Drugstore Film Developing is Cool

Yeah I’m bitter, but this really annoys me!  There is a growing contingent of people here and mainly online via discussions who have flocked to drugstores, walgreens, costco, target, and various other crap ass discount chains to get film processed.  I get why, cause we are all penniless now.  Believe me I understand.  They charge 2.00 bucks or 02 cents, or free, I charge more.

My problem is not with people needing a more affordable situation.  I do have a problem with this dork on a certain popular photo sharing site who has devoted his life to seeking out cheap places to process film.  He has an on going thread about “keeping it affordable.”  Like he’s some super sleuth, the capped crusader of film developing because he has found that if he asks for JimBob at the Wallmart in Peoria that he will get his film developed cheap and without scratches.

Why do I hate this so much?? Because if enough people go this route, there will be no more photo labs, and when Walgreens decides they can’t make enough money developing film for .99 cents then it’s over for all of us.  I like to consider myself a high end place, so many drugstore film developers are not my customers anyway, but I do need the students and hobbyists.  So if you are looking to save a few bucks, why not take advantage of my student discount, or better yet try negotiating with me or other lab owners, maybe gather your film in bulk for a better price.  Hey if you’re really hurtin’ then you gotta go where you it’s affordable for you, but please don’t go around broadcasting the fact like you are consumer advocate out to save us, you’re just making it worse for guys like me.

dh (selfish and bitter photo lab owner)

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9 thoughts on “Drugstore Film Developing is Cool

  1. Good thing I shoot 120 film (when I shoot film…). Thanks for being around the corner, Dave.

  2. Erica says:

    I took last year’s summer vacation film to Walgreens and – yes, it was cheap – but I got back a pile of useless photo paper with images with no details in the highlights, just large light colored areas, all washed out. I took the negatives to a REAL lab, and got back real photos. Live and learn.

  3. misstracy says:

    learned my lesson one time…no more never ever ever again will i take my film to any of those labs EVER

  4. belch says:

    i used to go to walgreen’s, cvs, target, etc when i wanted to save a buck on c41 processing with film i didn’t care about. i stopped going because i just could never get them to give me my film the way i wanted it. you don’t know how much i hated getting a roll of processed film rolled up, uncut, and held together by a rubber band, or negatives cut with 4-5 pics per strip. good service and better film care is worth an extra couple bucks.

  5. This was me for quite some time. I knew my film had to look better than what resulted from developing and scanning at Walgreens… so I found you guys and i was right. My photos actually looked DECENT! I’ve been hooked ever since. Believe me, I love to save a pretty penny when I can but I wont sacrifice the quality of my images for just a few cents. Holler. =P

  6. KyleM says:

    You sound pretty angry for a guy who’s got some real criticisms against him on Yelp. From what I can see on you’re site and comparing you to your competition (the best of which burned down) you are expensive for what you do. And selling expired film for a premium? Talk about taking advantage of a trend.

    • photoworks says:

      You are welcome to come aboard and help me run the place, see how high my rent is, insurance costs, etc. Then we can lower the prices and go out of business. I’m not angry Kyle, just trying to hang in there. We offer more services and options then most places, open everyday as well, trying to please lots of people, so we get all types through the door. I think some critique is welcome and some is just wrong. If film costs me 3.85 and need to sell it for 5.00 that seems fair. Certainly not here to take advantage of anyone or any trend. I appreciate your comments either way.

      • KyleM says:

        Yeah, but it’s expired. It may not even work. I understand normal prices for fresh film, but charging the same amount or more for unwarrantied film that may not produce images is capitalizing on a trend. Film is not wine.

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