How to use the Voyager


If you just received a film starter kit, congrats on your new camera! 🎉 This is the start of a novel, analog journey, get excited.

If you are curious about the process of using a 35mm camera but don’t yet have a kit, welcome to you as well 👋

This guide will show you how to set up the camera, give you some tips on shooting best practices and how to get your film developed to receive as digital photos, physical prints or both.

Here's a view of the entire process you are about to embark on!

Overview of the entire film process

Guide overview

  1. What's inside?
  2. Flash and film set up
  3. Shooting tips and tricks
  4. Removing the film
  5. Developing the film

What's inside?

Now that you've received your camera kit. Let's double check you've got everything you need.

All components in package

After removing all the package contents you should have:

  • x1 Voyager 35mm point and shoot camera
  • x1 Microfiber camera case
  • x1 35mm film roll inside a film canister (27 exp 400 ISO, we'll talk about what that means in the next section)
  • x1 AAA battery
  • x1 black bubbler for mailing film to development site (make sure to hang onto this for later!)

If you are missing anything that is mentioned above please reach out to us at:

Step1: Flash and film set up

Camera, battery and film in cansiter

First open up the battery compartment on the bottom of the camera and insert the battery.

Please insert the battery minus side first! You may damage the battery chamber if you insert the plus side first.

negative side of battery goes in first

battery placed in compartment

Next, open the back of the camera by pulling the latch on the side of the camera.

Camera back latch

Opening latch

camera back open, inside exposed

Now, take the film out of its container.

35mm film canister next to it's container

To insert the film, first you'll need to pull the film rewind crank up. This will make room for the roll to fit in the compartment.

view of rewind crank

Use a fingernail or a small tool like a flathead screwdriver to flip up the crank handle.

fore finger used to pull crank handle up

crank is now up

Pull up on the handle while rotating in either direction to get the entire crank pulled out of the compartment.

pulling crank handle

crank is now open

You can also use some force from the bottom of the crank to get it pulled up.

using the bottom of the crank to open

Now, insert the roll into the compartment with the notch on the canister facing down.

film roll placed in compartment

film roll is in compartment

Now push the crank back into it's space.

crank pushed back into place

Crank is back in it's original position

Take the film protruding from the roll and pull it across the back of the camera. it's ok! This part of the film is ok to touch and expose to light. The rest of the roll is extremely sensitive to light which we'll get to next.

pulling the film across the back of the camera

film is pulled across

Once the roll reaches the first notches on the bottom and top, advance the camera wheel on the top right until the notches catch the film.

film is caught in two notched outlined in red

wheel is advanced to catch the film

Once the film is nice and taught, you can close the back. 

film is taught across the back of the camera

back is closed

You are now ready to take your first shot! When you do, just advance the wheel forward until it stops, then snap the shot. Go out and experiment with the light!

 wheel is advanced

first picture is taken


 Step 2: Shooting tips and tricks

Once the film loaded up, the camera works the same as a disposable camera. Wind the wheel until it stops, and click the shot! Rinse and repeat until you get to the end of the roll.

Here are a couple of ideas to keep in mind.


Usually you'll want to have any sunlight to your back when taking a portrait photo of a face.

Stand at least 3 feet away from your subject. (Photos may be blurry otherwise)

When to use flash?


Generally you'll always use the flash if indoors. Your subject will be illuminated properly in the developed photos if within roughly 3 - 12 feet from camera.


If in broad daylight, flash is not necessary.

If it's dark out, use flash.

Here's a handy list of places and where and when to use flash:

Location Use flash?
  • Outside with sun
  • no
  • Outside with clouds
  • no
  • Outside at twilight
  • Yes
  • Outside at night
  • Yes
  • Inside at a bar or venue (day or night)
  • Yes
  • Inside in a "well lit" room with direct sunlight
  • Optional, can work with or without flash
  • Inside in a "well lit" room with no direct sunlight
  • Yes


Bottom line:

⚡️When in doubt, USE FLASH.⚡️

What is ISO?

ISO is a film's sensitivity to light sometimes called "film speed"

The Voyager kit comes with ISO 400 film which is considered a "medium" range ISO speed.

ISO Level Comparative output brightness
  • 200
  • low - medium
  • 400
  • medium
  • 800
  • high


As a visual reference: ISO 400 would be somewhere in the middle of the ISO 200 and 800 in the below picture.

ISO comparison 50, 200, 800 with flower

(image source: wikimedia commons)

The rule of thirds

From wikipedia:

"The rule of thirds is a "rule of thumb" or guideline which applies to the process of composing visual images such as designs, films, paintings, and photographs. The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject."

rule of thirds example

Of course you don't have to follow this, you can break the rules and do what ever you'd like. Sometimes it's good to know the rules before breaking them :)

You are capturing light, so get creative!

 🚨 ! Photographer beware ! 🚨 

NEVER open the latch of the back of the camera before finishing the roll. This can expose the film strip to light and ruin the photos, they will come out like looking blank.

If you are experienced or you want to experiment you're welcome to break this rule and maybe capture some cool "light leaks", however there is no guarantee this  will work!

Step 3: Removing the film

Once you are not able to turn the wheel any longer, you have reached the end of the reel!

It's now time to carefully remove the film from the camera so you can send it in for development and see all your lovely light experiments. 


First, flip up the rewind crank.

rewind crank flipped up

Next, flip the camera over and look for a little button with rewind arrows next to it. This latch allows us to rewind the film so we can take it out safely from the camera.

rewind latch unpressed

Press and hold down the button with one hand.

pressing the rewind button

 With the other, begin to rotate the spindle clock wise following the arrows on the camera.

rewinding film with left hand, holding button with right

rewinding the film

If you feel any difficult resistance, double check you are pressing the bottom notch down fully.

Continue holding the notch and rotating the spindle until you feel virtually zero resistance and the spindle seems to spin effortlessly. You are now done!

You may now open the latch and take out the film.

open the latch

First open the latch.

Next, lift up on the spindle to pull it up and out, now take out the film.

the back is open and the film is rewinded

taking film out of the back

You can push the spindle back into place and close the latch.

back is closed and crank is put back into place

Time to develop the film!

Step 4: Developing the film

Now it's time to send in the film to get developed so you can see all your lovely light experiments.

There are a couple ways to go about doing this.

You can get digital copies of the film (our recommended way)

You can get physical copies of the film (coming soon)

Or you can do both.

Digital copies method

We've partnered up with a website called which makes it super easy to send in your film to get digitized.

Since you already have a bubbler, all you have to do is order a development from Indisposable through their site, print out the prepaid shipping label, attach it to the bubbler and drop it off at the post office.

To order a development head to the Indisposable website at

Click “Develop Film”

Select “35mm film development”

Select if you’d like your negatives back. 

Then select “No” for black and white film (unless you have black and white film)

Then head to check out. When you finish the purchase, you will be emailed the postage label.

Place the film in the canister it came in.

Put that in the bubbler, and seal it up.

Download the label, print it and attach it with tape to your bubbler.

If you don't have a printer you can ask the post office to print it out for you before you drop it off.

Drop it off at the post office.

You can track the package through Indisposable. They give you a tracking number when you order the film.

Physical copies method

If you’d like physical prints of your photos, follow the below instructions.

We recommend a service called Darkroom.

Head here.

First, select the film type: 35mm

Next, select "Standard Scans"

Then choose "Color Prints"

Select the size of prints you would like

You can get prints sized 4"x 6" or 5" x 7"

Add to cart and check out. Follow the same directions for the above digital copies method to send out your film. You’ll receive your photos 3 - 6 days after The Dark Room receives your film.

Both digital and physical?

If you’d like both digital and physical copies of your photos, follow the steps for the Physical copies method above. The Dark Room will send you both digital abd physical copies of your photos.

Now wait impatiently for about a week!

If you have any issues at any time reach out to us: