Keegan Gibbs – Blog

coloring summer

Posted in Photography by Keegan on July 24, 2009


It is finally summer. The traffic, the sun, the heat, the long flat spells dispersed between insanely fun right hand south swell point breaks, twin fins, sloshball, no car, waking up sweating, people in town, out of town, and the sandy sheets. Malibu, which I have called home for the last 17 or 18 years of my life, is a double edged sword of sorts for me, as well as others. Click for photos and some words that maybe will shine a little bit of light onto what I mean.

(a few of the following photos may have been posted on here already, but are shown for story purposes)

I am the first to acknowledge how privileged, fortunate, and lucky of a life I have. I would never trade my life for someone elses. Ever. And I am not saying that in a sentiment that mine is better than anyone’s. I open my eyes in the morning and live the life I was dreaming of moments before. It really is insane.
However (yes, there is a “however”), living in Malibu has downfalls. It is easy to wake up, check the surf, and then paddle out for what turns into a 2 or 3 hour session.




You get out and eat with some friends, then as your driving home, run into some more friends, who are going fishing. Cant miss out on the possibility of getting some big halibut or white sea bass right? Fuck, go grab some fishing gear, the key, and head down to the beach. Once you get down there, walking towards the water you see 15 people you know, some who offer you a beer. Before you get to the waters edge, you notice some 5’9″ brunette bomber in a small bikini. Turns out it was just XXXXXX, but damn, she is looking good. Sit down with her and some friends and hang for a minute. Finally, you get doing what you set out to do, and paddle out on a longboard with the fishing pole. If your lucky, you get a couple Calico, and if your really lucky, you get a halibut or two. Now you have dinner.






(above photo taken by Reece Charcoal) This small fry fish was released. Me and Leo.



Barney. Literally.


As you head back up to the car, you throw the fish in the back and grab your cell and start dialing your friends to alert them of the fresh catch and the imminent barbeque that is about to go down at the Jacobson’s.



I am riding a bike towing Logan to the PDC on his skate, who is pictured above

Sure enough, an hour or so later, people start parking in the cul de sac at the PDC, 20 or 30 rack of beer in hand (if your lucky). Get dinner over with by 8, sun has just set. Fish went by quick, and the beers quicker. Soon, someone comes up with the idea to play sloshball at Brandon’s.


Caravan to Brandons.

****Sloshball is more or less a sophisticated equation mixing drinking lots of beer while playing baseball inside of a tennis court. The reality is that its wiffle ball. 6 man teams. Baseball format except when you get to second base, you have to drink a beer before you can continue to 3rd. While in the field, you always have to have a beer (in a red cup) in your hand at all times, and if you catch the ball in the cup, it counts for two outs.



After 3 hours of loud shit talking, 120-140 beers gone, a couple bumps, bruises, and friends almost coming to blows, the game is over. Friends become friends again, and everyone somehow makes it back to their abodes.


Jamie. Home Run #6 of the game.


The young kids won this time. Notice the copious amounts of spilled beer on their shirts though. Gonna get them next time.


The losing team.

“Shit. Did I do any work today? Wasn’t I supposed to send that one email? Damn, the prints were ready today at A&I. I guess there is always tomorrow…”

Needless to say, being home during the summer without a 9-5, for me (and even for some WITH a 9-5), feels like its Summer vacation out of senior year of high school all over again.

Most people, whom I agree with, would classify these things as comforts. However, this comfort, or as I like to call Malibu, the comfort zone, can be a negative attribute.

Being a freelance photographer/director, its hard to motivate yourself enough to pull away from everything mentioned prior. Why would you want to sit in front of a computer all day doing minute tweaking to photos when all of that is right out your front door? Some would say there is no problem with not facing the computer. However, there is.

What happens when you are all of a sudden 25, 30, or even 35, living at your parents, still doing the same thing? Meanwhile, the girls just keep getting younger.

Some people subscribe to the mantra of having to suffer for your art, or that you have to start from the gutter to get to the top, almost to appreciate what you have and what you need to do to get where you need (want) to go. I call that bullshit. People too often create obstacles for themselves to prevent themselves from achieving their true potential.

I am not one to medicate this sickness, since I have yet to completely eradicate it myself. However, I do think you can have your cake and eat it too. Everyone needs self motivation and discipline, no matter what profession or economic position you are in. Everyone has to make a conscious decision to get out of bed in the morning and put their clothes on. Malibu is no different, however, it may just be a bit more exaggerated. The bed is that much harder to get out of. With any small community, you end up knowing pretty much everyone. Add an influential beach town on top of that, and just call it permanent vacation. And I wouldnt have it any other way.

Back to work… Leo just called and said he is going fishing… gotta buy some film at the market and throw it in the camera first.

“Growing up in Malibu (is) the opposite of real life-most people work hard their whole lives and then retire. (Malibu) Kids grew up retired, begrudgingly went to work, then looked forward to retiring again soon.” -Matt Rapf

14 Responses

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  1. Helen said, on July 17, 2009 at 4:55 am

    way to make me miss home that much more keegan! Beautiful work, and couldnt have said any of that better myself

  2. SpenceG said, on July 17, 2009 at 5:03 am

    nicely done keegs… now i just want my photo credit for that banger i took of you and sonia on the 4th. hahah! keep up the great photos buddy…

  3. paramountplaces said, on July 17, 2009 at 5:21 am

    hmmmm very nice and cool photos , i like the surfing photos , keep it up .

  4. matt r said, on July 17, 2009 at 5:38 am

    well said keegan. I fight it to this day. It is basically the substance of my book- Tres Parties. Check out the website;

    you have your head more together than most keegs. Keep up the good work.

  5. hahahaha said, on July 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    That was an amazing read. You really understand what its like to live in malibu bravo. See you around.

  6. B.Rapfsody said, on July 17, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    well said. keep’em coming, I’m stuck behind a computer on the 30th floor in Century City living vicariously through you

  7. XXXXXX said, on July 17, 2009 at 8:38 pm

  8. Grant said, on July 17, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    While I don’t live in malibu I feel you on the self-motivation. But I def agree you can have your cake and eat it too. Hope to catch up soon keegs. Hit me up if you come into the city soon. Some sweet shows coming up.

  9. chris drager said, on July 18, 2009 at 5:29 am

    Tough place to give up.

  10. stephengreenwood said, on July 18, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    It’s these small moments you’ll reflect back upon forever.

    And it’s all about balance. Nicely documented – great piece.

  11. biggity boss said, on July 18, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    livin the dream

  12. Lebro said, on July 20, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    lets fish

  13. G. said, on July 20, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    wow… trippin out to see logan and brandon in one post. shredded the gnar with those dudes plenty of times. brandons little tennis court / training facility is the sickest. looks like a fun time. traffic in malibu is not very fun though.

  14. thedayafteryoudie said, on July 22, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    If you work for pleasure and not profit then there is no problem here.

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