Take 5 with Model and SWELL Label ambassador Catie Allen
It’s always a pleasure to sit down with the faces of our SWELL Label campaigns…. Especially when they’re as downright AWESOME as this gurrrrrrrrl. Introducing Catie Allen – part time model and photographer, full time LEGEND! We took 5 with Catie at her wonderful home in Northern NSW to peer beneath the (beautiful) surface, and discover the (beautiful) person underneath!
Hey Catie, thanks for having a chat with us!
Hello, you are welcome. Thank you for having me!
Can you give us a rundown of who you are and what you are about?
Sure, I was born in New Zealand and spent a lot of my early years travelling and living in different places with my family, which I think was my first experience with creativity, in terms of looking outside the box. I have always been inspired by different cultures and customs and learnt a lot from my parents about history and the world. My later childhood years were spent growing up up in a sleepy beach town, called Kingscliff on the far North Coast of NSW. Growing up in Kingscliff has definitely shaped some of my values as an adult. For example, put me into a city for more than a week and I’ll probably go insane! My element is big open, natural spaces, preferably near the sea –although a mountain landscape will do just as well!
We are a big fan of your photography! How did you get into photography ?
Thank you :). It was my grandpa who originally sparked my love of photography. Every time we got together as a family, my grandpa would have his camera out taking photos of us kids. My interest in taking photos grew so much so that I would constantly be collecting magazines, catalogues (particularly swimwear) and always taking note about who shot what and where and how. It was my grandpa who gave me my first film camera, a PENTAX, ME Super and from that moment onwards, I haven’t stopped.
You recently starred in our Summer campaign. How was it being infront of the camera for a change?
Yes, this was so much fun! It was such a great few days filled with waterfalls, sun, salt and laughter. I’m not going to lie, I was so incredibly nervous to begin with. The whole team, however, were so supportive and encouraging that after a few moments of nerves, I began to unwind and just have fun! It’s so valuable as a fashion photographer to have experience being on the other side of the camera. You are able to not only work alongside photographers you admire and pick up tips, but also, you learn how direction is interpreted and how to better the direction you give to a model as a photographer. It also gives you more empathy with how long and hard models work!
Can you share a few of your favourite Byron Bay haunts?
Byron Bay is my home away from home. Being in Byron, for me, is all about getting back to basics. Forgetting your troubles, stress and pressures and getting in touch with the land and ocean. When ever I feel like I need some time to reconnect, a day spent surfing Watego’s, drinking coffee and watching the dolphins is in order. Diving out at Julian rocks is another one of my favourite things to do. There is something so magical about diving in Byron’s coral wonderland. All you can hear is the sounds of the barnacles crackling and your breath going in and out. Pure tranquility!
Describe your approach to health and beauty?
I really believe that beauty starts from the inside out. Besides the usual, eating clean, exercising and drinking LOTS of water, I truly believe that health and beauty comes naturally if you keep a positive attitude, if you are kind to yourself and love others unconditionally. I feel most beautiful when I am reminded of these things and simplify my life back to these core fundamentals.
What’s your favourite thing about Summer?
MANGOES! Long days in the sun spent at the beach with friends and family doing nothing but surfing, fishing and watching summer sunsets. These are the days that I feel most alive!
What are your Summer wardrobe staples?
A fresh bikini that you feel confident in, denim pants or overalls, flowing white top, a BIG hat, sunglasses and my sunscreen! I won’t go anywhere without MAXIMUM sun protection!
Where can we find some of your favorites?