Guidelines for Memorable Award and Presentation Photographs

Article 2 min
Examine the photos to understand how to properly take an award and presentation photograph.

Images of awards and presentations help create lasting, positive memories for the recipient. It is a pivotal moment for the recipient, who is being recognized for excellence in front of their peers. These special moments deserve the highest level of professionalism and attention to detail.

There are several types of awards and presentation ceremonies that DoD VI professionals must document, including medals, promotions, re-enlistments, certificates and letters of appreciation, trophies and group photography.

Use these guidelines for each ceremony type: 

  • When taking a photograph at a medal or trophy-awarding ceremony, focus on the position. After the medal is pinned, the commander will be on the left of the frame for the handshake.
  • For a photograph of a commander giving a certificate or letter of appreciation, make sure the commander is on the left side of the frame, hands clasped with the recipient, and the recipient is holding a certificate or letter in between them.
  • Promotion photos should showcase the pinning of the new rank.
  • Re-enlistment photographs should show the re-enlistees and the re-enlistment officer with the oath of enlistment certificate between them.
  • Presentations should capture the speaker talking to people with expressive facial gestures and body language.
  • For group photographs, arrange people by height and row. The taller people should be in the back or balanced at the edges. Take rank into consideration. 

View the photographs below for examples.

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