While the advent of digital photography and home photo printing have reduced the visibility of photo technicians in recent years, there are still many employers eager to hire them. Simply put, a photo technician develops photos either from film or digital files, sizes the photos according to customers' requirements, and performs any post-processing offered by the lab and/or requested by the customer.
Photo technicians must be familiar with all processes involved in developing standard print film; these includes understanding cropping, enlargements, darkroom techniques for developing and finishing photos, and other necessary methods for professional film development. Additionally, these technicians should be proficient with digital development and printing techniques and be able to demonstrate competency with development software for photo finishing.
Many photo labs also offer post-processing services, such as removing red-eye, tinting, contrast enhancement, and the like, so photo technicians should be well-versed in these techniques. They must also be able to work against time schedules, since the competitive nature of commercial film development is generally time-intensive in nature.
The education requirements for a photo technician may vary greatly. For labs which offer standard services, much of the training is of the on-the-job sort, so only a high school diploma and some practical experience may be necessary. In more advanced photo finishing labs, some technical school training and prior experience may be required. Photo technicians typically work regular hours during the week in photo labs and/or darkroom environments.
Photo Technician Tasks
Ensure image and print quality, trouble shooting as necessary.
Maintain photo equipment and materials.
Process images and create prints to customer specifications.