The growth of a hologram can be used to follow the temporal course of a photochemical reaction. In this paper the application of this technique to reactions involving more than one photochemical step is considered. A theoretical framework is developed by which the hologram growth curves can be predicted provided one knows the appropriate kinetic equations. Three different kinetic schemes are explicitly considered: a one-step reaction, two parallel reactions, and a two-step consecutive reaction scheme. The calculations are compared with experimental results obtained for the reaction of benzophenone in polymethylmethacrylate. © 1982 American Institute of Physics.