Darkroom Photography Instructor - First Exposures

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Darkroom Photography Instructor - First Exposures


First Exposures seeks an experienced photography instructor with a passion for empowering youth through photography and mentorship. Our ideal candidate must be highly knowledgeable in traditional black & white photography and alternative analog processes. We are currently hiring someone to join our team by early August for our upcoming programming year.


First Exposures (FX) leverages the power of mentoring relationships and photography to empower young people to thrive, express themselves creatively, and become leaders in their communities. Our summer, yearlong, and residency programs provide free classes and technology resources to FX youth. During our academic year, we provide free photography classes on Saturdays where young people can have access to cameras, equipment, mentors, and teaching artists.


The Darkroom Photography Instructor works directly with the Public Programs Manager to conduct curriculum planning and to ensure the needs of the programs are met. The Darkroom Instructor teaches classes and leads activities for the mentees with the support of their matched volunteer mentors and FX program staff. The Darkroom Photography Instructor is a non-exempt, part-time position. This role will require a 15-hour workweek— Saturdays are mandatory with one to two partial days during the week to prep for class. Time beyond 15 hours a week is at the Executive Director’s discretion. Pay rate is $25/hr.


Teach weekly Saturday classes in analog photography and alternative processes using the darkroom.
Create engaging and thematic curricula and lesson plans focusing on analog photography that includes hands-on activities for the mentees (FX youth) and mentors and culminates in a final project.
Plan the semester in collaboration with the Digital Instructor and Program Manager.
Plan and coordinate field trips, guest speakers, and special events with Program Manager
Maintain and monitor equipment and equipment inventory, handling donations and repairs as needed
Maintain classroom resources, including but not limited to film, paper, batteries, and chemistry
Set up, disassemble, and clean classroom and darkroom each week
Responsible for regularly scanning and digitally archiving mentee prints
Communicate with mentees and mentors regularly regarding weekly agenda, attendance, and reminders
Support and encourage mentor and mentee leadership
Help build a sense of community in the classroom and darkroom for mentors and mentees
Act as mandated reporter and contact Child Protective Services, Social Workers, CASA workers, case workers, and families depending on situational needs with Director’s approval

Assist FX staff with assessing mentor/mentee matches at the beginning and end of the program
Assist coordination of end of semester events such as exhibitions, potlucks, and evaluations
Assist with fundraising events by coordinating classes, preparing materials, and helping with install
Engage regularly with the Executive Director, Public Programs Manager, other Photography Instructor, mentees, and mentors

Bachelor of Arts in Photography or equivalent experience
Minimum two years’ background in youth mentoring or equivalent teaching experience


Advanced understanding of analog photography
Compassionate and empathetic with an ability to bring joy into a learning environment
Excellent oral and written communication skills
Must be able to work effectively with youth and adults from diverse populations
Experience in developing engaging curricula for youth
Skilled in troubleshooting issues that are common in analog photography and in the darkroom.
Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, and Lightroom
Please note First Exposure employees are required to complete criminal background checks, Mandated Reporter training, and show proof of their being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as a condition of employment.

Must be able to lead classes for an average of three to five hours once a week, whether on feet or in a chair. Needs to have the ability to lift up to thirty pounds at a time to meet studio and supply needs.


Class and office space is located in the Mission District, SF. The position may also require the ability to work from home or other offsite locations. Class space is a shared-use space but reserved for programs during class.


Visit firstexposures.org/photoinstructor to apply.
For questions: info@firstexposures.org