I first started this blog as a way to share my thoughts and my film photography. There's something about seeing negatives and prints that still gives me a buzz. The long wait between taking a photo, developing the negatives, and seeing the scans/prints gives my a strange sense of satisfaction. For the last few months I have been trying to use my film camera as a way of staying on my toes. Honestly, truly, I like using film because no one can ask you to show them how the photo came out. Any photo I've taken is mine to enjoy. I snap the shutter for my own personal satisfaction. Whether it be to capture my beautiful wife or some small moment in time, it's photography to document my life and what brings me joy. Regardless of how little or trivial, those quiet moments are the ones that you live most of your life. Might as well keep track of them, right?
With that said, I had three rolls of color negative film that I needed developed. Both Wal-Mart and Walgreens have send-out services. At that rate, I might as well go with a company that specializes in film. I had heard good things about The Darkroom from both the Film Photography Project podcast and Flickr. It seemed like a decent place to work with. And I especially liked the ease of which their services ended up being.
The way I went with was paying with my check card before even mailing the film. They noted on their website that this was the quickest way so I took their advice on it. I bought a padded envelope and printed the mail slip to stick to that envelope. The Darkroom pays for the postage, so that's a plus. I put in my three rolls of film (Fuji Superia 200 and 400, and Kodak Ultra 800). I dropped this off at the post office that same day. Two days later I received a confirmation email of having received my package. Things were getting tense now since I've been looking forward to seeing these photos for a while now. I wondered how long it would take to have them scanned and available online.
On the third day after having sent the film, my photos were already scanned and uploaded on their website! I could easily view my photos, rotate them, share a link with friends, and even download them. I'm also given the option to order prints from their website. Later that day I got an e-mail to let me now that my cd's and negatives were on their way back to me. The package came in on November 1st. So within one week I got through the process of getting my images, and it wasn't even that long that I had digital access to them.
I was blown away by the results and how the company took care of my images and film. They offer many different options regarding scans, film types, and prints. This is definitely a must-use service if you still use film. Please visit their website when you have a chance; it's worth your time.
Oh, and one last thing. The package I received included one cd for each roll of film, my negatives cut and sleeved, print cards with an overview of the images on the cd, and even a new envelope for future film. All I need to do is drop the film in, seal, and take that to the mailbox. How neat is that?!
Have a great day!