Photographic Technician

Job Description:

Photographic technicians help photographers and produce images from digital files.

Job Category:
Culture, Media & Sport

What you will do:

Typically you could

  • transfer image files into a desktop publishing application
  • edit and adjust for good picture quality
  • print images onto photographic paper, canvas or other materials
  • quality check prints
  • deal with customers, give advice and take payments
  • help photographers during photo shoots
  • check and maintain equipment like cameras and printers



You’ll need:

  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work on your own
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in photography or digital imaging.


In professional labs, archive stores and picture libraries, you’ll usually need formal qualifications in photography.

In the UK, for example, courses include:

  • Diploma in Photography and Graphics
  • Photography
  • Art and Design (photography option)
  • Diploma in Photography


You can get into this job through a photographic assistant advanced apprenticeship, following the photographic technician pathway.

This typically takes 18 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study.

Direct Application

You could apply directly to work as a photographic technician. For work in high street mini-labs, you’ll need basic computer skills and an interest in photography. You don’t always need formal qualifications, but some employers may prefer it.

For print finishing, you’ll usually need practical skills in woodworking and picture framing.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 39-41 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends on shifts.

You could work at a store or in a creative studio.

Your working environment may be physically demanding.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

You could work in specialist photographic processing work with organisations like the Police, hospitals or University photography labs.

With experience, you could move into management.

You could also choose to start your own photographic business or open a franchise to run a mini-lab.