Cait Miers is an easy going, charming, ambitious girl-boss, evident from the moment she walked into Childe HQ.
With a fresh shade of blonde in her hair, an effortless grin and wearing a scuffed pair of kicks, she chatted with us and elaborated on how she built a successful career as a freelance surf, fashion and lifestyle photographer.
Cait also took a moment to introduce her new venture, The Clique, where she helps female photographers to gain confidence, grow their photography business and reach their full career potential in a fun, relaxed and nurturing environment through online courses, workshops and mentoring. Supporting the next generation of female photographers and educating our community - at just 27. What a powerhouse.
CM: I had a dream as a teenager to have a lifestyle career. A non 9-5. A career I could travel with, and have the freedom and flexibility to be my own boss. Photography has given me that and I’m now in my 6th year of being a freelance Photographer. I’ve never worked a full time job for someone else, nor do I want too. I made a pledge with myself that I would make an impact, make some waves, and create a life for myself that I chose. We all have the choice to do what we want in this life, so why not make it something you care about.
Star Sign? Scorpio Baby!
Personality described in 3 words? Easy going, ambitious, following the funnnn.
Describe your photography style in 3 words? Natural, colourful, real.
I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. That place is like a tucked away gem of paradise, its downside being bloody cold most of the time. I now call Byron Bay home and have been here for the past 2 years!
I love how everyone is really open in this town. I thought I’d struggle making friends here when I first moved, but it’s really opened me up to branching out and getting to know people. I also love the high percentage of ladies surfing up here, it’s fucking epic!
What do you miss about home?
I miss the city of Melbourne only being an hour away. I miss my family. I miss having my nearest and dearest friends close by. I miss the parties we used to have in the bush with everyone from the ninch. I don’t miss putting on a steamer to surf though ;)
Being a photographer was never on my radar until after high school. At school I was pretty academic and wanted to do the ‘right thing’ and go to uni afterwards. I studied a Bachelor of Photography at RMIT which was 3 years in Melbourne. In my third year of that (when I was 21) I published my first coffee table book of all my water images (Washed Elegance), held an exhibition and it all just started taking off from there!
When was the light bulb moment that made you think I’ve got this?
Hmm, I feel like I’ve had a few lightbulb moments over the years, but probably when I just went for it and did photography full time. I moved to Bali the year after uni (that’s where I met mr señor Jon Lauro) and worked as a freelancer from there for that whole year and I think that year I was like, ok, I can really do this!
Cait is referencing Jon Laurenson in the above, the man behind Childe Eyewear.
Two huge gigs for me have been shooting with Roxy and then more recently, WSL. I was such a little Roxy grom growing up, posters everywhere etc, so you can imagine my ecstatic when my dreams came true at 22 shooting for them. Being a photographer for the WSL has been amazing too, it’s been a huge learning curve and an amazing experience shooting more documentary style and pure action. I just feel extremely lucky I get paid to shoot surfing, like I have to remind myself that all the time because it’s actually ridiculous haha.
How would you recommend pursuing photography as a profession now in 3 easy steps?
Step 1. Figure out what you’re passionate about and chase that. Step 2. Shoot a shitload! Build up a big base of creative work for a folio and build that into a website, instagram etc. Step 3. Find your ideal clients - It’s a push and pull between chasing after your clients and creating enough of a folio and presence for them to find you, but you have to be hard working and ambitious. If you want it that badly, I have full faith you can get there.
What do you feel is the biggest myth about photography?
Rule of thirds? Haha nah I don't know, I actually like to break through a lot of myths when I’m teaching my girls (through The Clique). I believe there’s no right or wrong way to shoot, and you truly can create something out of nothing if you’re up for it.
I’m inspired by people pushing the boundaries of what they feel they can achieve. I’m inspired by human ambition and pushing yourself to the very best of your ability. And more recently, I’m inspired by people changing the way they do business. I’m all for working smarter and not harder, so setting up any systems and things you can to help this, is inspiring and something I’m working towards.
How has Covid-19 got the creative juices going for you?
Covid’s been an interesting one. I went into full panic mode at the start and watched my whole travelling year slip between my fingers. Then I quickly got my shit together and realised I better use this time wisely, so I’ve been building my next online products and platform for The Clique which I’ll be launching in a few months! I think it was all meant to be because now I don’t know how I would’ve had the time to create all this if Covid didn’t happen!
What’s next for Cait Miers and the community you are building and inspiring?
A lot of my energy is focused on The Clique right now (my little community of budding female photographers). I’ve turned into a complete tech nerd which has come out of no where haha and I’m busy building out an online platform that’ll be the hub of our community. I’m channeling my inner Mark Zuckerberg ;)
We are inspired by The Clique and Cait's work to support the next gen of female photographers. We're excited to announce that Childe Eyewear will be partnering with this program to provide all members a special discount code on Childe Eyewear products. We will reveal more information about this and The Clique soon, so stay tuned.
Thank you to Cait Miers for participating in this interview.