Photo Lab Technician

Print and process pictures from digital files.

What does a Photo Lab Technician do?

Ever wondered how a physical photograph comes from the digital image you find on a camera? The answer to that question lies in this job. A Photo Lab Technician uses different chemicals, machines, and one dark room to turn negatives and memory sticks into photos you can hold in your hand.

Places that hire Photo Lab Technicians include drugstores, camera shops, and photo labs. The amount of technical knowledge you need will depend on where you work. In drugstores, for example, the majority of your time is going to be spent taking digital pictures and printing them out. You might do a bit of editing on photos, like changing their dimensions or fixing red eyes. But for the most part, your duties as a Photo Lab Technician will consist of pretty basic things that you can accomplish with a few touches on a computer. In a lot of these places, you also function as the Cashier who takes the money for the services you performed.

In camera shops and photo labs, however, there’s a little bit more involved, though the basics are the same. You can make slides or transparencies for use in classes or business presentations, or blow pictures up to poster size. In these places, you work predominantly in a darkroom. There’s a lot of computer manipulation of photographs, but you also work with actual film. When film gets dropped off to be developed, you mix different chemicals to pull the picture to the surface and clarify it.