Joy Brathwaite is a photographer supporting the Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) Visual Information/Multimedia & Engineering Services (VIMES) contract at Fort Belvoir. She photographs various INSCOM events – from official ceremonies and warrant officer balls, to historical artifacts and the construction of the new INSCOM headquarters. But despite her creative eye, Joy’s educational background isn’t in photography – it’s in aerospace engineering.
After graduating from Georgia Tech with her B.Sc., she obtained her M.Sc. and ultimately her Ph.D. – all in aerospace engineering. Two years into her Ph.D. work, however, Joy started thinking about changing the career path she was on. Knowing she’d regret pulling out of the program, she finished her studies and started working for the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA). As a Research Staff Member at IDA, Joy supported the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation in the Pentagon on operational tests of Marine and Army aviation systems. She continued in this role for over six years before finally making the decision to change the trajectory of her career.
“Most people are afraid of the unknown,” she said. “But for me, one day I had a job as an engineer and the next day I was a photographer doing what I loved. And if it didn’t work out, I knew I could always go back to engineering. Switching careers is not as treacherous of a jump as most people think.” Joy worked as a freelance photographer for several years before establishing her own company, Joy Brathwaite Photography, where she specialized in headshots, business portraits, and corporate events.
Joy joined NetCentrics in September of 2017, taking her photography career yet another step forward. “So many people worry about what they might lose, but sometimes you have to focus more on what you might gain,” she said about her journey to where she is today.
One of NetCentrics’ core values is “leap courageously” – and Joy’s attitude towards life and her professional career are the perfect embodiment of that ideal.