The Best Surf Photographer

Cait Miers, 22, shoots for surf brands both in Australia and overseas. She’s published a book of her work, Washed Elegance, and sells prints of her photos online. caitmiers.com “I DIDN’T GROW UP DREAMING OF BEING A PHOTOGRAPHER – I dabbled in it in high school but really saw myself getting into a career around sport. When I finished school, I started a Bachelor of Sports Science, but I lasted a year and realised it wasn’t for me. So I went out on a limb and applied for a Bachelor of Photography at RMIT and got in! I literally spent the first semester learning how to put photos on my computer – I was such a rookie. This year was my first out from uni and my first year of full-time work. It’s all happened pretty fast. The end of my second year at uni I shot a fashion campaign for a friend and from then on it kind of snowballed.

My social media following started to grow and I was getting a really positive reaction to the content I was producing. In my final year of uni I was balancing shooting fashion campaigns, content for my book and a final uni folio! I love surfing. While I was studying I chose to explore women’s surfing and capture the femininity of it – I want girls to know they can bring that femininity out into the water. Gone are the days of girls sitting on the beach while the boys surf! And part of that movement is that you don’t need to be one of the boys, you can be a lady in the ocean, and more importantly, just be yourself. I have to go through this mind game when I arrive at the beach, I’m like, ‘Do I want to surf today or shoot?’. I struggled with it when I was starting because I’d go out surfing and think, ‘Damn, that would make a great photo!’

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And vice versa. I’ve made a rule now: I have to make the most of that moment whether I’m surfing or shooting and appreciate it for what it is. The content I produce looks glamorous but I’m swimming for two to three hours at a time, so a strong swimming ability is essential. I’m battling the elements of the ocean as well as trying to capture a photo, it’s not easy! The biggest thing is to stay calm, and try to let the water move me around. I used to swim competitively, so that side came pretty naturally. The toughest thing about running my own business is managing everything, from the back end of websites to shipping orders out. I’ve had to juggle all aspects of it. I like it because it’s something different every day, but sometimes it gets a little overwhelming. I’m always thinking of new ways to connect with followers and what the next step is. I’ve been working on a little project that will see some of my photos on bikinis and surf wear, which will be launching in the next few months. I just want to keep growing and finding new mediums to show my images. I still have so much to learn but I’m taking it all as it comes.”

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