Photo lab technician
WITH THE NEW POSSIBILITIES OFFERED BY DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY, THE JOB OF PHOTO LAB TECHNICIAN BECOMES MORE CREATIVE: RETOUCHING, LAYOUT, PHOTOMONTAGE...
DID YOU KNOW?
90% of the jobs in the world of photography are in photo labs, a safe solution to enter the working life as professional of photography...
THE MISSIONS OF THE PHOTO LAB TECHNICIAN
The advent of digital technology has brought about an evolution - a revolution - in techniques. The digital technician scans pictures, cleans and retouches images on a computer screen using image processing software. He / she must also be able to edit images with embedded text. He / she is therefore familiar with digital processing, and with the use of software such as Photoshop.
He must be able to develop films and photographs using the traditional process for film cameras (printing negatives, making different prints according to the mission: regular format, enlargement, colour correction, contrasts).
In all, the photo lab technician is responsible for two essential tasks: ensuring the development of photos (paper or transparent prints, from digital photos or negatives); controlling and monitoring the state of stocks, identifying supply requirements. In addition, they must be familiar with shooting techniques.
REQUIRED QUALITIES & SKILLS
The photo lab technician must be meticulous and have a sense of observation. Versatility is required. They sometimes handle chemical preparations, so they must remain vigilant.
From development to the finishing stage, working with films involves several phases that the technician must master perfectly (use of lighting tools/equipment, characteristics of the shooting equipment, shooting techniques, use of stock management software).
Overall, he / she masters the machines used for development, has a sound knowledge of photography and image retouching techniques. The photo lab technician works alone, but as part of a team.
He must be open-minded, if his activity includes advising and informing customers about products.
Several training courses can lead to a job as a photo lab technician, and in particular the technical high-school diploma (2 years of study after NVQ), BTS in Photography, the BTM with a photography specialisation.
With experience or additional training, the photo lab technician can move on to a position as a service or shop manager to coordinate a team or even run his / her own photo lab in the industry. Having a BTS in photography also opens up opportunities in companies that manufacture or sell equipment.