Passports are also part of identification photography. They are not normally done by Army
photographers. Passports have special requirements published by the State Department and are included
when you receive an application. Passports are made in civilian clothes, even for military personnel on
official business. Check the requirements provided on the application.
We are accustomed to recognizing people by their faces, because their clothes are often changed or their
uniforms may look like everyone else's uniform. Therefore, identification portraits are usually either
fullface or profile photographs. They should clearly show all the person's facial detail, and the lighting
should be low with no distinct shadows so that no specific characteristic stands out.
b. Formal Portraits. Some of the uses of formal portraits are for records, formal display, and
news release purposes. For example, this is the type of portrait displayed on bulletin boards or
elsewhere to recognize accomplishments such as "Soldier of the Month." Formal photographs are also
distributed to identify those in the chain of command. It is obvious from their uses that formal portraits
should show the person at his best.
When taking formal portraits, you should pose the subject in a studio against a neutral background -
gray, light blue, or white. The subject should wear class A military dress with full decorations. Any
object appearing in the portrait with the subject must be subordinate to the subject in tone, placement, or
c. Informal Portraits. Informal portraits are used for display and promotion in similar but more
informal and unofficial circumstances than formal portraits. When you want to indicate the subject's
position, job, agency, or a particular event, take an informal portrait.
(1) Environmental portrait. Show the subject of an informal portrait in his
natural environment, but do not have him engaged in any activity. The environment serves
only as a background to connect the subject with some organization or event. The subject
should be dressed properly but not necessarily in a class A uniform. The environmental portrait
can be considered as a subcategory of the informal portrait. This type of picture may be classified
as a "working portrait." The subject of an environmental portrait is photographed outside of
the studio. The purpose of this picture is to show the person in a setting surrounded, perhaps,
by props that indicate something about the individual. For example, a medical lab