MSgt. Denby Retirement Ceremony

I had the opportunity last week to photograph the retirement ceremony for MSgt. George Denby at MacDill AFB. He is leaving the Air Force after 21 years of service.

The Honor Guard lines up ready to kick off the ceremony.

This was my first experience with a flag passing ceremony. As various achievements and highlights from MSgt. Denby's career are read, the flag is passed to the next airman of increasing rank.

George watches as the flag passing ceremony progresses. As usual, I was using two camera bodies with different lighting setups to achieve two different looks. This image illustrates my off-camera technique where a flash is positioned on a stand in the back of the room and aimed 45 degrees into the ceiling and toward MSgt. Denby. I was able to change the direction of the light throughout the ceremony to highlight different people or locations on the stage.

The flag is eventually presented to MSgt. Denby. This flag flew over MacDill AFB the very same day in his honor.

George is presented with a lovely shadow box containing various keepsakes, medals and honors earned during his long career.

Before addressing the guests, MSgt. Denby passed his ceremonial flag to his son for safe keeping.

MSgt. Denby's family listens as he thanks them for their love and support. Military families are asked to sacrifice a lot and the good deeds of our nation's soldiers would not be possible without them.

A few details from George's shadow box.

The whole family poses for a group shot after the ceremony.

Congratulations on 21 years MSgt. Denby and the best of luck in all your future endeavours! Thanks for choosing me to be there to document this special occasion.

1 comment:

Nathan Amirault said...


I am trying to compose a flag passing ceremony for a retirement in Ramstein Germany and was wondering if you could put me in touch with a point of contact that organized this ceremony. I am narrating the ceremony and would like some tips. My email is, I appreciate any help you could provide in this area. Thank you for your time.

TSgt Nathan Amirault