Photographic technicians work either in film processing,
digital imaging or print finishing. They can work for large
photofinishing operations, professional processing
laboratories supporting photographers, or in mini-labs.
Film Processing technicians use computer-controlled equipment to process films before printing, or scanning on to a disc. Processing can be adjusted to take into account the lighting conditions and exposure of the film, to ensure the highest quality product. Technicians also check, label and sleeve prints or discs for customers. They need to be aware of health and safety issues when dealing with chemicals, and maintain equipment regularly. Film processing technicians can work in large processing labs or in small mini-labs.
Digital imaging technicians are skilled at design and layout. Using a computer, they scan images and manipulate them digitally before printing. They have regular contact with their customers to discuss the format and finish of the image. Before printing, technicians will resize and adjust the image, and find the most suitable paper and printer. Digital imaging technicians also build up image banks by cataloguing and archiving images. They often work with photographers or marketing and advertising clients.
Print finishers specialise in the mounting and finishing of prints, and are skilled at using laminating and precision cutting equipment. Attached to professional labs, they work on large format prints for exhibition and display purposes.
Skillset's website has more detailed information about job roles in photo-imaging - see Further Information.
Most photographic technicians work between 37 and 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday, although shift work may be required in some larger laboratories.
The laboratory environment is usually clean, and gloves are worn when handling films. Protective clothing is worn when working with chemicals. In print finishing, the work can be physical with some lifting and standing.
To be a photographic technician you should:
If you would like to know anything about Photographic Technician that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
80-110 New Oxford Street
British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP)
Fox Talbot House
2 Amwell End
Tel: 01920 464011
The Association of Photographers
81 Leonard Street
Tel: 020 7739 6669