"Don't trust just anyone with your memories", otherwise known as "Why I shouldn't have developed film at Target."
If you know me, you know I'm impatient as ever. I think to think of it as ambitious. Or not much on waiting. If I get an idea, I want to start it. Like, NOW! I enjoy moments of instant gratification, like, say, one hour developing. "One Hour Developing" may be a concept foreign to most of you, but it's this old school method of leaving a trusted photo developer with film (again, could be a foreign concept), and having them develop it in one hour or less. In a nutshell, you don't see your images right away, thus you need them developed in a hurry. You gotta know if you blew it or not, right?? Having said film from shooting with Josh Gooden at the Rockingham County Fair, I ignored my gut instincts and skipped out on mailing my film to Richard Photo Lab. Since it was my first shot at film, I rationalized that the images probably weren't that great and I wanted to see them now before I potentially wasted anymore Fujifilm. Veruca Salt got the best of me as I waltzed them into Target (according to my googling the ONLY place in Fayetteville to develop film), filled out the paperwork and thought "How bad can they screw these up? Not bad, I'm sure..." Wrrronnnggggg. --Flash forward a few hours (not one, mind you...)--
I call to check on the status of my precious film. I hope for the best. I am informed that my film got STUCK IN THE MACHINE and only a few images even turned out which, in the sales girl's opinion she shared "I don't know if these are worth you driving out here for." (wahhhhh). Of course I wanted to pick the images up, maybe even see if they can be re-developed (not possible, right? I was trying to be positive!) and, by the looks of the battered and bruised negatives, my film most certainly got jammed in the machine. The few images I did get I actually really love, but nothing can get my other 17 back. So I paid for my images (yes, PAID for them! $4, but still) and walked out with my sad little negatives and no apology, regretting my choice to be impatient, ignore my instincts, and go to Target.
I would never be one to tell clients where to get their images printed, but there is a clear difference in quality and knowledge at different photo labs. Purchasing from your photographer's lab is usually the best quality, but from what I hear, Walgreens and Costco are also descent options. But alas, make sure you trust them and are confident in their abilities. Just because it's quick or they are cheap doesn't mean it's a good idea. A little more research and a little more patience can go a long way...especially when it comes to something you can never ever redo, like film...or your wedding day! (I've experienced a lot on this topic from my wedding as well!) I've been burned several times by my impatience and lack of research--soon enough I'll learn! Next time, sending these babies off to Richard Photo Lab! But until then, enjoying the images that did turn out and the sale's girl was wrong about: They WERE worth driving out there for. See. Difference in tastes. For the next roll I'm sticking with the pros! Always seeing the bright side in things, I think the scratch marks on some of them add to the vintage feel of the image. Don't you? ;)