Vivian Kim recently snuck across the border to Mexico. Naturally, we sent her some essential SPF protection and Sun Bum‘s new disposable camera to document the trip for us.
Photos by Vivian Kim
What’s up with Mexico, why’d you go?
I went on a work and play trip with my friends, we went to go drink… I mean shoot a new Juneshine flavor. We chased our hard kombuchas with Modelos, Pacificos, Tecates, and tequila.
Besides tequila, what do you like about Mexico?
Mexico is so special. It’s the perfect weekend trip, or even day trip if you’re ambitious enough. It slows you way the hell down. I love driving through the border and feeling the instant shift from the chaos to the vibrant simplicity of Mexico. Nothing extra, just the essentials: instant coffee, good surf, sun, yummy food, and some SPF. Who convinced us that we needed an iced oat milk latte every morning? The locals are kind, love to laugh, find joy in both work and play.
How was traveling during COVID?
It’s a weird time to travel right now, between the actual virus and the implications that come with being a pandemic traveller. I haven’t travelled much for personal reasons, but travel jobs have been rolling back in. I realize that travelling is a privilege, so I try to be very careful and respectful. I’m fully vaccinated, and I get a test before and after every job and flight. I do my best to follow precautions and wear my mask at all possible times.
Ok, but, like, do you actually wear sunscreen?
I’m always out in the sun. Even right now, I’m on my break on an on-location shoot in bright sunlight. I used to be a grom who never wore sunblock, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to prioritize my skin and health more. I now mix in sunblock every day with my moisturizer: Responsible adulting!
Does surf play a role in your work, or is it more of a hobby?
I owe my career largely to surf—both the sport and the culture. Growing up in California, I was always so inspired by the timelessness and easiness that the coast brought. My life evolved, my friends evolved and times changed, yet the ocean always seemed to maintain its essence and bring all of those shifting elements together. I captured everything before and after a good surf: the drive to the break, my friends checking the waves, making coffee. Then I’d set my camera down, catch a few waves, come back in to capture everything that followed—salty skin and hair, red eyes, lots of beers. Surfing took me to almost all of my favorite places, even during swells where I was doing more shooting than surfing. Fiji, the Hawaiian islands, Basque Country, Australia, and of course, Mexico…
Favorite thing about Sun Bum?
My favorite thing about Sun Bum is the smooth texture and variety of products. I hate sunscreen that takes more than 15-seconds to apply because I’m an impatient brat. Ha-ha. I just wanna toss it on and get on with the day.