Thinking of Shooting Film? You Need an Archival Plan.

April 11, 2015



If you've recently decided to try shooting film there are many things to think about. For instance, what format(s) are you going to try? What camera will you get? What film stock should you shoot?


There are a lot of blogs out there to help you through those decisions. Many fail to address what is quite possibly the most important stage in the imaging lifecycle regardless of medium. How do I archive my pictures?

For digital there's the cloud or hard drives of various states. For wonderfully tangible film, there's a few options too. There are shoe boxes, a big roll, sleeves, archival sheets, and some others. As you might have guessed, some options stand out above the rest.

Your lab can help you decide. Typically they will place your film in a sleeve. Though if you ask, many will put them in archive sheets meant for 3-ring binders. Talk with them to find out what options they provide and plan on it from your first roll.

This can save a ton of time. I can attest to having to cut and insert over 100 rolls into archival sheets. Some rolls had been so tightly wound they were a pain to get in and caused the archival sheets to coil. Basically a mess that could have been avoided.


I purchased archival 3-ring binder boxes. They are solid all around and that means you can stack them vertically or horizontally without fear of your negatives being crushed.

I also scan all my film and my lab provides them on DVDs. I purchased 3-ring inserts to hold them in the same binders to keep them organized together.

It's easy to stay organized if you have a plan from the beginning!

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