First off, thank you to Scott and Brad for letting me share my story with everyone. I met Scott during his (mis)adventures in January.
My name is Tony D. Curtis and I am a 2nd Class Petty officer in the U.S. Navy and my job title is mass communication specialist (MC). My job is to use all aspects of media (photo, video, public affairs, etc.) to help tell the Navy's story to the general public. I'm stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).
Within my job, my passion is photography. I can't explain how lucky I am to have what I think is the best job in the Navy.
It took at least 1,600 sailors to spell out G-H-W-B for our namesake's birthday and I was chosen to fly in a helo that day to get this shot.
Aboard the ship, we have Navy-trained firefighters, police officers, a post office, a small ship store, a cafeteria, a weekly newspaper and more. It's literally a floating city. We have enough space and supplies to support the deployment-sized crew of 5,000 Sailors and up to 90 aircraft anywhere in the world.
Being able to combine my love of photography with the access of shooting in such a cool environment is incredible. The most dangerous and exciting part is shooting on the flight deck.
There is just so much going on, lots of colors and lots of repetition. It's very fast paced and we're trained to keep our head on a swivel, constantly looking around to make sure we're safe. Anytime I go onto the flight deck, I have to have proper safety gear and another Sailor from my shop as a spotter, keeping me out of the way of these F/A-18 hornets and super hornets, E-2C Hawkeyes and MH-60R/S Sea Hawk helicopters.
The flight deck is awesome but we don't just cover the equipment taking off and landing over and over again. The thing that makes the carrier so special is the Sailors. Every Sailor has a different story, a different job and we're there to capture the moments as each Sailor does their job.
With all the training the Navy has provided, I've done my best to pass it on to my best friend and wife, Lyndsay Curtis. When I'm not out to sea or on the ship, we work together on our own portrait business.
Being in Norfolk, Virginia, my two lives of civilian photography and the Navy photojournalist cross quite a bit. This is most apparent during homecoming ceremonies for deployed units. It is probably our favorite thing to shoot.
Photography is my job, my hobby, and my passion. Luckily I get to pursue it at work and at home and have a blast doing it.
Tony D. Curtis was named the 2012 Navy Photographer of the Year and won the 2012 D.C. Shoot Off "Chip Shot" Best in Show award. He is getting ready to transfer to his next set of orders in Sicily.
If you are interested in talking to a recruiter about joining the Navy, visit Navy.com