How to properly store your film, negatives and slides


Photo by Kelly Anderson


Digital has taken over the way we take pictures today, but there are still a few people out there that use 35mm film. Every professional photographer knows that your negatives are more important than the actual prints themselves.

Why? If you damage your prints in any way you can always can get them reprinted. If your negative gets damaged or you just don’t have it anymore and then your print gets damaged, you are pretty well out of luck. 

So here are a couple of tips on how you can properly store your negatives.

  • Store your used or unused film (35mm, slide, or 120) in the fridge. The reason for this is to slow the age process down, plus it helps to keep the color vibrant.
  • Do not store your film in any warm or hot place (e.g kitchen or bedroom drawers or on top of fridge or near any kind of heat this can discolor your film.
  • Store your 35mm or 120 negatives and slides in page sleeving (print wallets), acid-free pages that will protect them. You can also just store the pages in a hard cover binder.
  • Always handle your negatives carefully by wearing cotton gloves. There is nothing worse then fingerprints on negatives. They are almost impossible to get off. You can also purchase a bottle of negative cleaner to clean your negatives, but use it carefully.
  • One more tip…… never cut 35mm negatives in frames of 1. They should be in strips of 4 or 6. They are easier to store and take care of plus its also makes it easier for the lab that you take them to, to make reprints.

So in the end, taking care of your negatives is very important. You never know when you are going to need them. I know my negatives are properly stored -- are yours?