Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.

— George Eastman.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Walmart Does NOT Return Negatives

Please note, the following applies to 35mm color negative film, C-41 process.

In the last month, there has been a resurgence of frenzied threads, first seen in 2012, where people are outraged that Walmart does NOT return negatives. For every three or four posts that says Walmart does not return negatives there is one that says they do return negatives. Others say that if you have your film "sent out" by Walmart you will get your negatives returned. Walmart sends ALL film out for processing, since removing 1-hour film labs from their stores in 2009–2010. As the customer receipt from a Walmart store in Sacramento, CA plainly says, "Your negatives will NOT be returned. Your images will be on a CD at no extra charge."

I called the "Photo Help" phone number printed on the Walmart Customer Receipt, 800-937-4686. I was told by Debbie at Fujifilm Printing Services Group that when they process 35mm color negative film, they send the images (files) over the internet to the local Walmart which then makes the prints and burns a CD with your JPEG images. She said that they DO NOT return 35mm color negatives.

The bottom line is: if you take 35mm film to a Walmart, they send it out to Fujifilm Printing Services Group for processing. The film is processed by Fujifilm, the negatives are scanned and the digital images are sent to your local store via the internet. Your actual prints are done in your local store on a Fujifilm printer and the files are burned to a CD in your local store. The negatives are discarded by Fujifilm.

For PROFESSIONAL photographers, a list of Fujifilm Professional Printing Labs is available on the
Fujifilm website here:

If you want to know more about Fujifilm USA, their website is here:

One last comment, Debbie said that they do still process 120 color negative film in the C-41 chemistry. If you send 120 color negative film out from a Walmart, Fujifilm Printing Services Group will develop the film and return the prints and negatives to your local Walmart. Seriously though, if you are taking the care of shooting medium format film, do you really want to take it to Walmart? See the link above to find your nearest Fujifilm Professional Printing Lab. For any of you taking 35mm film to Walmart, be aware that they will NOT return your negatives.

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