How to Safely Ship Film

Tons of thought goes into how to safely protect images for any professional photographer. Consideration is given to image protection when shooting, photo archive back-up, and even protection against hazard using cloud storage. For the digital photographer, any concerns usually stops there. However, for the hybrid or film photographer, film must be shipped to their photo lab for processing. This extra step can bring with it extra risk. But there are steps you can take to mitigate this risk. In the video below, I cover how to safely ship film to your lab.

The steps aren’t about choosing the best shipping company. I’ve heard so many people complain about FedEx, UPS, and USPS. Fact is, they’re all the same. Each shipping company delivers regularly and occasionally has issues. Choosing one company over another really won’t make a difference. Instead, mitigating risk is done how you pack and address the shipment. Here are some top tips from the video:

  1. Secure your film inside zip-lock bags
  2. Use a good shipping container – use a box and avoid envelopes
  3. Securely seal your package with good, thick tape
  4. Use a printed label – ensures the shipping details are easily scanned by the shipping company
  5. Never hand-write the shipping label
  6. Consider buying a label printer to make at-home preparation easy

How to safely ship film really boils down to ensuring the shipping company can easily read the intended destination. Equally important is choosing a good photo lab that will treat your film well.

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