Photographer Insight: Cait Miers
Cait Miers Lives The Life Your Dream Of
25-year-old Cait Miers sat on the pointy volcanic rock platform at Snapper Rocks as a teenager with a camera in hand. Once her finger pressed down on her first image she was hooked. She is now one of the surf industries leading female fashion and location photographers working with major brand Roxy. Her passport has more international stamps in it than some professional surfers and she’s loving the exhilaration and challenges that come with the territory and doesn’t take her job for granted. After all, there aren’t enough jobs to go round for every surf photographer.
Her style is fresh, tropical and warm, from our side of the lens and computer, feels effortless and smooth. It’s literally from the one place you’d rather be. It’s not just all luck, it’s a lot of talent, and now she’s opening up.
What goes into this kind of dream job for a photographer? We find out a little bit about Cait as she publishes her second coffee table book. (Final sale today click here to grab one and apply the code ‘SALE40’ to get 40% off)
You’re living a lot of girls childhood dreams. What was your childhood like? Very happy actually. I grew up in a beautiful town by the sea, just south of Melbourne in Australia. We had a lot of amazing family holidays to surf destinations. My Dad is a surfer, so I guess that’s how I got so naturally I was attached to the ocean from a young age.
Everyone has the bedroom walls plastered with photos as a kid? When you’re into surfing and the ocean it’s all very tropical. What did you have on your walls growing up? I had lots and lots of Roxy posters. The Roxy girls they live the dream. I think I had a lot of magazine cutouts of tropical places and waves.
What was the first thing you remember taking a photo of? I remember being at Snapper Rocks when I was about 16. I sat on the rocks there as surfers took off behind the rock sailed down the line into Rainbow Bay. There are always so many people to shoot on the Gold Coast, and so many amazing surfers. I just sat there and snapped away for hours. I kept trying to pick out rad surfer girls and shoot them. I was definitely hooked from that point.
What was your journey like, from deciding you wanted to be a professional photographer to actually being able to do it full time, financially? It all just kinda happened. I’m so grateful for the way everything has panned out for me. During University I was just shooting a bunch of women surfing and I threw them up on Instagram. It just snowballed from there really. I managed to get into paid jobs fairly quickly, so much that I had to quit my bar job to make time for it all. I’m stoked to say I’ve been self-employed since.
You’ve been on so many international trips, what has been your fave? It’s funny looking back because I don’t realise how much I travel until I actually think about it. I had a ball in Greece earlier this year. We were there with Summersite and two of my now great mates, Christina Macpherson and her fiancé Tom Pat. They got engaged right before my eyes on the last day of my trip. It certainly was one to remember.
What’s been the best shooting experience for you? Working with a big company like Roxy has been a lot of fun. It’s not just about the lush tropical locations, it’s also about the amazing people you get to work with as part of such a big team. Working as a photographer can sometimes mean just working individually with some models but on the big jobs with big companies, you get to work as part of a great, functional team. I actually really enjoy being part of a big team where everyone has a role to fulfil. I’ve learnt a lot from those trips!
One of the most important things you’ve learnt along the way that you can share with people starting out? Don’t doubt yourself. As a photographer you have to have confidence in your work otherwise it’ll show immediately. I’m confident in my ability and work and I think once you learn to do that, shooting becomes a lot easier.
Your top three most fave or memorable shots, what are they? I got a wicked snap of Tyler Wright just as she won her first world title in 2016 in France. I also have a great shot of my best friend in Hawaii, swimming with a huge pod of dolphins. And definitely the cover of my new book ‘Her Wave’ with the beautiful Mainei Kinimaka in Bali.
You’ve released an ebook with tips on photo editing. In your opinion, what is one of the most important skills or steps in editing a photo? Yes, I have. I’m hoping it’s helping people. I think the most important skill is to be able to use colour well, and know how different colours affect each other in images. That’s something I’m still learning about every day, but I have a good idea of what hue I want certain colours in my images to be so I think that helps.
Dream gig, what would it be? Hmm, I’d love to do a massive shoot with like 20 top female surfers and go somewhere with insane waves and just have a good time.
Who inspires you the most artistically? That’s a tough question. I source my inspiration from a lot of places. I don’t necessarily look up to one person in particular, but I guess just being around other photographers really gets you thinking about your own work.
What’s in your camera bag?
– Aquatech underwater housing
– Canon MD MRK 4
– 24-70MM F2.8 lens
– 50MM F1.2 lens
– 70-200MM F4 lens
– And a lot of little extras.