It’s been a fast rise to the top for Cait Miers. She completed a Bachelor of Photography at RMIT in 2014 and today she is one of the leading women’s surf photographers in the world. Originally from the Mornington Peninsula, she is now based in Byron Bay, but is often on the road covering major surf events, teaching photography or working for clients like Roxy, Billabong and Lululemon. If you follow her Instagram, you probably already know why she is in such hot demand and at Cocobella we were thrilled to have Cait join our team to help us celebrate your active summer. For this blog, we tried to uncover some of the secrets to her success, her inspiration and maybe even get some surfing tips.
“I want to inspire women. That’s my main goal. To be brave, to chase their dreams, to live life to the full. It’s not just about photography, but the stories behind the image, the tougher moments, the travel, the lifestyle. I want my images to make you feel something, anything.”
Penny at Cocobella: How on earth did you get so good at photography?
Cait: Haha thank you! It’s strange because I didn’t do a whole lot of photography growing up, I only really got into it when I was about 16-17. I studied studio arts at school and had a fascination with photos in the surf culture and basically just wanted to get a job in the surf industry. After high school though, I did a year of a sports science degree and didn’t like it, so went onto a Bachelor of Photography at RMIT. Doing this for 3 years you learn A LOT and it was great because it would allow me to shoot pretty much every day with a purpose!
Penny at Cocobella: You are obviously self-motivated. Do you think you were always like this or did you learn to be or decide to be?
Cait: I’m very self-motivated! But there are definitely tough days and days where I completely doubt myself and think I can’t pull off what I’m trying to achieve. Looking back, I have always been very self-disciplined and good at just getting in there and doing things. I think it’s a learnt behaviour more than anything!
Penny at Cocobella: Who do you admire in the surfing world and why?
Cait: I admire a lot of women haha! But after being around and getting to know some of the top female surfers in the world, there is something to be said about the way they are being incredible role models for young girls. They’re all completely natural, down to earth and passionate about their careers, and I just think in this day and age, with social media insecurities (we’re saturated with fitness apps, heavy make-up tutorials, quick fix diets and cosmetic enhancers) there’s a tiny window for natural women to shine. The young girls growing up with these surfers as their role models are going to turn out mighty fine.
Penny at Cocobella: What would you say to someone who wants to try surfing but is a bit scared (like me for example haha)?
Cait: Give it a crack! Learning is the hardest part, but I say embrace the challenge. You’re at one with nature, no phones, disconnected from the world and it’s seriously like a meditation for me now! It’s one of those things that you WILL NOT regret, I promise. Embrace the tumbling and turning, the ocean is a beautiful force!
Penny at Cocobella: Travel is a huge part of your life. Has it always been this way?
Cait: It is! And it’s only getting more and more. I actually love it. I’ve grown up with wide eyes and would always get lost in travel blogs, campaigns and stories of women from different parts of the world. I’ve always been a lover of travel and I believe it’s our greatest teacher! My parents also grew up travelling in their 20s, so growing up I just thought that was part of what you did in your 20s haha!
Penny at Cocobella: What destinations are on your 2020 wish list?
Cait: This year I want to go somewhere cold! I’m always off to warm and tropical destinations (don’t get me wrong, I love this!) but I’d love to get lost in the Swiss Alps or Aspen or Northern Europe somewhere! Somewhere completely opposite to my lifestyle.
Penny at Cocobella: You also teach photography. Can you tell us a bit about your course?
Cait: I started something called ’The Clique’ a year ago now. It’s an online platform and community designed around giving women a chance to learn and grow in their photography in a relaxed, nurturing and positive environment. I currently offer one online course (with plans to make a lot more this year) called The Fearless Photographer, and it takes women step by step through their photography brand, their niche, networking, marketing and how to basically go freelance in their chosen niche. It’s a 5 week, go-at-your-own-pace-style course. The girls currently in it are getting insane results! In 2020 we plan to expand The Clique into an online membership platform, with a full digital goods section, in person workshops, 1:1 mentoring, and an entry point for all levels of photographers – a community of absolute go-getters!
Penny at Cocobella: Who inspires you in the photography world and why?
Cait: I have a few favourite photographers! I love @serenalutton (she’s also a good friend!) as she mixes fashion and surfing really well. Another good friend Marina Alonso @marinalons has an amazing eye and inspires me a lot! Early on in my career, I was inspired by Purienne, Morgan Maasssen, Dane Peterson and Terence Connors.
Penny at Cocobella: This month we are celebrating healthy active lifestyles at Cocobella. Can you tell me what this means to you? What do you like to do to stay active and healthy?
Cait: This is perfect as I’ve actually just started (finally) working out and trying to get fit! I’ve always just surfed and did a bit of yoga here and there, but 2020 is the year I’m going to be proper fit haha! I’m actually loving it and finally understanding the feeling people describe when pushing your body to the limit! I work hard during most days, so balancing this with surfing in the morning and a 30min workout in the afternoon helps clears my mind and it’s actually giving me more energy!
Head to Cait’s Instagram and prepare to get all the feels @caitmiersphotography