We love Instagram. So inspiring, so helpful for our online shopping addiction, so good to pass all of the time we seem to be spending at home right now. We also (quite obviously) love all things Gold Coast and happily, those two things go hand in hand.
If you, like us, are in need of good vibes right now, here’s the answer in the form of local Instagrammers who will indeed fill your feed with positivity.
Happy scrolling (but not too much because, life awaits).
Kyle Hunter is one of our favourite local lads and he’s living the most enviable life imaginable as a travel photographer and videographer travelling the world (obvs on pause right now) and taking epic snaps. He’s a lovely dude too. Follow him here for some of the most beautiful travel pics you’ve ever seen and daydream about your next trip too.
She needs no introduction and we could not be more stoked to call funny lady Celeste Barber a Gold Coaster now. You probably already follow her but if not, get on that for daily laughs, chats about current issues and general life enhancing goodness.
One of the most incredible women in the world is one of our very own. If you’ve not yet heard the story of Em Carey “the walking paraplegic”, you need to read about her right now. In short, she defied the odds after experiencing a devastating accident and she’s here to tell the tale. She creates beautiful art too, follow her here.
Also known as Elsa’s Wholesome Life, Ellie Bullen is a Nutrionist and Dietitian living a (very) wholesome plant-based lifestyle and sharing her journey along the way. Not only is her feed filled with beautiful dishes and stunning snaps, Ellie also shares information and advice and it’s all very lovely. Find her here.
Gold Coast photographer and absolute legend Sean Scott has been wowing us with his work for many years. He’s the man behind some of the Coast’s (and Australia’s) most stunning images and you absolutely must follow him here to have your breath taken away. He also opened a sweet Burleigh boutique stocking clothing, his art and tons of amazing local brands.
Co-founder of Livin, a not-for-profit that brings awareness to mental health and the need to start conversations around it, Sam Webb is another Gold Coaster we’re very proud to call our own. While he doesn’t live on our sparkly shores right now, he’s still a local and one guy you’re going to want to follow for inspirational words and information.
Eliza is a Gold Coast local passionate about healthy living and we absolutely love her feed for advice on how we can live our very best lives too. After experiencing some health challenges in her early years, Eliza decided to fix the problems and now offers the rest of us the chance to do the same through Elle Fit Active. Check out her work here.
One of the world’s most renowned travel photographers is Lauren Bath, a Gold Coast local and co-founder of The Travel Bootcamp – a weekend program that teaches people how to become travel content creators. She’s absolutely incredible at what she does and her account is filled with magical travel images that will inspire you to get out and about into our world (ASAP hopefully).
Creator of Pass Around the Smiles, Cleo Massey is one local lass spreading good vibes everywhere she goes. Her website (and Insta page) is filled with info on self love, the law of attraction, positivity and plenty more and you can find blog posts, products, meditations and events to get involved in. She’s a bundle of joy and her Insta page is one that will bring you all the good vibes. Find it here.
Inside Gold Coast
Obviously. We at Inside Gold Coast are so very passionate about our sparkly, seaside city and through our magazine we showcase the businesses and people that make it what it is. Every week we release new stories on everything good on the Coast and there’s a lot! So make sure you’ve also signed up to our newsletter here, you’ll never miss a thing.
Words by Kirra Smith
He’s known the world over for his stunning surf and nature photography and we Gold Coasters are lucky enough to claim him as our own.
We sat down for a chat with Sean about his recent run in with an Iceland snow storm and why he thinks our beaches are some of the most beautiful he’s ever seen (and he’s seen them all).
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I was born in Cairns and moved here when I was six and I’m 42 now, so 36 years, definitely a local.
You’ve travelled all over the world, what’s so unique about the Coast to you?
I’ve always loved the beaches, love to surf, love the southern end of the Coast, Burleigh and the community feeling here. It’s a little town within a city. You can still get away, go 30 minutes south and still have beaches to yourself and out into the rainforest. There’s a bit of everything here, it’s not too quiet, not too busy.
Is there a place here that never fails to produce a beautiful shot for you?
Burleigh cove is one place I always go, usually at sunrise. When I come home, I love getting down there because it just makes me feel back at home. I do a lot of stuff in the water at home, with the right conditions, getting out at Kirra and Snapper; you can always get beautiful clear water, It’s some of the clearest water in the world out there. You go to the Maldives and Tahiti but if you go to Kirra on those nice clear days, it’s as good as it gets anywhere. Those places never seem to fail to produce.
How often do you spend at home vs. away?
I never used to go away as much but I’ve been getting heaps of work for social media stuff, so the last two or three years I’ve spent maybe half the time away, which is a bit harder with the family. They usually fly in and meet me for school holidays and what not.
How did your photography career come about?
I worked on the Gold Coast for 11 years as an electrician for Energex and I used to take photos then and sell my work at the local markets. I did that while I worked full-time and opened my first little gallery in the arcade in Burleigh while I worked. I had a little one in Surfers Paradise too. Eventually the galleries and markets took off enough that I stepped out of my full-time job and stepped into photography. I made an easy progression and was able to continue making a living out of it.
Where do you find inspiration?
That’s the one thing I struggle with nowadays. Back when I first started, there was no Instagram or Facebook, I used the web a little bit and I didn’t buy a lot of magazines, so I didn’t really see much. You just went out with fresh eyes and saw things, now you’ve got the world’s best photographer sitting in your hand putting photos up every 30 minutes. Trying to filter that out and not copy stuff but keep original is something that still tricks me in my mind. I still love nothing more than when I’m finding new locations, even though it won’t be a location that no one’s ever seen before, to me it’s new. That’s when I seem to turn on my creativeness and photograph things the way I want to see them. When I was in Iceland, I would come across scenes that I’d seen from famous photographers and wish I hadn’t seen the photos but normally I move through it and find things I haven’t seen before.
Do you have a personal favourite shot of the thousands you’ve taken?
I change all the time. The popular ones aren’t always my favourites; I love the abstract ones more and the artistic style of shot. There’s one of the Golden Girl at Noosa surfing on a wave I’ve always liked.
How do you feel when you know you’ve absolutely nailed the shot?
With digital now it’s easy because you look at the back of the camera and have a bit of an idea but it still does trick you. Sometimes you think you’re nailing it and you get back and you’re disappointed and sometimes it’s the opposite way. When things really turn on and everything comes together, like if you’re chasing surf and ocean photos you’ve got to have the storm brew so a huge swell comes, the waters got to be clear, the winds got to be the right way, you’ve got to be in the right spot, when all that happens at once you get a bit of a feeling and that’s when I’m usually excited to race back and quickly look at them. If I don’t come back and look at them straight away, it’s usually a sign it wasn’t that special.
Your most memorable trips or somewhere you always love to visit?
I’ve been doing lots of Western Australia lately, which I’ve been loving. Iceland was pretty up there, I did Iceland, Greenland and Norway in the one trip. That was pretty wild with huge storms and icebergs. I was on my own driving through the snowstorms and almost getting blown off the road trying to take photos. It was epic though.
Any close encounters with Mother Nature in your time?
At one stage in Iceland I was standing on top of a cliff and the wind was blowing that hard it was sliding me along the ice so I had to scramble back to the car and leave. Obviously there’s quite often animals in the water, big shapes swim past and things like that. Big surf is always a bit tricky when the waves come and break right on your head and knock you around.
What advice do you have for aspiring photographers?
It’s a tricky one. If you’re doing it because you love it, it’s easy. It’s hard to just decide you want to be a photographer and that’s all you want to be. I started by being an electrician and kept this on the side so I had income coming in that I could put towards better gear. Don’t just do it for the likes and the follows, do it because you love it and the rest will come. There are a lot of people who try to do it for fame but if you love it, it will work naturally. Taking photos-wise, my biggest tip is to be in the right place at the right time, you’ve always got to be out looking. You start to get in tune with it but you’ve always got to be out. You’re not going to get a great sunrise at Burleigh if you’re sleeping in six days of the week. If you get a few bad ones, you know a good one is coming and when everything comes together that’s when you get that feeling that keeps you going and searching for the next one.
Anything exciting in the works for the rest of the year?
I’ve got the Maldives, which is a surf comp I’ve shot for the last seven years, in two weeks. I’ve got a trip to Switzerland, hiking through mountains up the top and then I’ve got a trip to Canada where I’ll be shooting the polar bears. Then I’ve got a festival at Moreton Island with Canon that I’m doing at the end of the year. Hopefully a lot of locals will come there and do a lesson.
Best piece of life advice?
There’s a few I always try to run by. One is always expect the behaviour you tolerate, if you tolerate people not treating you well, expect to be treated like that. Keep an open mind and get out there and stay positive and things seem to flow.
Being a Gold Coast local we have to ask your favourites…
Café: I like Canteen and Nook at Burleigh for a coffee
Restaurant: I love Etsu
Weekend hang: Probably the beaches from Burleigh to Coolangatta
He’s a world-renowned travel photographer and videographer who has created a career out of making epic content all over the globe. Not to mention Kyle Hunter is a Gold Coast local too.
We sat down for chat with Kyle about how life looks for him at the moment and his plan for travel throughout Australia once we get the all clear.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I have been a Gold Coast local for 23 years now, it’s where my family moved to when we immigrated from Scotland when I was five.
What do you love most about living here?
I love everything about living on the Goldy, in my opinion it’s the best place in the world to live. The beaches are incredible, the cafe and restaurant scene is so good, the weather is great all year round, you really can’t beat it here.
You’re a world-renowned travel photographer/videographer, how did that come about for you?
Back in 2015 my partner Hayley and I packed up our life and booked a one way flight to Europe where we spent two years travelling around in an old Ford Transit campervan! At first I wasn’t that interested in photography or videography but as we travelled more, I started to fall in love with capturing moments of our travel. Fast forward five years and I now do this as my full-time job and I couldn’t be happier!
How has the current state of the world, affected your work?
Our work has taken a pretty big hit since Covid-19, all of our travel related jobs have obviously been put on hold which is disappointing but very necessary, we still have been getting some work here at home which is good, but hopefully soon we can get back into the swing of things and start going back to normal. I think as the domestic borders start to open we will be working alot more with Aussie tourism boards which we are very excited about!
Where are you most looking forward to visiting once you’re allowed?
I would love to head back to America, we did a trip there last September and I honestly loved it so much. We would love to travel the Pacific North West to places like Northern California, Washington State and Oregon, some of the national parks there are incredible.
What have been some of your favourite campaigns to work on recently?
We recently did a campaign with Tourism Queensland which was a vlog of our guide to the Gold Coast which was such a fun job, getting to showcase our little slice of paradise here on the Goldy was a dream! We also did a two week shoot through Vietnam with Jetstar in February which was incredible, we got to visit some amazing spots and of course, eat the best street food in the world! Another awesome campaign was last year with Tourism Japan, we got to climb Mount Fuji which was pretty gruelling but so sick! The views from up there are nuts, we travelled to the North island of Hokkaido as-well which was beautiful.
You travel and work with your partner Hayley, what do you love most about that?
I think the best part about working full-time with Hayls is the experiences we get to share together. We have done some pretty incredible things over the past five years and having her by my side during those times is something I really cherish.
What’s something you’ve always wanted to shoot but haven’t had the chance yet?
Patagonia! I have always wanted to go but the opportunity hasn’t yet come about. Before Covid we had planned to possibly travel to South America but unfortunately now I can’t see that happening until 2021, fingers crossed!
What’s the plan for the rest of 2020 for you?
Who knows! Haha. Hopefully a lot of domestic travel, we have a few things lined up at the moment, so hopefully the borders will start to open up and we can get out there. A trip to the Northern Territory would be nice, I would love to see Tasmania also. We just have to wait it out at this stage but once we get the all clear we will be hitting the road which we are super excited about!
Any advice for someone looking to become a travel photographer?
Just have patience and be persistent. I have been using a camera for five years now and I’m still learning new things every time I go out and shoot. On the travel side of things, you need to have an open mind, know that sometimes things might not go the way that you had originally planned and that’s okay! Some of the best experiences of our travels have happened when things didn’t go to plan, it’s all part of the adventure 🙂
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Bar for drinks: Scottish Prince, Burleigh Pavilion or Palmy Surf Club
Café for breakfast: Highline, Commune Espresso, Good Day Coffee
Restaurant for dinner: The Collective, Light Years, Francies Pizza
How does your weekend usually look: Weekend is normally spent with lots of eating out, catching up with mates, heading down the beach and maybe a sneaky frothy!
She’s the Gold Coast gal who began her acting career on much-loved series H20 Just Add Water and from there, Cleo Massey’s career has absolutely skyrocketed.
Not only has she starred in a web series created by her Mum (talented fam), she’s also recently written her very first comedy feature and produces a blog to spread her good vibes far and wide.
We sat down for a chat with Cleo about growing up in the film and television industry and hosting her very own event in the coming weeks.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I moved up from Tasmania just after my fourth birthday! I’ve lived here ever since.
What do you love most about our beautiful beachside city?
The beaches and the relaxed vibe the whole city gives off.
Tell us how your acting career began…
I was always into drama inside and outside of school. When I was 11, I auditioned for a show, H20 Just Add Water. I got the role, and filmed it for four years! After such an amazing experience on H20, I was sure I had to continue acting and was cast in a few different series, films and commercials. I secured some great representation in the U.S. and was sponsored for an acting visa. Over the past three years I’ve been back and forth between the Gold Coast and LA for pilot season, meetings and writing sessions. I recently filmed a comedy pilot, Cursed funded by Screen Queensland, which was so fun to film! The majority of the actors cast were comedians, which made the set a hilarious one to be on.
What have been some highlights of your acting career?
H20 Just Add Water was really special and still to this day, gives me so many opportunities moving forward in my career. Stage Mums was also definitely a career highlight.
You had a starring role in a web series created by your Mum (Stage Mums), what was it like working so closely with her?
It was so much fun! She created this series four years ago and worked so hard to get it off the ground. It was so interesting being a part of it and watching the process behind the scenes for so many years. Well, hard work does pay off! Stage Mums has just been picked up by Network 10 and will air on Channel 11 later this year! We want to show people in the TV and film industry that if you believe and persist, you can make incredible things happen. We’re so excited for Australia to see Stage Mums!
Your blog is a very inspirational space, why did you start it and why is it important?
I started my blog, Pass Around the Smile, four years ago to help myself get through some hardships I was facing within the Film and TV industries. After a few blog posts, I realised I was helping other people, and that felt so good. Four years later I’m still creating feel good blogs and I have just sold out my first Pass Around the Smile event! My goal is to inspire and encourage people to realise their full power and potential. I write and talk about all things positive, I love teaching people about the law of attraction, self-love and meditation. I want to spread positivity as far and wide as I can! Having a positive outlook on life is so important and I want people to realise they can change their life by changing their mindset.
Tell us about the comedy feature you’ve written recently…
I discovered my love for screenwriting while in the States waiting around for auditions. I decided I would create my own dream role and the story just fell into place around that. It’s been finished for a while now, but it’s constantly changing after having incredible people in the industry read it. It’s so important, whatever industry you’re in to utilise your contacts and accept constructive criticism. I’ve learnt so much that way.
What’s on for the rest of 2018?
My first Pass Around the Smile event is next week! I’m so excited, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I can’t wait for people to feel inspired, relaxed and confident in themselves. The event is being held in a beautiful candle factory and I have so many amazing creatives helping me make it the most perfect night.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Beach: Miami/Tallebudgera Creek
Restaurant: Oh no, this is so hard. Can I choose two? Gemelli and Lucky Bao!
Cafe: Hand Coffee in Broadbeach! The best coffee and the BEST jaffles ever!
How does your weekend usually look: Coffee with the fam, walk my doggy, dip in the ocean, bit of a read of whatever feel good book I’m on, and a night out with friends.