I find it unbelievable that I have to write this, but the trend in film developing labs, not professional ones, but drugstore-types, is to return digital files and not return the negatives for film that they develop. It would be like Bob Dylan (or more likely his record company) saving one cassette tape of Highway 61 and tossing the master tapes. The negatives are the work, what we’ve made in camera. The print is just a representation. A digital file just a scan. But not the master image.
So, save your negatives. Share this with film friends, it’s imperative that we save the negatives if we are going to build a body of work. It’s obviously easy if you’re processing your own work at home.
Save the negatives, it might seem like a small, simple thing today, but someday we or our family in future generations will be glad we did.