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Curious minded Nacho

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Naoto “Nacho” Anazawa, 18th Wing Public Affairs photographer, grew up around foreign military children, learning American culture and English from them. While the experience was different to him, Nacho’s curiosity compelled him to learn more.

“I wished I could use my [English] skills for my job,” Nacho said. “So I thought I could find that opportunity if I applied it to the military bases on Okinawa.”
Nacho began his civilian journey at the age of 20 and experienced many careers in the following years.

“My first job was at Burger King on Camp Foster and from there I had different jobs like Powerzone at the BX, transferring to the Kadena BX or being a training operator at Camp Hansen to test Humvee rolling,” Nacho explained.

Nacho loved his time on Kadena Air Base, and a few years after working on Camp Hansen, he looked for employment opportunities on the base. He found out about a photographer position for the 18th Wing Public Affairs unit and submitted his resume. 

“At the interview I told them straight, I have no experience with photography and cameras, but I’m a quick learner so I will do anything for you and be your photographer,” Nacho said.

He said his farewells, and a week later received a call. 

“Hello, Nacho-san. This is the 18th Wing Public Affairs office. You’re hired!”

At first Nacho assumed the job would be easy.

“All anyone has to do is click a button. Everybody can do that, but it wasn’t like that at all,” Nacho said.

Soon, he learned different aspects of photography. What angles best suit a photo? How to frame a photo properly? And after some time, he cemented himself as part of the team.

“Nacho is a pivotal part of our team,” said Tech. Sgt. Micaiah Anthony, 18th Wing Public Affairs NCO in charge of command information. “He always has a positive attitude and his ability is beyond reproach, especially in studio photography. I haven’t seen anybody as good in the studio as him.”

Nacho loves taking photos to share with the world, but he enjoys talking to his customers when they come in for studio appointments.

“I can share my info with new Airmen,” Nacho said. “I get to teach them something new about Okinawa, and in turn I can learn something new from them as well. That way we gain more knowledge about the world together, and I like that about my job.”