How to Take Army DA Photos

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Official Department of the Army photos may only be taken by professional photographers contracted by the U.S. Army. All active Army installations have a DA Photo shop staffed by professionals qualified to take DA photos. After a DA photo is taken, it is uploaded into the DA Photograph Management Information System, commonly referred to as DAPMIS. For this reason, all DA photographs are taken digitally. According to Army Regulation 640-30, all soldiers in the pay grade of E6 and above are required to have a current DA photo on file.

  • Call your installation's DA Photo shop to schedule an appointment. AR 640-30 requires that DA Photo shops may only photograph soldiers who have appointments.

  • Wear your uniform properly when you sit for a DA photo. Have it tailored before your appointment. According to AR 640-30, neither you nor your photographer are permitted to alter your uniform to make it look better for the photo. DA photos are used to evaluate a soldier's appearance for promotion, and falsifying the appearance and fit of your uniform is not authorized. Check your appearance in the full-length mirror that the Army requires photographers provide.

  • Discuss camera options with the photographer if you suspect he is doing something against AR 640-30. According to paragraph 7, section B, subsection 3 of the regulation, the photograph must be taken with very specific settings.

  • Hold still with your head high and your shoulders back while the photograph is being taken. Do not smile. The photographer will ensure that your head is centered and aligned within the camera's frame so that your rank, ribbons and medals are clearly visible. Your body must be at a 15-degree angle, facing right, and the photographer will adjust the frame so that he can see approximately two inches above your head and two inches below your jacket.

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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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