BALI TRIP 2017

Last time I left Bali for Australia was Nov 2015. I’d been living in Bali for 7 months, and you could tell I was missing the Oz way of life. The first thing I did when I got out of the car when I landed back home was smell the closest bush and take in the fresh air! I was stoked to be home...

Fast forward 18 months, and I was heading back to Bali. A shoot opportunity saw me extend to a two week stay, and I collaborated with the lovely ladies at The Asia Collective to help organise my stay. I have to admit; I was pretty stoked to be heading back. I was craving a cold Bintang, I missed the heat, and the smell as soon as you get off the plane, and I’d just come off two hectic weeks shooting at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast. It was time for a bit of island life.

First stop we stayed at Umakayu Villa on Batu Balong in Canggu. My friend and I were absolutely in awe of the place. It was delicate, quaint little bamboo villas amongst a rice paddy and away from the bustle of Bali’s newest scene, Canggu. The staff were beautiful, the villa’s super clean and gave us that island feeling of being somewhere far away from anything. It was pure bliss! Still wanting to stay in Canggu, we had our next two nights at Villa Maz, just near the Canggu Club. The thing that stood out for me with this villa was the bathroom. Outdoor shower, toilet, large mirror and basin. I mean, what more could a girl want right? The pool provided us with some solid entertaining afternoons kicking back in the sunshine and listening to music.

We then had our third stop in Echo Beach at the Sandyha Villas which were about 100m from the beach. The villas are neatly tucked away, and have a very strong architectural vibe with strong concrete pillars and modern walls. The security is amazing here and we loved the outdoor living space. The master bedroom opens right up onto the pool so you can pretty much wake up and dive in! 

I was really wanting to get up the coast to a quieter place, so I went up to Bingin and stayed at Melali Bingin which is run by a beautiful Australian couple who live there also. The villa is extremely neat and tidy and there's a large open communal area which has beautiful character. The single villa I was in had it's own plunge pool and a gorgeous outdoor bathroom with great detail in the design. I feel like I fully relaxed here! Super close to the surf, but you do need a motorbike to get around these areas.

For the last two nights of my trip I was fortunate enough to stay at The Edge Bali  which was way beyond anything I'd imagined. The complex is literally situated on the cliffs of Southern Bali, and the complex has 5 large villas with a main pool area, bar and spa. We stayed at 'The Mood' where we even had our very own butler! The service was impeccable and the villa had a stunning view of the ocean. The main pool and bar area gave some of the best views I've seen in Bali. The spa area promised a point of difference having about an inch of water as the floor, so you walk through that to get to your treatment. 

After two weeks staying in these utterly amazing villas, I wasn't really ready to go home. But reality calls, and I'll always remember this little stint as one of my favourite Bali holidays! 

Villa Maz

Villa Maz

Villa Sandhya

Villa Sandhya

The Edge Bali

The Edge Bali

The Edge Bali

The Edge Bali

Melali Bingin

Melali Bingin

Umakayu Villa

Umakayu Villa

 

 

 

What it feels like to miss home..

Ever since I was younger, I've been someone that never wanted a normal job when I grew up. I longed to travel, to do something different each day and work anywhere but in a 9-5 office job..

I loved, and still do love where I was raised; a beautiful, safe and loving town an hour south of Melbourne on the beach, Mt Martha. In Summer, the crowds would grow and the tourists came, and in Winter, it became a cozy sanctuary with no one but locals. Being a lover of the surf, it was also an amazing place to learn, and then eventually keep coming back to as I grew up. Twenty minutes drive through the vineyards, and you've arrived at a coastline full of barren, uncrowded waves. To most people, the Melbournians, the city slickers as some say, this was heaven. But in my late teens and after I finished high school, when you then have the choice to do whatever you wanted, and move to wherever you wanted, I got the itch to get out of there, an itch to get 'off the ninch' (I think a few people my age living on the Peninsula will know this feeling!). I was sick of the familiarity, I craved change. I wanted warm weather, warm surf where I could ride my bike from my flat to the ocean, in my bikinis might I add. I wanted somewhere I could find more work, where more women surfed and there was a culture that appreciated that. I wanted the hippy vibe of Byron mixed with the opportunities of a city, all on my doorstep. And all of this want, made me develop a negative feeling towards where I was. Travelling to Uni nearly every day, for 3 years, to the city from the Peninsula, was really tough. And friends wondered why I didn't move up there. It all came back to the fact that I needed to live near a beach, and have the surf at my reach whenever I wanted it. And it still stands like this (Hence why I came to Bali). This is kinda where my love hate relationship with Melbourne city came along. Spending at least 3 hours of the day staring out a window and memorising the stations on the Frankston line became utterly draining, and it was the dream of moving somewhere far away from all this, that kept me going. 

You're probably wondering where I'm going with this. Well, I can tell you that I've learnt a few things since moving to Bali and spending nearly 8 months here. My first year out from my degree, first year of full time work for myself, I've learnt that I always miss where I'm not. I never in a million years thought I would feel 'Homesick' when all I wanted to do for a few years was move to somewhere warmer. And now, here I am, missing the familiarity of walking down the street, missing the textbook days of pure glass on Port Phillip Bay and fish and chips on the beach. And it's not that I don't have an amazing family and support at home, because they're the ones I miss the most, it's just strange to have this feeling of missing 'home' when for so long you just wanted to get out. I'm not a settler either, that probably has a bit to do with it. I don't like being in the same place for too long. If a surrounding starts getting familiar, then it becomes boring. Everyone's telling me I'm not missing anything back home, but that's just it. Right now, that 'anything' is what I'm missing. It's like when you're travelling and living out of a bag for a while and just want some routine and you start to miss home, you look forward to going home. It's such a funny concept when it's the best feeling ever jumping on a plane and heading off on your adventure. Don't get me wrong, Bali is incredible and I'm sure I'll be back next year, I'm just at a stage where I feel ready for a Summer in my home town.

So I guess this is what it feels like to miss home. But I'll guarantee when you ask me how I'm doing at the end of March next year, I'll tell you that I can't wait to pack my bags, get out of my comfort zone and get the hell away from a Victorian winter. Right now, I'm more than happy and grateful to have the best of both worlds...

A Wedding

Last week I was fortunate enough to capture the beautiful wedding of Alice + Susumu. Alice had contacted me a while back after finding my book in Japan and wanted to know a little more about my work. She's an editor at an epic Japanese surf magazine for women called 'Honey' and she's got a love for surfing. I love how the universe collides like this sometimes. I tell you, in this job, no two days are the same, and the people I get to meet and connect with, I'm forever grateful for. 

The wedding was set at Alila Villa's Soori, a hidden paradise amongst the western coast of Bali. I'd never even ventured up that way until the wedding so the drive their was even an eye opener. The setting was intimate and glowing, and I actually nearly teared up when they walked down the Aisle to 'Somewhere over the rainbow.' That's one thing I've been told about shooting weddings, never get emotionally attached. And I don't, but this was such a gorgeous moment it just made me smile from the heart. Weddings are always such a whirlwind to shoot, alot to think about, but I kind crave that craziness. I think I operate best under extreme pressure for some reason, it's a pretty exciting day to be apart of. Amidst the chaos, the nerves and the unknown, weddings always bring people together, and that's what I try and capture the most.

Here's a glimpse at what we got. If you're interested in booking in for a wedding, please contact caitmiers@gmail.com

x


Neglected

Omg. I have a blog. A neglected little blog. Having a little melt down over here about how I came to Bali to really focus on ME and what I want to shoot and do, and I made a specific goal to myself to write more on my blog and I haven't even done that! Jesus Christ! It's like that niggling thing in the back of my mind that I keep putting off. I don't even know why, I mean I love writing and sharing my stories with people! I could have the excuse that the internet at our Villa is seriously below par, or that I haven't had time, or that, well, maybe I just simply am avoiding to make time for myself! Who knows, I guess the important thing is I'm here now, sitting in a little cafe overlooking beautiful rice fields, and finally, word vomiting...

So, where the hell do I even start (my last post was when I got to Bali, oh boy). I'll try summarise it all up for you. Bali is freakin' awesome. It's not just the weather, or the cheap food, it's the people, the locals, the creative buzz of motivated people, the energy over here is insane. I had a really busy few months from April to June with lot's of visitors from home. We were sharing our villa with good pals from home Josh Brown (@thesnakehole) and his wife Sar. Having never lived out of home until now, it was sooooo much fun. The house was a constant buzz of energy and creativity, everyone was either working or taking photos or painting, it was such a great vibe to be apart of. I had my brother come and visit for 2 weeks, whose a creative genius when it comes to art, and my dad and friends Lachy and Kate were here too. They arrived at the perfect time as I was pretty much going insane because of work commitments, so their little trip here really reminded me the importance of switching off and taking the time out to relax and ENJOY THIS BEAUTIFUL PLACE!!! It's really funny though when people come to visit for 1-2 weeks from home, they freak out at how amazing Bali is and why we haven't gone and done all these things, but I think they just forget that we're here for the year and that this is reality for us now! Bali really feels like home now. I feel settled, and often catch myself by surprise at how comfortable I feel here. I feel a little guilty though as Hayden and I have been super busy with work that we've hardly had the time to explore the island! August is big for us both so we're hoping in September we'll be able to take some time off for ourselves and go exploring. 

Work wise it's been incredible over here. The opportunities that come out of this island are never ending. I've met some really interesting people, and worked with some inspiring brands! Since being here, I've done shoots for brands like Twig Skin + Body, Salt Gypsy, Rue Stiic, Arrow Divine, Friend in Fashion, Fitrya Yusef, Bahgsu Jewels, June Swimwear, Aila Blue, Saya Skincare, Lovers + Drifters Club, Assembly Label, Sheeka Swimwear, Midnight Swimwear, O'Neill Womens, Skye + Staghorn, Summersite, Paradise Valley Jewellery and there's a pretty big one coming up next week that you'll get to see soon.

A typical day for me at the moment will be getting up around 6-7am, doing a Yoga class or going for a walk or surf, grabbing a coffee up the road and then getting stuck into emails by 10am. I'll then usually edit, or work on my website, book sales and then try and get everything done by early evening. Sunset is so magical here. I find it fascinating that people flock to the ocean to see another day disappear. It's cleansing to watch. We usually head down to Berawa beach for a coconut or a cheeky bintang and then head to dinner! 

God it feels really good to be spilling all this out on a page right now. Like seriously, I urge you to try it. I've compiled a bunch of photos from different shoots to show below to show. There's a few things I've learnt along this journey of living in a different country. The art of patience is something that I'm getting better at, as it's something you NEED in Bali. Compassion for the hard work of others, and appreciation for the little things in life. I'm also learning to look after myself. I never used to take the time out to even treat myself or work on my health, and Bali is teaching me that, especially if I want the best out of my work. 

Next time, I really hope it's not as long in between blogs. But hey who knows, I'm eliminating the guilt and just going to write whenever I feel like it..

Cait x




Made it to BALI

I'm here. I'm sweaty, I'm hot, I'm drinking Bintangs like it's water, but I'm here. I'm in this magical, sizzling, ferocious yet ambitious little island called Bali, and it feels, to be perfectly honest, a little strange to call it home. I've done flash Bali before, oh yes, Potato Head for days, sipping the most glorious cocktails you could lay your eyes on, hitting each little trendy cafe spot I've found on Instagram like it's going out of fashion. Paying $25 to go to a beach that's likely to give you Cancer coz the sun is shinin so god damn bright. Oh yes, I've done flash Bali before.

BUT, this trip ain't no holiday. No girl. Head to the supermarket coz you're on rice and veggies for the next 6 nights. That laptop is coming out and oh, what, you have a TO DO LIST?! This little transition isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world. Yeah, I've landed smack bam in the middle of Paradise, but this is my reality now, and everyone knows you can't escape reality.

SO, let me tell you about my first few days here... I have been eaten by more mosquito's then possibly possible. That's why I carry my trusty Bushman's around and I now, for 90% of the day, smell like a walking hospital. I've also hopped on a 'Scoopy' for the first time and now can FINALLY know what it feels like to be stuck in the middle of a traffice jam on Jl. Raya Seminyak. As my first experience living out of home, I proudly find myself vibering my mother 'what is the best way to steam veggies with no microwave or steamer basket' and have googled 'How do I post something to another country from Bali' about 99 times with little luck. Having said this, I've also travelled to Bingin to shoot a beautiful edgy campaign for The Lovers and Drifters Club on my second day here. I've met some of the most creative and happy souls living on this earth, found a place that serves better tasting coffee then I can find in Melbourne, and have worked out some very exciting collaborations and jobs in the next month that are going to keep me busy busy! Hayden and I are pretty stoked to now call Bali home, and within a few more weeks I'm sure we could probably even brush our teeth with the tap water!!! (yeaahhhhhh righttttttt)

I'll just leave these photos here. 

x




FREE DIVING

A few weeks ago I accompanied my pal Liv Rose on a free diving course down at Portsea. The master mind behind this incredible 2 day STAGE A course is Marlon Quinn from WaterMaarq, who is probably the most calm and collected human to ever do this sport! I met Marlon in December when he fronted at my exhibition in Mornington, and we got chatting. He was super keen to get me involved with some photography down at one of his sessions, so it was the perfect opportunity! 

Now I didn't actually 'do' the course as my brain would probably wig out on concentration between holding my breath for longer than a minute and taking underwater photos, but it's a goal of mine to eventually do the course and make free diving a regular phrase that comes out of my mouth!

Anyway, we jumped on a small boat and headed out to what seemed like the middle of the shipping channel *cue Spirit of Tasmania* and surrounded this tiny orange buoy that would be the centre of the next 4 hours. On my mind at this point, was elegance. Marlon and I had talked about trying to get some elegant shots of graceful free diving, but it was kinda difficult considering the increasingly choppy waves and weight belts we all carried. None the less, when Livvy dived, so did I and it was incredibly calming. I was nervous at first to be out in the middle of the bay, not really knowing what's around me, but that's Marlon's speciality, always making sure we felt calm and safe.  I would watch from the surface Liv disappear and dive to 15 metres, sometimes for minutes, then she would gracefully re-enter my vision and let out a small smile. It was fascinating to watch! Here's what we got :)



Slow Paced

Two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I packed up the car and headed down the West Coast. Our recent joint work with travel company Riparide meant we were able to stay in the magical Tipee overlooking Bells Beach. Kangaroos littered the front yard and there was silence for miles, it was utter bliss. I hardly touched my camera the entire few days (except for some sneaky shots on the Great Ocean Road!) and Hayden was shooting lot's of film!

I need trips like this every so often to refresh my mind. Finding motivation and inspiration is a huge part of creativity and these few days away definitely did just that. I find it very cool that your mindset can change depending on your location and surroundings. I could drive along that coast for hours, I didn't want to stop. There's something intriguing about what the next stretch of coastline will bring just around the corner. 

As always, being a photog I hardly ever get photos of myself away, but lucky for me, H is also photographer and a bloody good one at that.

@caitmiersphotography

@haydenoneill


S t e e l e

So a few weeks ago I drove up to St Kilda and met with Jess and Laura from S t e e l e (@steele__) to shoot their Autumn 15 Campaign. I also got to see my lady Sjana (@sjanaelise) who I first met back in October up on the Gold Coast. Sjana is such a laugh and always full of energy to shoot with, not to mention absolutely STUNNING! This collection was all about earthy pastels and textured fabrics. We shot on the rooftop of the St Kilda Baths, the pier and the beach, finding corners of wood and sand to create clean backgrounds. Had lot's of fun on this shoot! Simple and classy, just how I like it. Here are some edits and you can shop the collection at www.steelemelbourne.com.au/shop/

Indimae HIGH Summer Collection

Last week I once again had the pleasure of shooting for local label Indimae who has been a loyal client of mine since the very beginning. Jess has such an eye for trend and her willingness to work closely with me on concepts and ideas on shoots is a lot of fun! We teamed up with another local legend Sarah from Arrow Divine who once again pulled the goods with her insane styling skills, not to mention her timeless jewellery. And model Ruby Mackenzie shone despite the weather being a steamy 38 degrees! Overall definitely my favourite Indimae shoot and collection so far! And yes here are the photos...

Here's to 2015

Well, here we go. Another year for dreams, reality, laughter and sadness. And trust me, they'll be plenty of it. The last year has been insanely crazy for me. It's a year ago that I did my first fashion shoot with Arrow Divine in the woods near where we live. Sarah asked me if I wanted to do a shoot with her, as I knew her sister and she'd seen some of my work, so I just went for it. Sarah and I still work closely together, and I have shot all the campaigns since she started. 

Since then, It's been a snowball effect. I didn't even imagine I'd be getting flown to shoot in exotic places untill at least 3-4 years into photography. It's funny because people say to me 'Hey, you're a photographer yeah?' and I still don't consider myself one because I havn't done it for very long at all. I didn't grow up dreaming of taking photos, I grew up dreaming of being amongst the ocean and having a career that enables me to centre my lifestyle around the water. Which is quickly becoming my reality. 

The biggest thing I've learnt from last year is that this industry is different to how people think it is. It's tough, but very rewarding. I had to learn to grow up very quickly in a year, going from never sending an invoice in my life, to learning about taxes and all the dirty work that really isn't all that fun! Photography isn't all smooth sailing, but I guess hard work really does pay off, and you have to go through those lows to bring out the highs! Like winning the 2014 Pedestrian Photo of the Year award! That was an insane high. You can see me in the photo below with a big grin...

This year I want to take things a notch higher. But I also want to have a better work flow and thought process as to how to approach my shoots. Essentially, I'm a photographer who puts the clients needs in front of my own, after all, they are employing me to bring their vision to life through the medium of photography. Which is something I think is important. And something I will continue to do this year, along with adding my twist and input to things. I think that's how it should work. And I definitely want to do more personal work this year. Ohhh yesss. So if you're a budding mermaid and want to play, hit me up! 

I want to think more, do more and be more this year. Be more connected with myself and my work, and find inspiration from places I didn't know existed...

But for now, pass the wine please... It's still the festive season isn't it?

Here's to 2015

x