How Instagram Stars Landed on Our Magazine Cover

Learn about the choice to feature the viral Instagram #FollowMeTo series on the cover of National Geographic Traveler magazine.

Wherever Nataly Osmann leads, Murad Osmann follows. And so do more than four million Instagrammers, who track the Russian couple’s travels in their #FollowMeTo series.

Our cover stars for this issue created their signature hand-holding shot during their first trip together to Barcelona, Spain, in 2012.

“Nataly was keen on seeing everything from the mountain of Tibidabo to the Sagrada Família. I was just keen on taking photos,” says Murad.

“At one point, I wanted to take a photo of Nataly, but she got shy and turned around, grabbing my arm and dragging me forward. As you can see, that didn’t stop me from taking the picture.” Since then, Nataly’s led the way, whether it’s through Italy or India, Bali or Brazil.

"There are some countries that you fall in love with at the first sight. We were absolutely blown away by Jordan. It’s like a small heaven that offers so many beautiful destinations for travelers who like to explore,” says Murad.

In June 2015, they brought their #FollowMeTo project much closer to home—to their weddings in Moscow and the Russian republic of Dagestan, Murad’s native turf.

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"I looked for a fresh image with an iconic sense of place that's quickly recognizable," describes Director of Photography Anne Farrar about her search for the perfect April/May cover.

"The Taj Mahal is incredibly beautiful and built for a compelling love story. I loved the idea of marrying that history with the Osmanns' own story," she explains. "This newlywed couple is committed to living their lives for travel as a shared experience. That fits perfectly with the philosophy of our brand. I knew the cover should be their photo from the Taj Mahal that strongly evokes the romance of travel." 

See more of the #FollowMeTo series:  

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