Getting Organized: Storing Your Negatives


After being an avid lomographer for a number of months, I noticed my box of jumbled negatives just wasn’t cutting it anymore: I couldn’t find things I wanted to re-scan, I couldn’t remember the dates that I took pictures, and it all just looked so messy! This afternoon, I made my own solution to this problem.

When I got my LC-Wide in the mail, I was so happy with the way it was packaged: a wooden box filled with so many goodies! But after unloading everything, there was just a bunch of cardboard pieces and empty room. So, I put two and two together and decided that I would use this box as my film storage!

To properly organize your film, you’ll need:

  • A nice, empty box
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Cardboard
  • A permanent marker
  • Lots of film canisters
  • Negatives

I started off by cutting the pieces of cardboard that came with the camera because they fit nicely into the box. But you can also measure cardboard pieces to cut that will go into your box as well. I cut off all the edges!

Since they cardboard came to fit the things they came with, they were folded in certain ways. I flattened them out and taped the flaps together to make a flat piece. Make sure to tape both sides.

Here comes the meticulous part; sort all of your film into different canisters by the roll and label each canister accordingly. I put the camera, film, event, and date on every one, it definitely took a while…And if you want to be super organized, you can number the canisters in chronological order from oldest to newest. I wrote these in big or bold numbers.

An extra tidbit: If your lab prints indexes for you, you can label these with the bold number you put on your canister in case you’ve forgotten what the photos look like over time. That way you won’t have to pull them out of the canister to check unless you absolutely have to. I also have a binder that I keep my favorite negatives in to keep them from curling. I label those with all of the same things.

Then put all of your film in the box by chronological order in rows. Or if you really don’t care about time, you can always sort it by types of film: slide, color negative, expired, etc.

If you weren’t able to fill your box completely, or if there are empty spaces, take the extra strips of card board, bend them, and fit them into the box to keep the canisters from sliding around. You can also store your permanent markers and labels in the extra spaces of the box.

Once you’ve filled up the bottom of the box, lay the piece of cardboard that you cut and taped so you can start your second level of film!

After you’ve done all of that, close your box for the next time you need to add film to your collection. And if you’ve got an empty drawer, slide it in there for safe keeping!

Doesn’t it feel good to be organized? :)

written by natalieerachel on 2011-11-25 #gear #tutorials #film #negatives #store #box #tipster #canister #film-box #organize


  1. kerpella
    kerpella ·

    I use my LC-A + box to keep film in too! Perfect size and so pretty :)

  2. odax
    odax ·

    I use an old Converse shoe box, but it's really messy at the moment.

  3. natalieerachel
    natalieerachel ·

    @kerpella Yeah I love it!
    @odax You should take some time to organize, it's worth it!

  4. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    Nice tip.

  5. pvalyk
    pvalyk ·

    Really Nice Tip!

  6. skrutt
    skrutt ·

    So many choices! I dont know how to store my negatives yet! Im thinking of buying a negative binder, but than I read here and see so many other choices.
    The good thing with a binder is that is made to keep the negative hold longer I guess, but I love the little canisters that you get with the film... It looks so nice in a box like that! :D

  7. tonysykes
    tonysykes ·

    Mine are so unorganized at the moment lol

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