Where to Develop Film in New Orleans in 2023.
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There’s no city quite like New Orleans. One of the tourism and hospitality hubs of the United States, NOLA is 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 interesting 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 and find yourself in New Orleans, check out the list of the where to develop disposable cameras and film, including which types of film are accepted at each lab and a map.
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.
NEW ORLEANS COMMUNITY PRINTSHOP AND DARKROOM
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, this is only for DIY developing – you can’t just drop off your film for developing here. If you’ve ever thought about developing your own film, take this as a sign to go give it a try and see how you like it.
MOLANDERS DIGITAL IMAGING AND ARCHIVING
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.
Map of Where to Develop Film in New Orleans
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).
Nowadays, we much prefer developing our film by mail if we can’t drop off in person. Just about every lab will accept film by mail even if it’s not something they advertise.
There are plenty of operations based entirely online who don’t even operate a brick and mortar lab. In these instances, they usually make it easy as can be with online order forms and prepaid film mailers.
As long as you take a few simple steps, your film should reach its destination safe and sound.
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!