Get Organized, Stay Organized: How I Keep Track of my Film

There are times when I have film in several different cameras at once. I try not to, but sometimes that's the case for months. And I always get the question: how do you keep it organized? 

I wasn't always organized with my photos. In fact. I recently finished and developed a roll that I originally put in my camera two years prior. And the only reason I noticed is because I had photos of my 3 month old daughter and then again as a 2.5 year old...on the same roll! I completely forgot I even had film in that camera. So I developed a system.

Canon AT-1, Lomography Color 800 (London, UK)

Canon AT-1, Lomography Color 800 (London, UK)

Supplies:

  • small notepad
  • online storage (I love Dropbox)
  • pencil

Process:

  • When I put a roll in a camera, I write it down in the notepad. The page will look like this:
    •  Camera:
    • Film: (I also indicate if it's rated at box speed and if I need to push X stops)
    • Start date:
    • End date:
    • Date sent to lab:
    • Lab sent to: 
    • Lab label number: (for when you get the roll back)
    • Notes: (important when you're shooting more than one roll of the same stock and sending to the lab, helps you to determine what's on the roll)
  • When I get the roll back, I fill in the lab label number above. Then I upload the photos into folder in the online storage of your choice. My photos are organized by 120mm or 35mm, then by year, then labeled like this: camera_film(rating)_lab#_month ..  so for exmaple: OlmpusOM1_HP5-R800+1_1234_January. 
  • Then I organize my negatives in chronological order with the lab number on them and the dates. 
Canon AT-1, Ektar 100 (Nerja, Spain)

Canon AT-1, Ektar 100 (Nerja, Spain)

I was getting tired of not knowing what was in my camera. When I shot this roll. What type of film it was. What camera. Etc. Etc. This way I always know. I find it helps with consistency in my work as well. 

So. Did I miss anything? How do you organize your film? What systems helps keep you organized?