lenses and film speeds. Business owners who need fast developing without labor- and maintenance-intensive darkrooms can use professional photo labs, but finding a lab you can trust is quite a feat and requires some searching.
There are many resources available for you, at low cost, as you figure out how your business will incorporate the film photography world and its developing requirements:
1. Use professional photo labs for film processing convenience and have all your prints in hand in a relatively short time.
2. Tap community resources such as photography clubs and community classes for the adult learner which can give you hands-on experience in a dark room.
3. Send negatives out to be developed into slides, and buy a slide scanner to import digital images to your computer.
Minimize in-house cost and time with the convenience of film processing labsFind a local film lab to develop your black and white or color film to outsource and keep your resources focused on your business. In lieu of setting up your own dark room and developing negatives on your own, find a film processing lab that offers mail-in capability. Mailing rolls of film to a lab is as convenient as it can get. Many offer the choice of online digital photos or print and slide picture delivery with a reasonable turnaround time.
Offer film restoration using professional photo labs that specialize in old film typesYou and your customers needn't throw out film that has been inherited from a relative, found tucked away in an attic or otherwise damaged. Outsource to photography developing labs that specialize in obtaining images from old film of any size. Not for the faint of heart, restoration -- or just developing old film in general -- will be costly.
Seek continuing education and technical information for running DIY photo labsNetwork with people who share an interest in film developing, slide film processing or other similar photography interests to explore the myriad possibilities that film offers. Locate community photography clubs by contacting a local school. Seek out online opportunities to interact with people worldwide who have a broad range of experience and who can make recommendations when you have questions.
- Learn black and white or color film processing on your own through local colleges, books, or online tutorials to work in your own darkroom. The methodology is precise, all you need is the desire and the time to spend in the dark with your negatives.