Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operator Career

Job Description: Perform work involved in developing and processing photographic images from film or digital media. May perform precision tasks such as editing photographic negatives and prints.


Is Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operator the right career path for you?
Take the MyMajors Quiz and find out if it fits one of your top recommended majors!

Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operator Career

What Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators do:

  • Create prints according to customer specifications and laboratory protocols.
  • Review computer-processed digital images for quality.
  • Load digital images onto computers directly from cameras or from storage devices, such as flash memory cards or universal serial bus (USB) devices.
  • Select digital images for printing, specify number of images to be printed, and direct to printer, using computer software.
  • Operate scanners or related computer equipment to digitize negatives, photographic prints, or other images.
  • Set or adjust machine controls, according to specifications, type of operation, or material requirements.
  • Insert processed negatives and prints into envelopes for delivery to customers.
  • Maintain records, such as quantities or types of processing completed, materials used, or customer charges.
  • Examine developed prints for defects, such as broken lines, spots, or blurs.
  • Read work orders to determine required processes, techniques, materials, or equipment.
  • Reprint originals for enlargement or in sections to be pieced together.
  • Monitor equipment operation to detect malfunctions.
  • Produce color or black-and-white photographs, negatives, or slides, applying standard photographic reproduction techniques and procedures.
  • Load circuit boards, racks or rolls of film, negatives, or printing paper into processing or printing machines.
  • Fill tanks of processing machines with solutions such as developer, dyes, stop-baths, fixers, bleaches, or washes.
  • Clean or maintain photoprocessing or darkroom equipment, using ultrasonic equipment or cleaning and rinsing solutions.
  • Measure and mix chemicals to prepare solutions for processing, according to formulas.
  • Operate special equipment to perform tasks such as transferring film to videotape or producing photographic enlargements.
  • Examine drawings, negatives, or photographic prints to determine coloring, shading, accenting, or other changes required for retouching or restoration.
  • Examine quality of film fades or dissolves for potential color corrections, using color analyzers.
  • Place sensitized paper in frames of projection printers, photostats, or other reproduction machines.
  • Upload digital images onto Web sites for customers.
  • Immerse film, negatives, paper, or prints in developing solutions, fixing solutions, and water to complete photographic development processes.
  • Thread filmstrips through densitometers or sensitometers and expose film to light to determine density of film, necessary color corrections, or light sensitivity.
  • Retouch photographic negatives or original prints to correct defects.
  • Produce timed prints with separate densities or color settings for each scene of a production.
  • Splice broken or separated film and mount film on reels.
  • Dry prints or negatives using sponges, squeegees, mechanical air dryers, or drying cabinets.
  • Set automatic timers, lens openings, and printer carriages to specified focus and exposure times and start exposure to duplicate originals, photographs, or negatives.
  • Operate machines to prepare circuit boards and to expose, develop, etch, fix, wash, dry, or print film or plates.
  • Apply paint, using airbrushes, pens, artists' brushes, cotton swabs, or gloved fingers to retouch or enhance negatives or photographs.
  • Shade negatives or photographs with pencils to smooth facial contours, soften highlights, or conceal blemishes, stray hairs, or wrinkles.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Holland Code Chart for a Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operator