From Athens and Back Again
By Hailea Boykin | Photography by Christy Bush
Intrigued by the punk rock music scene, Christy Bush blossomed her love of photography by documenting the kids and bands she saw on the weekends in Atlanta. Bush recalled the spark at a younger age saying, “For me it was more about the music and the people than anything else. It’s what really got me into photography.” Taking the film to get processed, she kept the photos and created her own collection of punk rock memories. “It was kind of like a Pinterest board,” said Bush.
Because of her passion for photography, she knew what she wanted to expand upon in college but didn’t have a traditional artists background. She made the decision to attend the University of Georgia and pursue a degree in fine art. “There were no artists in my family. It was a pretty bold move to make without any background,” said Bush.
After her graduation from UGA, Bush moved to New York and stepped into commercial photography, though, she did heavily debate moving to Portland, Ore. since she also enjoyed their fashion scene. Christy was able to shoot fashion for brands like J. Crew, Roxy, and Nordstrom. She also worked with other major photographers like Richard Pandiscio. “They were amazing,” said Bush, recalling her interviews in New York. “There were incredible legacies in those interviews. Being in New York, for me, was about being where the meetings were, where the negotiations took place.”
Bush lived in New York for 15 years before making her return to Athens. Though she isn’t focused strictly on fashion anymore, Bush has found an inspirational balance between fine art and fashion in Athens.
“Athens for me offers such a gift of visual, creative resources and relationships,” she said. “My biggest inspiration is natural light, being outside. I’m surrounded by what inspires me every day.”
Since the start of the pandemic, Bush hasn’t been able to do much traveling. She misses it, but said she’s “inspired by being landlocked.” “I feel like I’ve got a community to pull from. There are all these wonderful college kids that are always up for hopping in pictures,” said Bush.
Much of the work Bush does now is wrapped in the heart of Athens. She has done more still life formal portraits along with floral portraits. “I like working with the flowers. It gives a bit of pacing for me because I’m so people oriented,” Bush said.
While she has been photographing a lot of still life, Bush continues to collaborate with LoveWant, an Australian publication. When asked about her work with LoveWant, she mentioned that he favorite part is being able to bring stories that are Athens based to their publication.
Bush mentioned that she also likes being a part of LoveWant because she gets to work beside her friend Heathermary Jackson to “do this kind of photography work without the pressure of having a traditional model.”
In one of her pieces for LoveWant, Bush was able to feature her friends including close friend and model Helena Christensen. “It’s nice to put something about your home so far away from where you actually are and have people that are interested,” said Bush.
Her love and passion for the Athens creative scene grows every day. “I’ve always been inspired by everything Athens has to offer. There’s an incredible network of artistic women here.”