UKFL Image of the Day – July Round-Up!

Our new Image of the Day feature has been incredibly popular.  Our idea was to showcase the talent of our clients, to help spread the word far and wide about the versatility and beauty of film, and to share more of the work we do here at UK Film Lab.  Our Image of the Day is shared via our Facebook business page, Twitter feed and Instagram, and we also thought it would be great to do a monthly round-up here on our Blog.  We are incredibly fortunate to have such a multitude of talented clients who are happy to allow us to share their wonderful work.  Thank you so much!

Alex Hahn:

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Davy Priestley (L) / Jay Emme (R):

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Davy Priestley (L) / Siegrid Cain (R):

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Me! (Erica Ward) (L) / Lucy Birkhead (R):

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Carolien Joubert:

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Debs Ivelja:

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Jenny Blad:

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Molly Matcham:

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Scott Johnson:

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Helen Cawte:

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For full image details please visit our Facebook page!

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Sonia Jansson | UK Film Lab Spotlight

A little overdue because of how busy you’ve all been keeping us, but now we are very happy to share the work of our latest UK Film Lab Spotlight photographer. Sonia is not only a talented photographer but she is also a very sweet, kind and thoughtful lady. She is far too bashful when it comes to her talent but we think it’s clear from this short study on colour that Sonia is not short on artistic ability and technical skill.

Why do you take photographs?

Well, that’s the 10 millon dollar question, isn’t it? I really can’t be sure…I think it is a need as much as it is part of who I am. A while ago, I felt a sort of epiphany. I had been feeling that there is this a certain thing in every picture I take. Like a personal and concealed message, and when it wasn’t there the way I subconsciously had anticipated it, I would get madly frustrated at myself. It took me a long time to understand the meaning of this. Until I realized that what I was trying to show or tell in most of my framing and documenting is that everybody and everything fits. It just does. You fit. We all do. Perfectly. Framed by what ever surrounds us, on any given second. I imagine that ultimately, by continuously searching and exposing this sense of harmony and belonging around me, I might be searching for my own sense of belonging. That by doing that, I fit too.

Why do you shoot film?

It started with a long time frustration of having been shooting film since I was a child, and never really mastering it. I felt I wanted to learn the real craft behind photography. Of course, I never expected to love it this much. Film and my Hasselblad have taught me a lot about myself and the person I am. When one carefully thinks on how to best use every single frame, that is when ones’ essence starts to reveal itself. Film has been a huge part in finding the links I was missing to fully understand my call. Also, film is full of surprises! A new stock, or a new camera makes all the difference in the results. Every light/stock/camera combo gives different results, and that is just mesmerizing! Something the digital experience will never offer.

Why do you use UK Film Lab?

Bad service is a deal breaker for me, in every part of my business and personal life. UK Film Lab’s service is an experience by itself. I feel appreciated as a custumer, never treated like I was taken for granted. The film I send is treated just the same way. Every frame respected for its uniqueness. I never felt the least neglected by UK Film Lab. Never. Also, it is important to know that the consequent results in developing and scanning are a huge part of learning how to master film photography. This is where UK film hooked me. I finally understood what I was doing right, or wrong. Their feedback following every order, is priceless. They really go out of their way to help me get where I want to be with film. They also spend a good amount of their time on us photographers, never hesitating on being personal and friendly. They are not only extremely competent in what they do, they are some of the most friendly, honest and down to earth people I have ever done business with.

Do you have any tips for your fellow film photographers?

A good lab from day one. A lab that follows your journey with film. Don’t mess around changing lab or scanning yourself. GET A COMPETENT LAB (yes, UK Film Lab will do perfectly). Also, buy FRESH film and stick with one stock for a while, until you understand exposures and their effects (I wish I had done this). Otherwise, film photography could easily turn into a frustrating and expensive experience. Let go of all your fears and doubts. Really. LET GO! Just shoot! Shoot!…and then go shoot some more! There is no getting it right just by reading or overanalyzing. Embrace every mistake just like you embrace every success, they are stepping stones in your journey with the craft of photography. You will never know it all. Just go with it.

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You can check out more of Sonia’s inspirational photography here:

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UKFL Are Hiring!


We’re soon going to be expanding our small, very hard-working team here at UK Film Lab! We’re looking for early expressions of interest from photographers who are interested in working with us as we continue to provide some of the finest film processing around.

We’re looking for people who can work with us here at the lab in Chesterfield, taking on scanning and editing duties, as well as getting involved in other general lab activities and day-to-day tasks including social media and marketing. First and foremost we need someone who satisfies the following criteria:

- You’re an active photographer (not necessarily film, but this is preferred and an advantage)
- You have an experienced (if not obsessive) eye for colour
- You can be flexible throughout the course of a year, to meet the demands of working in a pro film lab.

In return we can offer you a friendly, supportive work environment, training in the elements of pro film processing, and personal support in shooting film for your own career. Rate of pay will vary depending on experience, and we are happy to discuss number of working hours.

Interested? Drop us a line at to express an early interest. Any information you want to tell us that you feel makes you an ideal lab buddy…go ahead!

We can’t wait to hear from you!

hiring for blog

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Time to Celebrate…UKFL Turns One!

We can hardly believe it, but we’re coming up to something very special….UK Film Lab turns one year old! Woo hoo!

When we set up UK Film Lab, we did so out of frustration with the lab services that were on offer to us as photographers shooting film in the UK. We knew at the time that there were other photographers just like us – busy sending our film to the US – and so very quickly, we set the wheels in motion to create UK Film Lab.

We set up UK Film Lab to provide world-class developing and scanning services to professional photographers throughout Europe and beyond. As we look back on what we have achieved and what we’re delivering to our many clients in the UK, Europe and across the world as far as Malaysia and South Africa, we think it’s fair to say that we have achieved the world-class quality we originally set out to provide, and of that we’re incredibly proud of ourselves and extremely thankful to all of you who have entrusted your precious film into our hands and who refer your friends and colleagues to do the same.

It sounds like a rosy picture and indeed there are many ‘highs’ for us, but it’s been a rollercoaster of a year full of highs as well as lows. If we make running a lab look easy then we’re pleased because we like the work we deliver to speak for itself, but there are many, many facets to running a successful lab, so many unseen aspects of work, and of course none of it made easy by the fact that labs run on technology and equipment that is no longer mainstream. That said, what we have been working on throughout is building a lab with longevity and a lab that meets the needs of the modern film photographer. To those who remark to you as a photographer, ‘oh, you’ve gone BACK to film?!’, we would argue that in fact the direction is forwards, not back. Photographers shooting film nowadays are placing demands on film like never before, and we are committed as a lab to working within the industry both as a lab and as photographers ourselves. Our functions as UK Film Lab are to deliver world-class quality as well as providing education that supports photographers in shooting film – those photographers (and there are an increasing number) who are trying film for the first time, as well as those who are returning to film or indeed those who never crossed over to digital.

So with all this in mind we’re in the mood for celebration! Over the coming week or so as we approach the big ONE YEAR BIRTHDAY for UK Film Lab, we’re going to be making some announcements of what we’ve lined up to celebrate and say thank you. #filmisthewayforward

UKFL 1st birthday

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UK Film Lab Spotlight | Britt Spring

It’s time for another UK Film Lab Spotlight and today we’re really excited to be sharing the work of Britt Spring with you. Britt’s distinctive style caught our eye quite some time ago and when we looked through the film we’d received from Britt there were so many shoots we could’ve chosen for this feature, but this one really stood out for the incredible and clever use of light. As always we start with a quick Q&A with our Spotlight photographer and Britt has shared some really useful insight and tips, and then below the text are photographs from one of Britt’s shoots. Film: Portra 400 and Ilford XP2 Super.

(1) Why do you take photographs?

Such a simple question but not an easy one to answer. I’m not the kind of person that has their camera with them at all times. There I said it! I don’t walk around seeing photographs in my head. I’ll meet someone and get inspired. People inspire me. My mind will start ticking over about where to photograph them in what setting and what mood I want it. The buzz I get from meeting someone for the first time, making a connection with them, getting them excited about the process, getting them to trust me, enough to agreeing to sit on the wet ground in the cold in the wind & still get a beautiful image …. wow what a compliment.

(2) Why do you shoot film?

When I fell in love with photography it was the medium I learnt on so I didn’t think about the fact it was film, it just was what was available at the time. Now of course having experienced both forms I appreciate film and its quality so much more. Film is authentic, it’s colourful, it’s got depth. In the right light it can look like a painting. At heart I have always been a purist and I identify with the mindset of shooting in camera and editing as little as possible. Probably why I struggled for some time with the editing process of digital, I could never get it quite right no matter how little or how much I tweaked those photos. I really love the fact that when that email comes through from UK Film Lab most of the hard work has been done and the only editing I’ll have to do is a tweak here and there due to personal taste. I have a lot more time to drink coffee and skype my friends these days!

(3) Why do you use UK Film Lab?

I wish I had found Christian & Erica sooner, I had been floundering for about a year trying one lab after the other. Disappointed and very broke…. I appreciate the level of care they take in processing my film, giving feedback and their friendly approach. They have transformed my business and my goals into a reality. As cheesy as it sounds it’s true. Without a good lab your pictures will never look amazing. Because of Christian & Erica I shot my first job 100% on film 2 weeks ago…. something I have been wanting to do for a long long time.

(4) Do you have any tips for your fellow film photographers?

If you are starting out and want to add film into your portfolio I would suggest buying a reasonably priced film camera body (preferably the same type as the digital camera you use now so you don’t need to buy extra lenses) read that manual back to front and get to grips with how to use it. Then take it to every single job and shoot a roll every time. Adding more rolls as you feel more comfortable with the process. If you can afford it, attend a workshop/mentoring session with people you identify with & love their style. You will be well on your way to making dreamy images with the help of UK Film Lab. I promise.


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