Capturing the perfect holiday pictures has never been easy. There’s the lighting to think about, the photobombers in the background, the awkward poses we find ourselves pulling – not to mention we ALWAYS seem to be blinking mid-flash.
But over the years, there seems to be one pose in particular that has resonated with holiday-makers worldwide. It’s safe to say we’ve all tried that back turned, hand-led pose seen everywhere across the Internet.
It all started on Moscow-based couple Natalia Zakharova and Murad Osmann’s holiday together in Barcelona. Natalia got frustrated with Murad who was constantly taking pictures during their trip. The first #FollowMeTo snap started with Natalia pulling Murad forward in a graffiti-covered alley.
From there on, the couple has gained over 4.4 million Instagram followers, and the #FollowMeTo trend has taken off globally, with millions of people recreating hand-led scenes on their own holidays.
We meet the Insta-famous duo behind the lens, learn their favourite places and find out really how much effort goes into creating each shot!
What has been your favourite destination so far?
Murad: Our favorite country is India, after Russia, of course (laughs). We’ve been there three times, and very soon we plan the next trip. India cannot get bored, every time you open it in a new way. It is multifaceted, and in this country there are more spiritual than material!
Nataly: Another great liking to Jordan. There is everything: ancient architecture, mountains, the desert of Wadi Rum and the incredible Dead Sea! There is very clearly feeling the force of history!
What’s your favourite image that’s been shot? Do you plan outfits, makeup, and looks?
Murad: Favorite and probably the most magical of our pictures is photo at the Taj Mahal. [The] photo, which graced the cover of National Geographic magazine and our second book «Follow Me To». This picture has a story that not everyone will believe. We arrived at the palace to shoot at 4 am, but there were crowds of tourists and we really wanted to make the most surreal frame without people at all. And in order to make this idea into practice, our team had to keep people on the edge of not allowing them to pass. That it really was some particularly memorable moment haha.
Nataly: And of course, our first shot! Although [it] isn’t the most interesting from our shoots, it was the beginning of our inspiration story.
Tell us about the amount of work that goes in behind the scenes for one of your gorgeous photos?
Murad: Each frame is always a big job. Sometimes it’s team work. Now we are doing a lot of video projects and #followmeto footage is the base of the whole big story. We take along for the ride a whole team of operators and photographers and think about the route and generate ideas altogether.
Nataly: In addition to the discussion of the route and the choice of locations, my favorite part of preparation is clothes. I am always very carefully approach the selection of dresses. And sometimes we have to get around more than one fashion boutique, to create a unique and atmospheric outfit. As for makeup, then the question depends [on the] place of shooting. If it is not a wild desert or ice of Baikal Lake, I try to use it to fully convey the image. For example, to create a wedding image for me in India, we took a whole team of local stylists, because [to] create such beauty itself would be impossible.
What’s it like to travel with your other half?
Murad: It is a great happiness! Many people think that we don’t work and rest completely. This is despite the fact that we haven’t vacationed for more than two years. But we take our work very seriously and even despite the very tight schedule. We are grateful for all the opportunities that are opened in front of us.
Nataly: I do not know anything about traveling without love haha.
What is your number one tip for taking amazing travel images?
Murad: Making a photo with love! It is our advice that [is] really number one for us. If something comes from the heart, it is sure to find followers.
Obsessed?! Follow Murad and Nataly’s next adventure on their Instagram account.
In need of a little more travel inspiration or just got a case of incurable wanderlust? Check out our Fashion Capital City Destination Guides!