Newman University junior Kati Bush is already making a name for herself as a top photographer. Bush learned on Jan. 27 that one of her photos had been selected as one of about 1,000 finalists (out of 17,000 entries) in the 2015 Photographer’s Forum Best of College and High School Photography Contest.
Although she won’t receive the full contest results until February, Bush’s selection as a finalist ensures that her photo will be published in the hardcover book Best of Photography 2015. Top photos will also be published in the November 2015 issue of Photographer’s Forum Magazine and exhibited at the Brooks Institute, a prestigious photography and film school in Ventura, Calif. The top eight winners will also receive cash awards as well as lenses and other photo equipment.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported me over these years,” Bush noted in a post on her Facebook page after receiving the news. “Any of you who have modeled for me, given me your input, become a client, or just flat shared words of encouragement – that’s what has kept me going . . . Needless to say, I am over the moon right now.”
After she was asked what she would do if she were chosen as a grand prize winner, she replied, “I don’t know, I would probably just evaporate. Poof!”
Bush, who is majoring in Art with an emphasis in photography, has worked as a photographer, reporter, assistant editor and now editor in chief of The Vantage. She said her interest in photography goes back to when she was a young girl.
“I’ve been interested in photography really since I was old enough to learn how to use a camera,” she said. “I went through disposable cameras like most kids went through coloring books. I would set up little photo shoots in my basement using an afghan as a backdrop and I’d dress my little sister up in wild outfits and create little concepts spending hours taking photos of her.
“I grew from that to an iZone pocket camera which went with me everywhere. But I really started considering it as a career opportunity my junior year of high school. I was on the yearbook staff and became a staff photographer. I started doing a little bit of everything – sports, performances, events. But I really fell in love with theatre photography. I liked playing with the different lighting, showcase of emotion, elaborate costumes, hair and makeup. My senior year, I took senior pictures for a bunch of friends and really fell in love with portrait photography.”
When Bush first came to Newman she initially studied both Graphic Design and Photography. But over the course of her sophomore year she realized that her true passion was in photography and dropped the emphasis in Graphic Design.
“One of the scariest things I ever did was drop the graphic design emphasis because it felt like a cushion I could fall back on,” she said.
Bush said she plans to go to grad school – specifically a photography or art institute.
“I feel like there are so many more opportunities for me to learn out there and I want to take advantage of that,” she said. “I want to perfect my craft, composition and conceptual development capabilities in that type of atmosphere.”
She also credits Newman with helping her gain the confidence to pursue her dream of being a photographer.
“I came in with that double emphasis because I wasn’t very confident in my work. But I’ve met some really great people here that have supported me and pushed me to become who I am today, not only as an artist but as a human being.”
For Bush, the road to success does not come without a few pot holes.
“I didn’t think I had what it took to make it professionally,” she said. “Once I got past that, I got really excited about my future career as an artist.”
Regardless, if she wins the grand prize, Kati Bush will not be evaporating any time soon.
View more of Bush’s photographic art at katibush.com.
Kati Bush’s photographic art will be on display beginning this Final Friday on Jan. 30, 2015 through the end of February in the De Mattias Fine Arts Center elevator.