Photographer Captures Girlfriend Leading Him Around the World


Russian photographer Murad Osmann has been attracting quite a bit of attention this past week on the Internet for his images. No, it’s not his professional photos of people and places, but rather a clever project he has been putting together on his Instagram account.

It’s titled “Follow Me,” and features a unique perpective: each shot is from Osmann’s point of view, and shows the back of his girlfriend Nataly Zakharova’s body as she leads him by the hand through various locations around the world.

The locations include some of the world’s most famous and exotic places, ranging from Big Ben in London and Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Hong Kong to a waterfall in Bali.

The project started during a vacation to Barcelona in 2011. Zakharova became annoyed that Osmann was so occupied with his camera and started pulling him by the hand… but it didn’t stop Osmann from snagging a shot. That shot would spark a project that has now spanned over a year and many different locations.

Regarding the look of the images: Osmann snaps the photos with his iPhone or DSLR, adds various effects to them using Camera+, and then uploads them to Instagram.

He’s based in Moscow, but it’s his job that has taken Osmann around the world. He’s the executive producer of the film company Hype Productions. Although the images make it seem as though Osmann spends his life satisfying his wanderlust, he typically only reserves a few days from each trip to explore with his girlfriend.




















You can see more images from the project and follow along through Osmann’s Instagram account, which has amassed tens of thousands of followers.

(via Mashable)

Image credits: Photographs by Murad Osmann and used with permission

  • cheap shots for real

    HDR kills all the depth in tonality and as such flattens the images when used like here. with HDR every part of the picture easily becomes equally loud (or mute) if not used with care. great pictures have variety of tonalities within the picture, so the different areas create an intriguing visual conversation of light and shadow leading the eye of the beholder around each segment of the picture, repeatedly.

    HDR is to photo editing like level compressing/limiting is to audio, it kills the nuances and makes the work simply flat as in uninteresting all around. HDR is also generally used as an ugly effect and especially shouldn’t be applied in order to vamp up indifferent photography. HDR has been adopted largely by lamers who think the glowing effect makes their holiday snapshots look somehow “artistic” by magic. no it doesn’t, it usually just makes the bad even worse.

    HDR is only good for what it was originally created for, leveling too high contrasts within a picture to a tolerable level. it was never meant to be a cheap effect to make pictures look like a fail. overkill use of HDR simply looks cheap and unappealing.

  • Mike Scholle

    The only thing that is impressive about this is that a photographer has enough cash to pull it off…..

  • Randall Hawkins

    What if his gf was like 300 lbs. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, just saying though.

  • Michael

    kinda just want her to turn around at this point….she’s probably smokin hot

  • Rotten

    Dat Ass

  • tomcat

    unique concept. nice gf. the hdr made the pictures surreal. that’s his theme.
    overall good. dont mind the envious self righteous detractors… cmon “professionals” this is creativity, thinking out of the boring boring box!

  • tomcat

    pls leave url of you finest work so we can see how it compare.

  • Chris

    Cool concept, but yes….the HDR ruins the picture

  • tomcat

    i beg to differ. he chose hdr as part of hs theme, i think it worked for him in this concept. its unique. its like a 2D image that portrays everything in clarity (forget depth) because its what the photographer/artist (or should u say boyfriend) is trying to convey.
    why would you put boundaries on your imagination?

  • tomcat

    agree w u.
    these are the people who have limited visions. governed by absolute rules. cmon people grow up and be creative.
    why cant all of u haters post ur own works url so we can see u walk ur talk.

  • JustaGuy

    Geez you’re all haters. Perhaps he didn’t put it up for your opinions but rather share his vision or a concept. You all must be extraordinary photographers that everyone writes articles about and say great things… Or not

  • heplo

    How absurd it is to suggest that people who disagree with the photographer’s composition choices/use of HDR/etc are any less appreciative of creativity than those who agree with it. Firstly, there is more to visual art than creativity (why else would artists spend years studying and practicing skills and techniques?) However, more importantly, both sides are merely different opinions, and both are equally valid. Just because an individual thinks an image could be improved by changing a particular aspect does not mean they are “haters” or hypocrites for not posting their own work. Does a literary critic have to include a copy of their own manuscript along with a published book review? Does a music lover have to perform a song before they can evaluate a band’s performance? Does a citizen have to demonstrate their ability to run a country before judging if a politician running for office can? Intelligent, informed people are absolutely capable of making valid comments, suggestions, or criticisms about published artistic works, even if they aren’t artists.
    I have been a visual artist for over 10 years, and (though I love the concept) I personally think that there are some weaknesses in these images (especially regarding composition and contrast). Yet, these images are successful as artistic works because they have managed to speak to thousands of people around the world. Not bad at all for someone who claims to not be a photographer. Ultimately, I think everyone in this forum agrees with that.

  • Ojo

    Wow! Nice to see so many negative comments. I wonder how many of the haters here have an ounce of talent or creativity to come up with an original concept that will attract anyone’s attention!
    This dude had an idea and ran with it. I think it’s f****** fantastic what he’s done and applaud his work. I dare any of you naysayers to show us an original concept you’ve managed to come up with that’s remotely and conceptually appealing.
    Free speech is one thing but hiding behind a keyboard and being a total moronic b**** about someone else’s work…..that’s just plain nasty!!

  • peluang

    look at the picture containing children wearing scout uniform,
    I think they’re in Yogyakarta too!

  • Johnny

    His work is irrelevant. The tone mapping DO ruin this shot. And that’s a fact.

  • Matias Gonua

    Agree. But the chick in the red dress is so hot and made me forget about it.

  • tyrohne

    say what you will about the HDR; I still found the series interesting and clever.

  • Matias Gonua

    Go to the instagram account.

  • Bill

    I think that the idea and the concept were great. Some of the pics probably could have been better with less HDR, but overall, I think they were great for a series.
    I can see what he was trying to convey in his photos, as if he was being led by an angel to dramatic and surreal places.
    Not sure what hos girlfriend looks like in the face, but from the backside she is very beautiful. I am sure she is beautiful from the front side as well.

    For all the haters, it’s easy to criticize others work, just as it is as easy to criticize yours, but this guy took the chance and put his work out there for all to see. Not everyone is going to like it, but hey, that’s art!
    I’m sure if this guy did all his photos with Instagram, everyone would just have a field day about that.

    Bravo Murad for sharing your work with us, I applaud you, and can we see what your girlfriend looks like?


    This is soo freakin cool.. :)

  • Zomg

    i think everyone should stop commenting on how the picture should be. it’s how he sees it and he wants to share it with the world. maybe he’s trippin on acid, who knows. a picture means a thousand word after all.

  • Guest

    Interesting, cool and very cute concept but ruined by the HDR effect

  • Pingiivi

    Amazing idea. HORRIBLE post processing.

  • oiveymichaelray

    Beg all you want – you’re not getting any with logic like that

  • Zenettii

    To all the people that expressed nothing but negative opinions, get back in your cage or get out there and recreate a better version of this.

    Accept that fact that the idea is original, and it’s taken guts for him to put it out there for other people to view. It’s the story that it tells which is more important and I bet it’s better than the work which most of you have to offer.

  • Tzctplus -

    The comments of the kind of “surely you can’t do it better” are a logical fallacy akin to deriding a messenger instead of discussing the message.

    Some people have gone to great lengths to explain why the pictures don’t work as such, those are the arguments you should counteract, not post puerile tantrums that don’t address the quality of the pictures.

  • Tzctplus -

    Why? How do you know who is paying for the trips?

  • trochee

    did any one notice? the wedding pic is the only one where it seems she is leaving him rather than holding on to him?

  • Eddie Murdock

    you are all missing the point with slamming these images for the HDR processing. The HDR effect is the artist way of displaying his work. The concept of his thread is about the story telling, not about processing an instagram. get over yourselves and hating HDR. I think this is very original and most of you are missing the point.
    Fine work Murad! Very original!

  • Hazem Mohamad

    Torture not being able to see her face!

  • Richard Horsfield

    “Photographer captures Hot Girl from behind”…

  • Jon

    Olloclip, maybe?

  • Gerard ~ GQtrippin

    her IG is @yourleo

  • CanadaGood

    I saw some of these on Facebook. Every person there thought these were ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS! But I was interested in the comments on PetaPixel where presumably there might be a higher percentage of discerning photographers and designers.
    To my mind the Composition was wonderful and her bod is fab; but the colours, lighting and clarity were a bit too perfect for street photography. His ability to get clear focus from extremely close to far-away made me search for signs of cut and paste. While I couldn’t see any; why create an image that makes people wonder?

    The contrasting comments between the HDR and Instagram haters here and the Facebook Like-people elsewhere is quite interesting.

  • Gjergji Bullari

    Whoever is bashing the photos in my opinion is missing the point. By now his work is an internet phenomena. And the reason I guess is obvious. Personally I like HDR just as much as the next guy. Does his work go over the edge for my taste? yes.. well his approach and work justifies the redundant HDR. So the point is not HDR effect but composition and viewpoint. But again its Instagram what does everyone expect. Instagram is full of effect galleries and pseudo filters to make images more compelling. Does Murad Osmann get to the point of what he has in mind i think yes. That is i you can look beyond the obvious. Be nice people once you sucked too ;)

  • gjergji bullari

    Whoever is bashing the photos in my opinion is missing the point. By now his work is an internet phenomena. And the reason I guess is obvious. Personally I like HDR just as much as the next guy. Does his work go over the edge for my taste? yes.. well his approach and work justifies the redundant HDR. So the point is not HDR effect but composition and viewpoint. But again its Instagram what does everyone expect. Instagram is full of effect galleries and pseudo filters to make images more compelling. Does Murad Osmann get to the point of what he has in mind i think yes. That is i you can look beyond the obvious. Be nice people once you sucked too ;)

  • Bleker Peter

    nice girlfriend

  • Rod in So Cal

    He is an artist using Instagram filters (I doubt any are post processed HDR). How is it any different than a painter’s choice of oils or water colors (or any other media)? How is it different than a realist painter compared to someone like Picasso? Just because many of you might have done this differently doesn’t make his choices wrong.

  • Roy

    Nope, it’s just an opinion.

    I like the look of these images and apparently, so does the photographer.

  • Sara

    Funny how he let go when she was headed down the isle…:)

  • Junyu

    Love the concept, hate how it’s executed.

  • stevo

    It works, maing. Im a photog and I like film and dont even understand HDR (really), but I would bet that EVERY SINGLE NAYSAYER on this thread is armchair, unpublished and douche-like.

  • stevo


  • lisacng @

    I love the concept!

  • Steven Anacker

    i’m impressed with how focused you all are on the quality of the photos. I haven’t gotten past the quality of the girl yet.

  • yoJoebosolo

    Hiw did you get a girlfriend like that with HDR like that?!

  • lifebylensdotcom

    Great idea brother, I like it.

  • Varun

    They look fake, most of them.

  • Robbie Barratt.

    No wonder people feel they can’t ‘make it’ in Photography or any other art form anymore. Everyone is so critical, opinionated and narrow minded to the subjects.

    This appears to be increasing a great deal within photography, which is sad. Because I always like to look at it as ‘The Photography Community’.

    But hey, you gotta’ do what you gotta’ do.

  • Carlx

    Nice idea Osmann and Natalie. Ignore the remarks of the comments thats negative. They only wished it was them. I like your work and also the post. It takes you out of a room full of stuck up critics