I hope summer has been treating everyone well so far! These past four months have been pretty good to me as I’ve been transitioning into doing more engagements and wedding shoots as well as expanding my clientele. More on that to come in another blog post but…
Get ready because I’m excited to finally share this blog post with you. I attended my first KCON this year by being one of the official photographers. KCON is a 3 day conference event for all things K-Pop and Korean culture. Although I’m not that big into K-Pop, being at this event really opened my eyes on how K-Pop has grown over the years to the point where it has now become a worldwide cultural movement. One thing that struck me the most was how diverse the attendees were at KCON. According to an article on the Hollywood Reporter, around 25% of the attendees were white, 42% were Asian American, and 19% were Hispanic. Over 100,000 K-pop fans attended KCON LA this year, with half of those fans coming from outside of Southern California. Although I didn’t recognize most of the K-Pop groups, performers, and speakers at KCON, it was amazing to see people from different walks of life come together and celebrate Korean pop culture. Without further ado, here are some photos from Day 1 of the weekend.
Panel sessions for this day included Stan Culture: Positives and Negatives, How to Create Your Own K-Drama, Black American Music and K-pop, How to Start Your Own YouTube channel, Cultural Differences of Fan Engagement, After Representation - The Influence & Responsibility of the Asian American Creator, and Masculinity and Femininity in K-pop.
Day 2 was a lot more crowded than Day 1 since it was on a Saturday. The morning started off with a collaboration between YouTube personality Mike Chen and McDonalds, where they handed out free sausage McMuffins and iced coffee to all the fans who were waiting in line. Shortly after, Daniel, another official photographer for the event, and I headed to the Expo Hall where we got free food from Bibigo, McDonalds, Tous les Jours Bakery and Melona.
Towards noontime, we covered K-Pop group AB6IX at the new KCON Foodie Station to see which member of the group can make the most delicious sandwich. Panel session topics covered in Day 2 included K-pop’s LGBT Fandom, From Seo Taiji to BTS - The History of Modern K-pop, Dating Culture in Korea: How to Make Your Date Successful, Behind the Scenes of K-Pop Dance Covers, Making a K-Pop Comeback, Behind the Scenes of Online K-Pop Communities, and Beauty Creativity.
The last day of KCON was the most fun day for me. It started off with Mike Bow and Megan Lee of YouTube fame handing out free Mcdonalds iced coffee and sausage McMuffins for all of the staff who arrived early at the green panel room. I’d say this was the most fun day because I got to be in full on paparazzi mode when I was photographing Mamamoo, a South Korean K-Pop girl group, walk down the aisle. One of the more interesting panel sessions of the day was hearing from the producers of BTS and what goes on behind the scenes when creating their music videos. Some of the other panel sessions discussed topics such as K-pop and Mental Health, Women in Hallyu Media, How to Vlog 101, Idol Connection, and K-Pop Journalism 101.
Overall, this was a memorable first KCON experience. Although I’m not into K-Pop that much, attending KCON really made me appreciate the passion of the fans and the hard work and dedication of both the producers and the K-Pop groups.
Enjoyed these photos? Then book me for your next big event!