The following is provided by lemonelephant, the mom of a Sailor.
Graduation photos are taken on week 4/day 4 of BC, and are taken in the Dress Blue uniform. The following week the Division photo is taken. The Photo Lab keeps photos for one year in case the recruit or the family wants to order or reorder photos.
The process now is for the recruit to pay for the photo package, Division photos, Keel, and DVD, either with a debit/credit card or a check when they pick them up a few days before PIR OR parents and Sailors can go in and pay for them and pick them up on PIR day.
The Keel – the “yearbook” for your Sailor’s recruit division, sometimes called the Cruise book – is available for purchase during boot camp, on the day of PIR, and during that weekend. They only print up the exact quantity that is ordered and prepaid so you will not be able to order it after PIR weekend. The Keel is included free with one of the packages of photos or it can be purchased separately for about $30, but most order the package that includes it. The Keel is mailed about 12 or 13 weeks after PIR – the recruit indicates the address it is mailed to. (You cannot order The Keel over the phone. You must do that in person at the NEX the weekend of PIR.)
If your recruit did not order the DVD of PIR, then go over to the Photo Lab at the NEX on the Friday of PIR, and you can still get it. The DVD is mailed about 5 or 6 weeks after PIR. (Some, but not all, have been successful in ordering a DVD up to 2 months after PIR by calling the Photo Lab at the NEX.)
Your recruit cannot just buy a few photos, he/she must order a package to receive any photos at all. However, The Keel and/or DVD of PIR can be ordered without ordering photos. If you find out that your recruit did not order a photo package, you can still order them on the day of PIR by going to the Photo Lab at the NEX, but The Keel is not included free at that time.
My Sailor took care of ordering his photo package, The Keel, and DVD, and some nice frames as well, while he was at BC and would not let me reimburse him for it. He said that the pictures and frames were his gift to those who have done so much for him. Other Recruits/Sailors have felt the same way; perhaps the RDC suggested this, but I like to think I have a thoughtful son. If you are planning to pay for the photos; just let your recruit know that you are willing to reimburse him/her for this since that is the easiest way to handle it. You will need to know that the DVD and photo package that includes The Keel is about $170 and Division photos are about $5 each. If you find out that there are not enough photos in the package, you can order more by going over to the Photo Lab at the NEX on the day of PIR or by using the order form within the package when you receive it. Reorders can only be ordered if your recruit ordered a package.
There are several Discussions that include information on this. One is Photo Packages, Keel and DVD info.
You can contact the Photo Lab at Great Lakes at 847-578-6205.