recognizing its personnel, and one way of showing that pride is in public
ceremonies. The ceremonies you may be assigned to cover and photograph will
fall into four basic types.
These basic types are medal awards, trophies
and certificates, promotions, and reenlistments.
(1) Medal awards.
produce pictures that have tight simple composition and strong emotional
You will have three elements to deal with: the recipient, the
medal, and the person making the presentation.
photojournalist must compose his picture so that the recipient (the most
important element) is easily recognized and the medal clearly visible.
Ensure the background is plain and uncluttered.
(b) If you take your picture during the actual ceremony, it is
likely that the medal will be obscured by the presenter's hand.
professional approach to this problem is to arrange for time to pose a
picture after the ceremony. Then you can arrange the presenter's hands so
they do not hide the medal and may even get a better facial expression on
(c) Avoid pictures in which the presenter turns and looks at the
This draws the viewer's attention off the key element, the
The most effective picture will be shot from the presenter's
right side in order to show the recipient's face and the medal on the left
(d) If you are assigned to cover this type of ceremony with the
same presenter frequently, you may be able to get that person "keyed" to
your needs and actions so that you can shoot these pictures during the
Figures 2-2 and 2-3 provide pictures of a soldier receiving a
Notice in figure 2-2 that the presenter has moved her hands away
from the award so the camera can clearly see the action. By using an "over-
the-shoulder" angle, the photographer has a clear view of the awardee's
In figure 2-3, the photographer's angle on this shot is more of a side-view.
The addition of a cluttered background and the presenter's hands covering
the award diminish the usability of this photo.