How to Give an Award

Alternately titled:

Giving awards with your photographer in mind

Recognizing your team by giving awards is an important way of expressing the value your company places on achievements or other contributions. Sharing these moments on the company website or newsletter or press release is an important way of sharing. With just a little bit of foresight you can improve the odds of getting great photos of your award presentation.

You might be the presenter. Your might be the event coordinator, needing to “coach” the presenter. Whatever your situation, you probably want usable photographs of the award presentations or you wouldn’t be reading this article. We have witnessed great award presentations and hopeless ones (from the point of view of the photographer), so here are a few tips.

First, the presenter or event organizer should have a quick conversation with your photographer before the event begins. Outline for him or her how the presentation will be organized and what the flow of people on the stage or in front of the podium will be. Indicate how many people should be in the photo, and who those people should be.

If that conversation is not possible in advance, once the program begins the presenter should make an effort to become aware of where the photographer is. This shouldn't be too hard, especially if the room is dark. The flash is a giveaway.

The general procedure is for the presenter to shake hands with the awardee and then to present him or her with some item, which might be an envelope, a certificate, or a physical award of some sort. When doing this, try not to turn your back on the room and try not to stand in front of the awardee.

Sometimes a group of awardees are assembled on stage and come to the presenter as their name is called. Sometimes they come up to the presenter from the audience. Whatever the case, take a moment to turn the awardee in the direction of the photographer!

Whether you choose to hold a handshake briefly or simply stand near the awardee and smile, give your photographer that brief moment! Two or maybe three quick flashes later you can move on the the next one.

At a recent party I covered, the presenter read a brief list of the awardee’s accomplishments. The individual walked straight up to the podium, took an envelope, and returned. I never even saw his face. As you might imagine, the client didn’t get a record of this moment. In such a scenario the photographer has one of two choices: interrupt the presentation in the middle of the event, or remain unobtrusive and settle for less than ideal images.

A little thought and a moment or two of awareness of your photographer will ensure your company has a lasting record of a meaningful moment in your company’s story.