Being a part of a huge event where pretty much everyone around you is a photographer in one way or another is an intense time. This year I was invited to attend as a member of the “press” which basically meant that I got a free pass and… well that was about it. Not that I am complaining but it was a little unimpressed after jumping on the KTX from Ulsan at 5:22 am to hit Seoul and then an hour on the Subway to get to COEX to get a plastic badge after the emails about being a “VIP blogger”
At any rate, I did get a chance to see the event again this year and take a look around. You have to understand that this is a HUGE event in a country that loves photography and loves spending money on photography. It is no wonder that the place was packed with people. This also made it hard to really get a chance to talk to the vendors as you had to be constantly moving.
Events like these in Korea happen a lot and this weekend was no different. On one end of the city (you could say) in Incheon, you had the International Car Show and then at COEX you had the Photo&Imaging Show. Both of which draw huge crowds of people. The main reason are the products that are on display but the second and no less important reason are the models.
These models draw thousands of fans. So when you combine them with an event like a camera convention, you got a great thing. Upon entering the show this year, you could feel a lot of energy. It was intense! So many people, so many companies, so much gear! You could hardly move there was so much going on!
The event was anchored by none other than the big photo companies like Nikon and Canon. Canon, I felt was the star of the show with a celebrity appearance by K-pop star Suji (from Miss A?) and the introduction of their smallest DSLR the 100D. There was tons of buzz from their booth making it really hard to make a serious effort to look at products.
The back area was a bit of a break with a gallery showing some impressive work especially from the guest country of Russia. It was nice to just walk around with some fellow photographers and check out some photos.
In the end and by the time I got home, I was wiped out. I picked up a great BlackRapid RS-7 strap and I love it. I really hope some day that the Photo&Imaging show comes to Busan as it was almost a fruitless/expensive trip up there. However, getting the chance to meet fellow expat photographers like Justin Howard, Roy Cruz, Robert Koehler, and Dylan Goldby made the trip totally worth it.