The last few days have seen BTS' V discover a new passion - photography!
Specifically, V has become a new fan of the work from Sydney-based photographer Ante Badzim, who tweeted V some of his work, after V had shared that he was a source of photographic inspiration. Ante received some love back in no time.
After sharing some photos back and forth, V came up with the hashtag #Vante, which quickly took off on Twitter and started trending everywhere. Needless to say, ARMYs around the world have now started becoming more familiar with Ante's work, with the photographer getting thousands of new fans in the past few days.
Ante spoke to SBS PopAsia over email, where he revealed how this has all come about and how crazy the past couple of days have been!
How did it all start for you?
I had planned to have a quiet weekend when my phone started to alert me more than usual. I tried to connect the pieces together and stumbled on the tweet where V from BTS had shared that I was a source of photographic inspiration. The clever BTS ARMY where able to work out why V had been posting images with #Vante as he had joined his stage name with mine to get Vante. V had tweeted #AnteBadzim and #Vante to support the image, since then it has spiraled and trended globally.
What has the response from fans been like?
I have been receiving ongoing emails, private messages, tweets and followers in their tens of thousands. Some asking for my autograph and to meet and with others purchasing photo prints from my website that they plan to send to V. With the endless messages of support from the ARMY and to thank V, I decided to dedicate a photo to him. With the BTS album titled 'Wings' and repackaged 'You Never Walk Alone" it almost felt like the photo I had for V was fitting. What followed was V sharing images for me he had recently captured in my hometown Sydney, leaving me speechless, inspired and humbled.
What has this lightning-in-a-bottle experience been like for you?
What I have learnt about BTS through this whole experience is the strong and powerful message they share. Discovering they tackle important social issues such as mental health has been refreshing and resonated personally. I can clearly see why they have such an incredibly loyal audience and what a positive influence they have. The BTS ARMY during this whole experience has been so kind, loving and positive. They have been nothing but supportive of the special interaction I have had with V and my photography. What makes it more special is it seems to have inspired many to now use photography as a creative outlet.
The last few days for me has also been a crash course in learning more about V. I can now say he and BTS are such important role models, especially in our current world and where being online can at times be a scary place. The trending hashtag #Vante has created a positive conversation and interaction between millions. What an honour that my photography has played a role in that.
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