Probably the hardest part of putting together this feature on photographer/influencer Cait Miers was limiting myself to just seven images to accompany the article. With every picture on her Instagram account resonating with the beach girl inside, I was torn between the choice of pictures of Cait herself in order to show the person behind the lens, her shots of the deep ocean and shorelines, or her tropical-inspired campaign images. What I ended with was a fusion of all three.
So just who is Cait Miers and how has this 24-year-old from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia found herself as the go-to photographer for the likes of big name brands such as Roxy, Jeep, and Cotton On Body?
Below, we talk to Cait about everything from first discovering the art of photography to Instagram’s role in her career to starting her own swimwear label.
How did you first get into photography?
I studied it at uni when I was 19.
Did you always plan on being a photographer?
Nope, not at all! I wanted to do something in the sports industry, then realised my passion for surfing and that type of industry and wanted to get involved there somehow.
Did you ever study something different?
I did a year of sports science straight out of high school and discovered it was definitely not for me!
How did you get your first big break with photography?
My final year of uni was tricky as I was juggling that and the launch of my first book and exhibition, so I think at the end of that year when I launched ‘Washed Elegance’ – that was when everything was coming together really well.
How big a part has Instagram played in your career?
A huge part! My following grew really quickly a few years ago and I have gotten so much work from it.
You really do have a massive following! How did you grow this?
Very organically. I didn’t tap into the analytics of it all, I just posted what I wanted when I wanted and people caught onto that and were enjoying it.
When did you start to see your following take off?
Probably half way through 2015.
You’ve shot some amazing campaigns and people. What’s been your favourite campaign to work on and why?
Thanks! I love looking back and seeing some of the things I’ve shot. I’ve had some incredible experiences – but I’d have to say, the work I’ve done with Roxy would be hands down my favourite.
Your shoot days look epic. Can you run us through what a usual shoot day looks like for you?
It depends where we are, but a typical shoot day I’ll get up super early and head to the location. Model is generally in hair and makeup at this stage. Then once we’re ready, we just go through the motions and stop every now and again for little breaks. Once we’ve wrapped, we’ll usually have team drinks or dinner and then it’s straight to the editing bay the next day.
How do you manage to get those incredible underwater shots?
My little secret! Haha, nah… it’s fairly simple. I use an underwater housing for my camera and just shoot with that under the sea.
Are you a big surfer yourself or where has the passion for surf photography come from?
Yeah, I grew up surfing and surf now whenever I can. That’s definitely where the passion for surf photography has come from!
What camera do you shoot with?
A Canon 5d mark 4.
I know you’ve just launched your presets – but any little editing tricks and tips you can tell us about?
My tip is to keep it simple. Don’t get caught up in the technical stuff.
Not only are you a photographer, but you also have a swimwear label. How did this come about?
I sure do! It was when I was living in Bali in 2015 that I wanted to expand what I was doing. I was looking for good swimwear to surf in and nothing really came to mind, so I decided to start my own label. I wanted it to be different so I put my images on the bikinis and yeah, it just snowballed from there.
Is it hard juggling the two?
It actually is! Sometimes I’ll get waves of motivation for either, and sometimes none. I’m about to have my Summer range for 2018 drop, so for the next few months it’ll be all hands on deck with Zea.
When did the brand launch?
In March 2016.
Are you looking to get into more design?
Not particularly, haha. I design all the pieces myself but have my brother help me with textile design. I like to focus on the aspects that I’m good at like the photoshoots and marketing and then outsource the rest.
What’s your main passion – photography or fashion design?
What’s up next for you?
I have a few work trips planned coming up, which is fun! And just gearing up to launch my bathers and my new book ‘Her Wave’.
Where do you hope to see your career take you?
It’s already taken me way beyond anywhere I’d ever imagined – but hopefully just onwards and upwards. More travel, more shoots, more clients! I’m just blessed I get to live my dream.