Why It’s A Huge Mistake To Throw Away Your Negatives


We process a lot of film here at Photodom, and there are SO MANY people who select the option to keep their negatives, only to forget to pick them up and we have no choice but to disregard them later. Here are the reasons why it’s a mistake to throw your film negatives away.

Monitoring Your Artistic Progress No one ever starts out great. No, scratch that. We all are great in a sense, yet greatness within a craft takes time and energy to find ourselves and to find our own pleasure and niche in what we are doing. In the art of photography, your film negatives are a physical embodiment of your own process as an artist. There are many photographers who still have the very first photos they captured, and it’s a unique experience to discover how they have transformed over time as they continued within the craft. Due to the fact that your negatives exist outside of a digital imprint, they can continually be discovered over and over again as time melts by.

The Only Way To Print in High Resolution. Say you take a fantastic photo, and you would like to create a print of it to hang in your home or even sell to folks that love it. If you desire a print that is 5×7 and bigger, you absolutely need your negatives to produce the image in its best quality. Having the image in your phone, won’t cut it when it comes down to translating photography into its optimal physical quality. Even though we tend to live our lives through our phones, and considering the fact that smartphone cameras are getting better all the time, analog photography simply can’t be beaten, as it will ALWAYS produce the best resolution for your images.

Decreasing Your Carbon Footprint When you keep your negatives, you are decreasing your own carbon footprint on the earth, as they are saved in your home as opposed to being in the landfill. Film negatives are a transparent celluloid base with a photographic emulsion acetate made of plastic. Due to the nature of their composition, they cannot be transformed into a different form to be used for other purposes. Also, why would you want your personal pictures to end up in a dump? That’s lowkey depressing.

Physical Backup. May I ask you: How much do you trust your phone? How much do you trust your computer? Digital devices are known to just stop working at a moment’s notice and without warning. If your images aren’t saved to the “cloud” then they could be gone forever. Also, consider what life will be like 5 or even 10 years from now. Technology is constantly changing and everything that we currently know and understand is altered as a result of this. Would you still have the same access to the current device you have now? It’s comforting to know that your negatives can potentially withstand 1000 YEARS of time before they start to fade! Can you imagine your future generations looking at you dancing at a party from 100 years before? The opportunities are endless!

It’s Your Physical Copy-write Photos can be shared everywhere now. With a simple copy and paste, anyone can take your photo off of Instagram or any other social site and claim it as being their own. It happens too often and is such a sad reflection of the greed that sometimes permeates the human brain. The ONLY way you can provide absolute proof that a photo is yours, is by having your NEGATIVES. Physical proof resigns supreme. Period.

So! I hope that gives you some insight on why you should keep your rolls of eternity. If you opt to keep it after we process it here at Photodom, we keep it for two weeks, of which we send you a final call text before we officially throw it out. Don’t forget to grab it and store it in an archival binder with protective sleeves in 35 mm or 120 to keep it everlasting!

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