How it all started…
Him – with tame, extremely kind and a little sad eyes, her – surprisingly thin and fragile, but full of power of love and charm. More than one million people keep track of their trip around the world. 1,150,910 – this is the exact number of subscribers of the account @muradosmann in Instagram today, and the number of the #Followmeto project ("Follow me") project inevitably grows daily in a geometrical progression.
The first question was perfectly natural: How did it all start? It seems, it happened so long ago that now they already argue, pushing each other, about whether dated at that time or not.
"We were dating already about half a year", – Murad says. "No! – Natasha objects, – no, we did not meet yet. It was our first project, the shooting took place in Barcelona. Then a walk, a chemistry, emotions, beautiful places, excursions, and Murik (Natasha's pet name for Murad) again adjusts the camera for half an hour".
It all happened absolutely unintentionally – the accidental photo made while Natasha impatiently pulled Murad after herself: "Let's go now! Enough with photos!". And he replied: "Look, I took a cool picture!". And so it spiraled. Now they took such photos with Natasha leading him by hand everywhere they went. There wasn't anything about commerce, we posted in Instagram for ourselves and friends who already got bored: "What so monotonous?" But the consistency of a story in a non-trivial execution was what exactly drew attention of user to them.
After all I wonder where this crazy popularity came from. Maybe because of the right hashtags?
Murad laughs back: "Hashtags is a myth. It's so sweet when people put 500 hashtags: #imhere, #drinkintea, #natashaeatscheesewithfork…. "This is some madness!" – Natasha catches. "No, hashtags do not add informational content, – Murad follows, – we just united all photos under one hashtag, and it turned into such series. Slowly the Russian editions – Adme and Fishki began to repost them and when it came down to foreign Reddit…" "Everything happened literally within two weeks after pictures were published in two world editions, and afterwards people from all over the world started writing us. You might say, that this is a randomness", – Natasha adds.
Did you expect that? And how did it turn your life around?
"Of course, it is nice when you do something, and it gets noticed and appreciated. But our lifestyle did not dramatically change – no need to go outside in dark glasses", – Natasha jokes. "And I cannot even show my hand – everyone recognizes. I had to insure it, – Murad laughs. – But seriously, I still continue working. I am a producer in my own company. We shoot advertisements, video clips. We often make them abroad for Russian clients, therefore there is an opportunity at the end of shooting to take Natasha to photograph for couple of days".
And were there changes in your everyday life? Do people recognize you outside?
Murad: "After Google advertising people recognize us. Abroad, as soon as we take this "pose", everyone knows at once".
And where do you live now? Everywhere?
Murad: "In Moscow. At least 5 days a week we work in Moscow. It only looks like we travel all the time. Usually we leave only for 2-4 days".
Do you often get invitations to countries from people?
Natasha: "Now we do. We were invited to Jordan in April".
How long are you together?
Natasha: "We know each other for three years, and two years we live together".
Describe each other.
Natasha thought for a moment: "He is not like everyone: funny, life of the party, but he rarely opens to someone, always keeps it to himself. He showed me his pictures, and even by them can be noticed, how complicated, detail-oriented he is. And plus, really kind! He does generous (I don’t mean financially) manly actions. He can make a sacrifice in the sake of some principles. Murad is an unordinary person, I’ve never met someone like him before".
Murad catches up: "She is very kind, softhearted, beautiful – basic gibberish, – he laughs. – She is very smart and picky in relationships. Chooses her friends carefully, and if someone stumbles once, God forbid – no mercy!" "It’s not because I am mean, I just take myself strictly", - Natasha objects. "No, you are not mean, Murad agrees. – She is able to guide me. She is really talented, though tries to hide it from me. She draws at home".
You already took couple pictures of Baku for #followmeto series which, as always, gathered a bunch of likes and comments. I especially liked the picture of a traditional Baku Italian courtyard. In one of the last interviews my mother called such houses the "soul" of the city which, unfortunately, disappear from its face. How did you decide to come here?
"Everyone who visited your city spoke of it positively, therefore we wanted to get here long ago and we are glad that we hand an opportunity", – Natasha admitted.
"I love Azerbaijan, I relate to it spiritually and mentally. I have many friends from here who invited me a long time ago. The city fascinated us", – Murad adds.
What are your future plans?
Natasha: "To show the whole wide world – it’s unique!"
Murad: "Concerning plans – we are actively engaged in charity. Year ago we collaborated with Michael Kors – we were one of the representatives of his charity company, which was focused on providing regions with water, struggling from its lack. We hope that we will be useful in companies of this kind many more times".
The material was published in the eighth issue.