How to Send Your Film for Development: A Simple Guide

Capturing memories on film has a particular enchantment in today’s digital-dominated society. Many photographers treasure the nostalgia and realism of film photography. You’ve come to the right place if you’re new to film photography or need a refresher on shipping your film for development.

This guide will lead you through the two primary alternatives for developing your film: film developing by mail or local film developing.

Sending Your Film by Mail

Sending your film for development via mail is a practical choice, especially if you don’t have a film lab nearby. Here are the steps to get it done smoothly:

Get Your Film Ready

Before sending your film, make sure it’s correctly wound, labeled, and protected from light. Put it in a lightproof container like a film canister or a light-tight envelope.

Choose a Film Lab

Start by searching for a reputable film lab that offers mail-in services. Check if they handle the type of film you’ve got and ensure their shipping instructions are crystal clear.

Complete the Order Form

Most film labs have online order forms. Fill in the required details, including your contact information and any specific requests. Don’t forget to provide your return address.

Secure Packaging

Safeguard your film by wrapping it in bubble wrap or using padded envelopes to prevent any damage during transit. Include the order form and payment if it’s necessary.


Use a reliable shipping service with tracking to send your film to the lab. Always follow any specific packaging and labeling instructions provided by the lab.

Patience is Key

Once the lab receives your film, they’ll take care of processing and scanning. Be patient; the turnaround time may vary, but you can often track the progress online.

Reap the Rewards

When your developed film is ready, the lab will send it back to you. Enjoy the thrill of seeing your analog treasures come to life!

Local Film Developing

If you’re fortunate enough to have a local film lab nearby, you can take a more hands-on approach:

Find a Local Lab

Start your quest by researching film labs in your area. Read reviews, ask for recommendations, and check out their services and prices on their websites.

Visit the Lab

Pay a visit to the lab with your film rolls. This is a great opportunity to discuss any specific preferences you have for developing or printing.

Drop-off Your Film

Hand over your film to the lab’s friendly staff. They’ll guide you through the process and provide an estimated completion time.

Wait for Processing

The lab will handle the processing, scanning, and printing if you’ve requested it. You can often choose different finishes and sizes for your prints.

Pick Up Your Results

Return to the lab to collect your developed film and prints, if you opted for them. Experience the immediate gratification of holding your analog photos in your hands.


Sending your film for development should be a fun and straightforward process. Whether you prefer the convenience of mailing your film or the personal touch of a local lab, your cherished memories will soon come to life in vivid, tangible form. Embrace the unique journey of film photography, and savor the anticipation of seeing your images on film. So, gather your film rolls, choose your method, and let your creativity shine through the art of analog photography.

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How do I drop off my film?

1. Place your film order on – select ‘Return Shipping’ at checkout’ to get negatives returned (and prints, if you ordered them).

2. Envelopes for your order are provided over the counter. Write your name and order number, and load film rolls inside.

3. Hand over your envelope to a Knickerbocker team member.

Your film will head to Gelatin Labs every Monday and Thursday!

How do I drop-off my film?

1. Place your film order on – select ‘Ship Negatives’ to get negatives returned (and prints, if you ordered them).

2. Our box is located near the exit of the coffee shop. Take an envelope (or your own ziploc), bag up your film, and write your order number. Your film will head to Gelatin Labs!

How do I drop-off my film?

1. At the front entrance, buzz in to be let inside.

2. The Gelatin drop-off box is directly across from the front desk. Place your order via the QR code on the box. Select ‘Ship Negatives’ to get negatives (and prints, if you ordered them) returned.

3. Take an envelope (or your own ziploc) from the front desk, bag up your film, and write your order number. Your film will head to Gelatin Labs!


At Gelatin Labs, quality is our main priority for every order. Our team keeps film moving through the lab as efficiently as possible, but estimates are not guaranteed. 


Order size and options chosen affect turnaround time.

Small orders (5 rolls or less) with fewer options (up to Pro Level scans) take less time. Larger orders (6 rolls or more) with more options (including SuperPro scans) will take longer.

For faster, guaranteed timelines, use our Fast Pass ⚡️ service.

Print With Gelatin Labs

Fill out the form below and our team will get back to you via email with a link for you to upload your images.
Print Form

Please choose your print size(s):

Finish Preference

It’s Time To Get Printing!

Whatever type of work you create, the Gelatin Labs Print Upload will render beautiful, archival prints that will enable you to bring your art off of your screen and into the realm of physical existence. The process is simple: select your print size, upload your images, and pick from three distinct finishes!

8x10 inch

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4x6 inch

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Start Your Film Order

Welcome to Gelatin Labs, your trusted partner for all your film photography needs! We recognize that each photographer has their unique preferences, which is why we are excited to introduce two remarkable options to cater to your individual needs: Simplified and Customized.



  • Streamlined options for quick checkout
  • Choose the look & feel of your images
  • Less options for an uncomplicated experience



  • Expanded customization for film types, options, services
  • Upgrade to SuperPro hi-res scans
  • More options for the more advanced user

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