Life As A Magic Photographer by Kang Sung IL

Life As A Magic Photographer by Kang Sung IL


Kang Sung Il, a Korean magic photographer, has come to be known as DK or Director Kang with his amazing photographs. Here’s a sneak peak at this life as a magic photographer.

How did you come in to this business?
When I was 16, I was reminded of a magic trick I saw on TV and decided to find out more about it online. I began by searching for the tricks that I wanted to learn first, but progressed on to others which triggered my curiosity even further. I sought opportunities to learn magic offline and found a team of teenage Magicians in Seoul called Miracle. At first, none of us were very good at magic but our interaction and passion helped us advance as magicians.

Why a Photographer somaand not a Magician?
After being a magician for many years, I began to think that the magic market and magic both had limitations that I was not able to overcome. At that point in time, I had another hobby. It was photography. Every time our team Miracle had a show or performed somewhere, I was in charge of taking their photos, which was really fun. I developed a new passion for photography that led me to participate as the main Magician Photographer at the 8th Busan International Magic Festival.

When I chose the career as a Magician’s Photographer, it was mostly because I was so disappointed by the people’s perception that Magician’s career ends either at a show or teaching classes.However,working as a Magic Photographer allowed me to break that perception and make magicians shine where they shine best through my work. I strive to help magicians get a photo of their dreams, and by my work, people see magic as a form of art not just a show.

What kind of difficulties do you have?

Because of people’s stereotypes on photographers, I tried very hard to change how people conceive my job. I constantly tell people about how priceless a single photo could be. Taking my time to explain why a magic photographer is different from a normal photographer. I need to be more aware of the props in a magician’s hand, the lighting, the angle, and everything that’s happening in a single act, in order to capture the perfect moment. In order to appeal these skills, I created a website to promote my work and interacted with many magicians around the world through social network. After 2 years of hard work, people are beginning to recognize my work, and gives credit to the work that I have created. I feel very awarded when magicians that I have been interacting with on social network share my photos and compliment my work as the best photo they have ever taken. So when photos I take get shared and become loved by many people it really makes me very proud of what I do.

What do you have coming up?
This year, I am planning on two different projects. First, I am planning to have an exhibition of photos that I have taken over the years, mostly focused on Korean Magicians

that are FISM winners. Recently, Korea was struck with MERS that made me postpone the exhibition. The exhibition will probably be held in November. It is actually quite disappointing because I wanted the exhibition to include photos of magicians that were going to participate in this years’ FISM Italy. The second project that I will be conducting is a calendar project. I plan to take 12 Korean Magicians and take their photos corresponding to each month of the year. This calendar would be sold as a limited edition, along with different events and promotions to go along with the project. For example, the calendar may include coupons for Tek Magic shop, the biggest magic shop in Korea, and important dates throughout magic history. Although this project will only be held in Korea for this year, I plan to further the project worldwide collaborating with the world’s magicians.

A Magic photographer must continue studying magic and photography as well. It’s not just clicking the shutter, but having an understanding of magic and changing the setting quickly to make the best settings for the best shot. I plan to grow as a magic photographer and continue to strive to learn with passion in order to become a world re-known magic photographer.

Interviewed by Anna Shin(