7 Best Places to Develop Film in Washington D.C.

Cover Photo: Green Line at Fort Totten by Mike Maguire, ( CC BY 2.0 )


Whether you’re passing through on a trip, or consider Washington D.C. your home, there is plenty worth photographing in the Nations Capital. 

Digital cameras may still reign supreme, but there are plenty of dedicated analog enthusiasts whose commitment to the medium helps keep it available. We don’t think film is going anywhere anytime soon, but there’s no denying that finding a good photo lab has become increasingly difficult.

If you’re a film photographer in Washington D.C. you should check out our list of the best places to develop film in D.C. We’ve included our top choices, with a map of their locations. 

Film photo of an American flag blowing in the wind in front of the Washington Monument
The District of Lomography by Kevin Dooley, ( CC BY 2.0 ), Taken on Fujifilm Pro 160NPL on a Diana+ camera


Our Favorite Places to Develop Film in Washington D.C.

Film photo of a gold-painted car in Washington DC
Fiesta D.C. Parade by Jason McKnight, ( CC BY 2.0 ), Taken on Kodak Portra 400 on a Hasselblad 501CM

Dodge Chrome

Location: 4885 MacArthur Blvd NW #1, Washington, DC 20007

11941 Bournefield Way L, Silver Spring, MD 20904

As many printing businesses continue to shudder their film processing services, we love to see spots that continue to develop film, such as Dodge Chrome. While most of their business is focused on commercial printing, they have maintained an excellent photo lab. 

Dodge Chrome’s darkroom services are some of the most extensive in the DC area. 35mm, 120, and large format film are all developed, and they accept C-41 color, black and white, and even E-6 slide film. 

One thing to note: while they do have a centrally located DC store, all of their film processing happens at their headquarters, about 15 miles northeast in Maryland. That said, you can still drop off and pick up your film at the DC location, just know that it won’t be processed on-site. 

If you’re interested in learning more, visit Dodge Chrome.



District Camera

Location: 1225 I St NW #110, Washington, DC 20005

Centrally located in DC since 1978, District Camera is a family-owned operation that still offers film developing.

All of the most common film formats can be developed: 35mm and 120 whether it is C-41 color or black and white. 

Aside from their film processing services, you’ll be able to check out any other photo gear you may need, as they have an extensive inventory of equipment. Used film cameras of all types, as well as darkroom supplies, are both available for purchase.

You can see more in their online shop at District Camera.


Pro Photo

Location: 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006

While we generally prefer photo labs that develop in-house, that’s becoming increasingly difficult to find. Since there aren’t many choices in DC, we’ve included Pro Photo on our list. 

All film is outsourced to another lab, and it is sent out just once a week, so it is less ideal than our other two choices. That said, Pro Photo is very centrally located, and they do also offer repairs, rentals, and a whole variety of photo gear.

The formats of film that they accept for developing are 35mm and 120 and that goes for color as well as black and white.

To get more info on their developing policies, check out Pro Photo.



Our Favorite Places to Develop Film in the Washington DC Area

While you only have a few options for film developing in Washington DC, your options double if you’re willing to take a short trip. These are our favorite places to develop film in the DC area, both in Maryland and Virginia. 

Film photo of a figure illuminated by red neon light
35mm by Pavel Kalashnik, ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ), Taken on a Zenit 11

Maryland


Moto Photo

Location: 5249 River Rd, Bethesda, MD 20816

Moto Photo has been developing film since they opened in 1991. They offer a handful of other visual services, as well.

35mm and 120 are both developed in house, and they also offer processing for less common formats, like 110, 126, and APS film. C-41 color and black and white are both accepted.

35mm film generally takes 2-4 days to develop, where 120 can take up to a week. It’s worth pointing out that they do offer rush processing for an additional cost. 

Other notable services they offer are high-resolution scans, video digitization, and photo restoration.

For more information, check out Moto Photo.


Virginia


Dominion Camera

Location: 112 W Broad St, Falls Church, VA 22046

Dominion Camera is a full-service photography shop in Virginia. Between their two locations and online shop, they have a huge inventory of cameras and other gear.

Their film developing services cover 35mm and 120 film, whether it’s C-41 color or black and white. If you find yourself shooting a less common film format, you may be able to take it to Dominion; they also develop 110, 126, and APS film

Film developing happens a few times a week on set days, so while it’s not the fastest photo lab you’ll find, you should still have your photos within a few days. 

When you add in a fantastic selection of used cameras and lenses, repair services, gear rentals, and even classes or events, you can see why we’re big fans of Dominion Camera.

If you’d like to read more about their photo lab, visit Dominion Camera.



Annandale Photo and Camera

Location: 7044 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003

About 15 miles from Washington DC, Annandale Photo is a humble photo lab offering developing, as well as printing services, and passport photos. 

They offer film processing for 35mm and 120, both black and white, as well as color. 

You can check out their website at Annandale Photo and Camera.


Merrifield 1 Hour Photo

Location: 2833 Gallows Rd, Falls Church, VA 22042

While you can get your film developed at Merrifield 1 Hour Photo, the “one-hour part” of the name is, unfortunately, a relic of the past. 

They accept both 35mm and 120 film; C-41 color is developed three times a week, black and white is developed once a week. 

For more information on their services, you can visit Merrifield 1 Hour Photo.

Map of the Best Places for Film Developing in Washington D.C.



Anywhere Else?

Film photo of the Washington Monument on a snowy day in Washington DC
Washington Monument by Alex Barth, ( CC BY 2.0 ), Taken on Kodak Tri-X 400 on a Holga camera

Do you know of any other good places to develop film in the Washington D.C. area? If so, let us know in the comments!

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