Sunday, July 6, 2014

Murad Osmann's "Follow Me To" Series of Photographs Takes Followers Around the World

Why we follow him
 by Cliffordene Norton 

The Instagram account of Russian photographer Murad Osmann has 1,3 million followers and counting.

This is mainly due to his incredibly popular "Follow Me To" series of photographs, featuring his girlfriend and journalist Nataly Zakharova.

The photographs present the landscape from the photographer's point of view, with his hand extended forward in the frame holding onto the hand of Zakharova. With her back turned, never revealing her face to the camera, Zakharova guides Osmann on a journey around the world. The landscapes are beautiful, vibrant and exotic, and although the photographs are always composed in the same way, they are each striking and unique.

Osmann explains: "The first photo happened in Barcelona while we were on vacation. Nataly was a bit annoyed that I was always taking pictures of everything, so she grabbed my hand and tried to pull me forward. That said it didn't stop me from doing photos while she was pulling me." The series has been running since October 2011 in dozens of locations worldwide, and will next be taken to Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the FIFA World Cup Final.

The unique perspective puts the viewer in the place of the photographer, thus giving us the illusion that we are travelling with the couple and are part of their experiences. Zakharova leading Osmann lends the feeling of urgency and excitement at discovering these new locations, and adds to the sense of wonderment and mystery in the photographs.

But the real essence of Murad Osmann’s work lies in two things: firstly, the clothes that Zakharova wears are always a reflection of, or in honour of, the places they visit. She tries to communicate the culture and identity of each location through her clothing, adding to the beauty of the photographs.

But it is the element of their intertwined hands that communicates the most essential message of the series. Osmann and Zakharova’s hands form the centerpiece of each shot, drawing the reader's eye, and form a visual promise. What make these photographs amazing is not the different locations or different outfits, but the factor which is constant: two people holding on to each other despite the changes.

Follow the series at