MacDill supports largest DoD photo lab in Florida

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Vernon L. Fowler Jr.
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

At some installations, each U.S. service branch has a specific location designated for official photos. At MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, the Airmen in the 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs (PA) photo lab support the 6th Air Mobility Wing (AMW), 927th Air Refueling Wing (ARW), two Combatant Commands and 32 tenant units.

In total, MacDill PA Airmen support more than 18,000 joint service and civilian personnel in one location. This does not include the off-base Reserve Officer Training Corps, Reserve and Army National Guard units who have established support agreements with MacDill.

”This is the busiest photo studio I’ve ever worked with,” said Tech. Sgt. Krystie Martinez, NCO in charge of Command Information assigned to the 6th AMW. “Our photographers are dedicated to the studio on a weekly rotation, and can take at least 50 studio portraits and 20 passport photos during their shifts. Those are pretty high numbers for just one person.”

With exception to the Air Force, each branch requires an official photograph be taken prior to promotion to the next rank. Promotion photos ensure each potential promotee is within weight and uniform regulations.

The Airmen in PA work tirelessly to ensure service members in need of an official photograph are taken care of. Appointment scheduling is done face-to-face or over the phone, and the photo lab contains two dressing rooms.

"The PA staff was very helpful in getting my photo done," said Senior Airman Lacey Miller, Material Management specialist assigned to the 290th Joint Communications Support Squadron. "I needed it for Airman of the Year package, and they ensured that I would submit it [package] with the best photo possible."


To accommodate customers, certain days of the week are reserved for specific official photos. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for biography, or head and shoulders photos, Navy, Marine Corps and special-duty full-length photos. Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for Army Dept. of the Army (DA) photos. On Wednesdays, each week is alternated between full-length and DA photos.

All photos are for official use only, and any customer needing special accommodations must bring in the photo requirements. Due to the high volume of customers, photographs are taken by appointment only.

The support PA Airmen provide to the base and beyond does not end there. Customers can also receive passport photos for official government travel. Passports are done on a walk-in basis as long as the customer has the appropriate work order form. The PA section even provides collared shirts for anyone arriving without one.

Want to book a studio appointment? Call the photo lab at 813-828-3440. Want more information on establishing a support agreement? Call the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron at 813-838-1910.