The photorefractive response of several dye-doped nematic liquid crystal samples is studied experimentally. Particular attention is given to the observation and modeling of the multiexponential dynamics of the photorefractive grating, and of the photocurrent. Both involve at least two different mechanisms with largely different time constants. These phenomena occur on time scales on the order of seconds, for applied voltages about 1 V, and light intensities as low as milliwatts/cm(2). (C) 2002 American Institute of Physics.