Photoacoustic imaging is a dual imaging modality capable of producing images with inherent contrast on par to optical imaging techniques but with depth penetration and resolution similar to ultrasound imaging techniques. This is accomplished by a short laser pulse, capable of producing acoustic waves that contain characteristic information determined by the optical properties of the system. In this paper, a method was utilized to acquire an experimental imaging operator of a photoacoustic system with 30 transducers organized in a hemispherical array. Two imaging operators were derived from the experimental matrix in order to delineate the contribution of signals to the imaging operator that stemmed separately from photoacoustic signal and noise. After producing three individual imaging operators, singular value decomposition was performed on each. The magnitudes of the singular values produced from the decomposition were plotted against their index and the trends in the singular values were examined in order to understand the behavior of the photoacoustic system as it pertains to the quantity of photoacoustic signal and noise recorded in the useful imaging volume. As well, plots of the object space singular vectors at indices of specific interest were plotted in order to qualitatively confirm the expectation of information content in the singular vectors.