Salty Talks with: Photographer Cait Miers
From Steph Gilmore, to Victoria Vergara or the inseparable Roxy trio Kelia Moniz, Monyca Eleogram and Bruna Schmitz, there isn't a gorgeous surfer gal Cait Miers hasn't snapped with her Canon 5D. Capturing our salty sisters across the world, she is as skilled at her job as she is kind and generous with her time.
I had the the pleasure of meeting Cait and working with her on a shoot for Mocho, a rad little surf poncho brand you should definitely check out. Along with two of my good friends, Billie and Faz, we spent the day shooting in and out of the water, creating some magic and laughs along the way.
I knew of Cait's work, but I didn't know of her easy-going and humble personality. For someone living her dream job and traveling the world in all its colourful glory, the young 20-something I met at 5AM on a Friday was totally down to earth and greeted my with a large smile and some funny tales about the party she'd been to the night before.
Between shooting for Roxy and exploring the deserts of Saudi Arabia, Cait kindly took the time to have a chat with me about all things surf, travel, photography and swimwear. Her new book Her Wave is one of my top summer faves and will fuel you with inspo for the next 100 years -- or at least until she releases the next one.
So without further ado, here's a little insight into the world of Cait Miers: photographer, dreamer, goal-kicking-achiever.
Hopefully her art and take on life will inspire you as much as it does me.
Salty Talks With Cait Miers
How would you describe your creative process, from pre-production, shooting and then editing?
I’m a pretty spontaneous person so I don’t actually plan a whole lot when it comes to shoots! I think a lot of my creativity just comes to me as I’m shooting, and I’ll get new ideas as I’m going along. You can tell when I’ve got a cool idea or something coz I just start dancing round like a maniac on set haha. Editing is super relaxing for me, I love putting some good tunes on, ordering a large coffee and just shutting myself off from the world and get really into the colours and the feel of the shoot.
What gives you the greatest inspiration for your work?
Where I am, like location wise, usually does. The ocean, pretty beaches, interesting people, new settings, it all helps!
What camera did you start out with, and what do you shoot with now?
I started with a canon 7D which I bought at the start of my uni course, and then about a year ago I bought a Canon 5d mark 4 which is seriously insane. Such a good camera! Well worth the investment!
You travel the world capturing beautiful, strong women in amazing places, what are some key things you’ve learnt from the women and locations you have worked with?
I’ve actually learnt a lot from so many beautiful, inspiring and strong women from around the world. When I meet these women who are super sure of themselves and know themselves inside and out, it inspires me to be the same about myself. I’ve learnt that it really is so important to be yourself and not hide any parts of yourself. I’ve also learnt that you can do anything you put your mind too. I once dreamed about doing the job I do now and I got here, if you’ve got a dream, you can get there.
What, in your opinion, makes a good photo?
Good question! I like fleeting moments, natural beauty, real and raw, ya know? People get too obsessed trying to create the perfect image and it does my head in, your perfect moment is right in front of you, in between when you lift the camera up and down!
What do you think has been the secret to your success thus far in your career?
Passion and ambition. I had a dream and I wasn’t settling for anything less. I’m a very ambitious person and wanted a career of life and colour and adventure. I also was in the right place at the right time for a few opportunities, but none of that is a coincidence. I believe it was all meant to happen that way.
Your latest book, Her Wave, is an ode to women and their relationship with the ocean, could you tell us a little bit more about the selection process for the photos (you have so many beautiful shots to choose from!), and why you wanted to create the book?
I should’ve taken a photo of my 20 hard drives and me with about 10 coffees going slightly crazy haha! I just made a folder and scoured through my hardrives and just somehow narrowed it down. One thing I feel I don’t do enough of is get other people’s opinions of my work so it was funny when I was struggling for a cover photo and completely overlooked many of my images. I was showing my brother a few and he was just like THAT ONE! THAT’S IT! I was like really? Are you sure and he’s like it’s a no brainer haha. It made me realize I need to step back a bit and actually view my images in a different way, take more time with them.
"Her Wave isn't just a book about surfing, it's a toast to being feminine, elegant, fierce and courageous. It's a celebration of strong, inspiring females doing their thing. It's the type of book you don't need many words to describe, and it's the type of book that any woman of today can relate too, whether they surf or not."
-- Her Wave
You lived in Bali for a while and created your swimwear line, Zea Swim, was it exciting to throw yourself into a whole new project and learn the ropes of a new business?
Bali was such an adventure! So much fun. Yeah I had always loved the idea of owning my own swimwear or wetsuit line, trying to further my brand I guess and incorporate my images into it. I originally wanted to do cute little wetsuits to surf in with my images on them, but thought I’d do that down the track so I started with swimwear. There’s still so much I want to do with the brand, like sponsor surfers and eventually go on trips for the brand. Definitely looking to turn it more surf wear then just swimwear, and now I have a bit of a feel for what people want I feel like I can achieve that.
Let’s talk Instagram. How has it helped you with your career (if it has helped at all) and what are some key tips that you use for your own feed?
Bloody Instagram! Haha nah I secretely love it! It’s helped me with my career so much. I started it pretty early actually, and honestly had no method or no secret potion I just posted what I wanted when I wanted and people seemed to love it. It’s a bit different now with the algorithms and stuff but I’m not letting that worry me. My advice is if your struggling to get traction on Instagram, don’t force it.
What advice would you give creatives who are starting out, have a strong passion but are not sure whether to trust and follow their dreams?
Go for it. It’s cliché but I’m seriously the most like normal girl out there haha, I had a dream, I went for it, things fell into place for me and I worked super hard for it too. If you want something, work hard, don’t give up, you can do it. Chase those dreams!
Favourite beach in Australia:
My go-to eateries in Bali:
Beatle Nut, Revolver, Hanks, Crate
First thing I do in the morning:
I wish I could say ‘drink a herbal tea and do some yoga’ but at the moment it’s ‘looks at phone.’ Haha.
Favorite emoji is:
The rock hands one 🤘🏽
Biggest highlight of my career so far:
The moment I got asked to shoot a Roxy surf trip.
Best advice ever given was:
Use the fact that you’re from Victoria to your advantage. Instead of moping about the weather, it’s not a typical place where surf photographers originate from so use that to your advantage.
Song I am obsessed with at the moment:
Next dream destination:
Never leave home without:
The ol' telephone hahah