Brainz Magazine Exclusive
Murad Osmann, 34, is a photographer who travels the world while taking the most beautiful pictures you could ever imagine. Together with his wife, Natalia Osmann, he runs the instagram account @followmeto and his own instagram with over 4 million subscribers.
You're named as Top 3 Travel influencers by Forbes. What is the reason behind your success?
- You know from the very first #FollowMeTo shot taken in 2011, till the initial viral effect - we have been doing these photos for around 1,5 years, so the recognition of them didn’t come instantly. After such time we even had our friends telling us to create something new as the project was getting old. Back then nobody considered Instagram as a social media that would completely change our lives. Now it became not only a platform to communicate with your friends, but a place to work and create big business. From day one we put the integrity of our project to high standards.
- We have been rejecting 95% of commercial work that was going our way and only agreed to work with the brands that would share the same philosophy with us. We still put content that resonates with us in the first place and don’t run after hype. Having said that - we always try to search for new ways to expand our #FollowMeTo universe - so now it is not only a photo, - it is videos that we do during travels. I think, this is the reason.
You're also known as a professional photographer and your photos and film clips are incredibly beautiful! Would you like to share 3-5 tips/advice on how to take such outstanding photos?
- Thank you so much! It actually takes quite some time to prepare for the shoots. So I can advice to plan ahead — to choose locations and dresses, to do lots of research behind a photo. For example, we always talk with local people and ask for places to visit. It also would be useful to wake up very early to take a good shot - it’s needed to avoid millions of tourists and to catch a sunrise with a magic light.
You have 4 million followers on your Instagram account @muradosmann at the moment and you're traveling a lot with your wife Nataly Osmann. A lot of people are dreaming of having a life like yours. What is your best advice on becoming a travel influencer?
- You have to be ready to put all your energy into what you are doing. And you should be ready to live in airports, trains, buses and cars because it is all about moving from one place to another.
Something that might be interesting for people to know about is if there is any backside or challenge of being a travel influencer?
- Sure, it looks like a glamorous lifestyle; trips to the far corners of the world to snap photos in amazing places and then sharing them with your followers - and often being paid for these. But the life of a "travel influencer" includes a lot of hard work. Sleep is often limited, there is endless lack of time, logistics can be tricky and facilities sometimes could be awful.
I guess no day looks like the other, but can share how a week or a month could look like in your life?
- I have a regular work - I am a film producer and the owner of a production studio, my week can be rather typical - daily office work with plenty of meetings. And we tried to travel monthly. But things’ve changed since we are all on quarantine - now we are spending our days looking for new spots for #FollowMeTo shots in our flat. Bathroom and kitchen have been used already! https://www.instagram.com/p/B919i_QlAq8/
Finally, what do you have in front of you and what's your goals in the near future?
Last year we have launched our signature #FollowMeTo trips all over the world, we have already visited Georgia, India, Jordan and Tibet with our followers and were going to Peru this April but we took the decision to postpone the trip and stay home as recommended. Nevertheless our goal is the development of this field and new trips after quarantine - Peru, Portugal, India, New Zealand. We are also trying to adapt to changing circumstances and launching some useful online stuff - Nataly’s online yoga-course and my online photo-and video course.