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Army Air Force Navy

Imagery Technician

Non-Commissioned Member | Full Time, Part Time


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Overview

Imagery Technicians are visual media specialists and are responsible for the operation, maintenance and management of a wide variety of imaging equipment and products. They provide both still and video coverage of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in support of operations, public affairs and internal communications.

Imagery Technicians operate still and video cameras; produce prints and video and multi-media products; perform quality control of products; and maintain imaging equipment.

The primary responsibilities of the Imagery Technician are to:

  • Produce still and video images
  • Use Infrared, Image Intensified, and thermal imagery equipment
  • Produce imagery using 3D animation
  • Download image data from imaging sensors to ground processing facilities
  • Process and duplicate aerial film
  • Catalogue, describe, store and retrieve imagery
  • Analyse, annotate and enhance imagery
  • Perform colour management on imagery systems
  • Produce imagery products
  • Maintain an imagery database
  • Test and evaluate new imaging equipment

Work environment

Imagery Technicians work alongside other CAF members, in the Army, Navy and Air Force to document the important events in the life and times of the Forces. They may work at any base in Canada, on ships at sea, and overseas as part of United Nations and NATO missions.

Career Overview

Transcript

TITLE:

IMAGERY TECHNICIAN

MASTER CORPORAL FELICIA OGUNNIYA: I’m Master Corporal Felicia Ogunniya from Ajax, Ontario, an Imagery Technician posted to Canadian Special Operations Forces Command in Ottawa.

If you have a passion for video, photography and journalism and a yearning to be the one telling the story, then a career as an Imagery Technician in the Canadian Armed Forces may be a perfect fit for you.

Imagery Technicians – or Image Techs for short – are part of the Public Affairs team, working alongside Public Affairs Officers to tell the Canadian Armed Forces story.

MASTER CORPORAL FELICIA OGUNNIYA: Wherever the Canadian Armed Forces is going – on ship, on helos, in land vehicles – we’re right there alongside with them, documenting the story and relating it right back to the Canadian public. You’re in the thick of it with everyone, you’re right up in the front lines taking imagery – right where the action is happening is right where we are. 

Of growing importance these days is social media.

MASTER CORPORAL FELICIA OGUNNIYA: Shooting imagery near-real time is an exciting place to be taking photography, because you’re taking photos and a second later they’re out in the universe and everyone is sharing them and liking them. And you’re showing things that are happening in real news, real time. So to me, that’s an exciting part and an exciting world to be in.

When the military is out doing their job, it's often in remote places that are not easily accessible to the public or the mainstream media. There are a lot of misconceptions about what the military actually does and Image Techs help show the rest of Canada some of the great work the Canadian Armed Forces are doing that otherwise would go unnoticed.

MASTER CORPORAL FELICIA OGUNNIYA: It’s important to me to tell these stories to the Canadian public, because I work alongside with these men and women every day, highly motivated, highly experienced, highly trained, and great people – and I love being able to take photos of them doing their job and serving their country. And having their family see those photos is a highlight for me, when they print out a photo and they send it to their grandma and they put it on a fridge – to me, that’s the personal motivation I get out of doing this job.

MASTER CORPORAL FELICIA OGUNNIYA: The coolest part of being an Imagery Technician is you get to go where the Canadian Armed Forces is. So if you ever see a photo of someone on the side of a mountain, or in the middle of the ocean, or in the middle of a trench, that’s where we are. We are right there alongside them. So even though you may not be that trade, you get to experience almost every trade. Creatively, it’s an amazing job to be in – you can spend every day just coming up with brand-new ideas and pitching them and seeing if they like them. There’s a lot of initiative on your own side to come up with cool products, cool photos, cool video – anything that could be dynamic toward the Canadian public or show us in a good light. Usually it’s very well received.

On completion of their military and occupational training, Imagery Technicians are posted to an Army, Navy or Air Force base in Canada where they will become part of the Public Affairs team involved in a variety of communications activities. 

This includes still imagery, video and graphic design, and creating products that support the Forces’ strategic narrative.

MASTER CORPORAL FELICIA OGUNNIYA: Your first couple of years as an Imagery Technician, you’re doing your trade qualifications, you’re doing your career courses and you’re really gaining a lot of new experiences within garrison, within the base. You’re not just a one-trick pony, you have a lot of different roles that you play. You can dabble in graphic design, in video editing, photography, special effects – any area that you would like to experience more in, that opportunity is available for you. There’s specialized training and courses, and a multitude of opportunities to learn new things. It’s a great time to pick up a lot of new skills, and take initiative and be motivated and make good networks, and learning as much as you can.

Image Techs will have frequent opportunities to travel in support of operations, exercises and taskings. 

MASTER CORPORAL FELICIA OGUNNIYA: I’ve gotten to travel to a lot of cool places and shoot a lot of amazing things. And probably a highlight of my career: we went to Vimy Ridge, we went to Passchendaele, and we got to see a whole lot of different areas of history, and I was there along to document it along with everyone with fresh eyes, so that was an amazing experience.

MASTER CORPORAL FELICIA OGUNNIYA: Every day I come to work, there’s something new on the table, something I’ve probably never done before. And you kind of just pick up your camera and say “OK, this is something new, but I’m going to go for it, I’m going to be ready to shoot whatever comes my way.” So it’s a great experience, every single day. If you love a challenge, you’re creative, you want to learn more about photography, video, graphic design, whatever it may be, and you’re an artsy person – then join the Canadian Armed Forces, because all the resources are there for them to develop those skills for you.

Related Civilian Occupations

  • Journalism Photographer
  • Video Camera Operator
  • Video Editor
  • Audio and Video Recording Technician

Training

The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.

Learn more about Basic Training here.

Imagery Technicians attend the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering in Borden, Ontario. Training takes approximately four months and includes:

  • Basic electricity and electronics
  • Use of video and still cameras, and appropriate lighting equipment
  • Processing of colour prints using automated equipment
  • Operation of digital acquisition and processing equipment
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Image management

Imagery Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Photojournalism
  • Advanced video production
  • Multi-media production techniques
  • Underwater photography
  • High-speed photography and videography techniques

Entry plans

The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.

If you already have a college diploma, the Forces will decide if your academic program matches the training criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military occupation training are required before being assigned.

Part time options

This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at an Air Force Wing in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.

Imagery Technicians may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army or the Royal Canadian Air Force. They are employed documenting events in the life and times of the CAF, with still or video imagery. When employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis, they usually serve at military locations within Canada.

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. Reserve Force members usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic military training, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. Training for Imagery Technicians takes about four months and is conducted at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering in Borden, Ontario.

Air Reserve members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts and are employed in the same unit and perform the same job. Air Reserve members usually serve up to 12 days per month in a regular work day, with opportunities to serve full-time for short durations as needed. Reserve Force members are paid 92.8% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.