Where to Develop Film in New Orleans

Cover Photo: Mardi Gras 1984 by Piotr Iłowiecki, ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

There’s no city quite like New Orleans. One of the tourism and hospitality hubs of the United States, NOLA is certainly a must-visit for just about everyone. 

Whether it’s your first time, your 40th time, or you’ve spent your whole life living in the Big Easy, there’s never a shortage of things to see and do. 

Bustling with cultural significance and art from every medium, it’s surprising that analog photo labs are all but extinct. If you’re a film photographer in New Orleans, you’re going to want to check out our list of the best places to develop film, including which types of film are accepted, and a map. 

Film photo of a statue of a religious statue illuminated in the night
The Big Guy by Colin Poellot, ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ), Taken on Kodak Portra 400 film on a Rolleiflex Automat K4A

Bennett’s Photo

Location: 3521 18th St, Metairie, LA 70002

Ask a few analog photographers from New Orleans where to get your film developed in town, and chances are, they’ll all give you the same answer: Bennett’s Photo. There may be a reason for that…as far as we know, Bennett’s is the only place to develop film in New Orleans.

Founded over 100 years ago, this lab opened its doors at a time when photography was an extremely new, groundbreaking technology. It’s quite astonishing to think of how much has changed in the photographic world in the time from 1909 to today. Through all of those changes, Bennett’s Photo has kept its doors open and never stopped offering film processing.

C-41 color and black and white film are both developed in-house, whether you have 35mm or medium format 120 film. Color film should be ready to pick up in one day, whereas black and white is developed just twice a week. 

Aside from film processing, expect to find standard photolab services like prints, scans, photo restoration, and analog video digitization. 

If you need film developing in New Orleans, you’re going to want to check out Bennett’s Photo.

New Orleans Community Printshop and Darkroom

Location: 2801 Franklin Ave, New Orleans, LA 70122

Screenprinting and analog photography seem like a match made in heaven, so we’re really excited at what’s happening at New Orleans Community Printshop and Darkroom. 

Community-centered to its core, this nonprofit art space enables folks in New Orleans to get their hands dirty creating visual artworks. While there is a small, affordable fee for supplies, the facilities are free to use and all skill levels are encouraged to participate. 

If you want to get your film developed at NOLA Community Darkroom, you have to meet some pretty strict requirements.

Firstly, the darkroom is black and white only. Sorry, C-41 lovers. Secondly, the lovely volunteers at this nonprofit do everything, but developing your film for you is not one of those things – this darkroom is strictly DIY.

If you haven’t been scared off yet, then you should definitely visit New Orleans Community Printshop and Darkroom

Film photo of a decorative towel hanging in New Orleans
New Orleans Mardi Gras Towel/Curtain/April by Steven Snodgrass, ( CC BY 2.0 ), Taken on a Mamiya Sekor 1000 DTL

Molanders Digital Imaging and Archiving

Location: 3801 Canal St #304, New Orleans, LA 70119

Now that’s a mouthful, huh? While Molanders Digital Imaging and Archiving (try saying that five times fast) doesn’t technically develop film, they’ve partnered with Bennett’s to make it easier to get your film to the lab. 

You can drop off your film at Molanders’ centrally located store and they’ll get it to Bennett’s and back for you. If you’re not in a rush to get your photos back, going this route might save you some unnecessary travel time. 

Since the film is still developed by Bennett’s the type of film you can drop off is the same: 35mm and 120, C-41 color and black and white. 

You can find check out their website at Molanders Digital Imaging and Archiving

Map of the Best Places to Develop Film in New Orleans

Other Options

It can be hard living somewhere with limited choices of where to develop your film. And as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures…

Taking your film to the drugstore is pretty unanimously the last place we’d recommend, but we’ve all resorted to dropping off a roll at Walgreens at one point or another.

If you do decide to take your film to a drugstore chain, it’s important that you understand some significant changes that have happened over the last few years. 

TL:DR: don’t expect to get your negatives back and don’t expect the film to be developed anywhere near where you dropped it off (it’s probably not even developed in the same state). 

For all of the information you need, as well as a list of which stores still even offer film processing, check out our Guide to Drugstore Developing

Anywhere Else?

Black and white film photo of someone playing the clarinet on the street in New Orleans
“Into Her Music!” by Tom Driggers, ( CC BY 2.0 )

Do you know any other spots to develop film in New Orleans? Any experiences with developing film in NOLA? Let us know in the comments!

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