All this week we’re handing the reigns of our Instagram account over to western North Carolina adventure photographer Mitch Bearden. One look at Mitch’s account will give you serious case of adventure envy. Wether he’s documenting a stellar sunset somewhere in the mountains of Jackson County, North Carolina or a whitewater kayaking excursion on the famed Chattooga River, Mitch perfectly captures the outdoor essence of the Blue Ridge region, particularly outdoor adventure scene in western North Carolina.

“Since picking up photography as a hobby nearly a decade ago, it has always been my focus to photograph the beautiful scenery around me, wherever I am,” Mitch said. “As my skills and interests expanded, I also fell in love with photographing the people who find joy in the exploration of their surroundings. I also shoot weddings, engagements, graduation portraits, and more!”

Follow along all week as we share some of Mitch’s best photos on both our Instagram timeline and our story feed, and get to know Mitch a little better by reading the short Q & A below.

BRO: Your photography focuses heavily on western North Carolina. Are you originally from the area? 

MB: I actually grew up in the Atlanta area. From a young age I can remember taking camping trips into the mountains of North Georgia and western North Carolina a few times a year. As I grew older, the trips became more and more frequent until I moved to WNC in 2012.

BRO: How did you get your start in outdoor adventure photography? 

MB: Initially I bought a camera to get video while whitewater kayaking all over the Southeast. From there, I realized how much more I enjoyed taking photos as opposed to video. That transferred from kayaking to all of my outdoor pursuits when I moved to the area and began exploring more around WNC.

BRO: What kind of equipment are you shooting with? 

MB: I shoot with my Canon 6D DSLR. I also have a DJI Phantom that I use for aerial photography.

BRO: What’s your favorite outdoor pursuit to photograph? 

MB: Whitewater kayaking. It was my first love for photography, and continues to be my favorite.

BRO: What’s your favorite season for outdoor adventure shooting? 

MB: Summer- there are so many different flowers that bloom that bring so much color to the mountains in early and late summer. The green vegetation really feels like a rainforest.

BRO: One piece of gear you won’t go into the woods without? 

MB: Other than my camera gear, there are very few places I’ll go outdoors without wearing my Astral Brewers. They’re so versatile and have such great traction on nearly any terrain.

BRO: Favorite hike in the Blue Ridge? 

MB: The Art Loeb Trail is pretty incredible with a lot of great access. It can be broken into a few different day hikes or hikes in its entirety over a few days.

BRO: Favorite spot for shooting fall foliage? 

MB: Anywhere in the Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. There are so many great trails throughout that area with incredibly diverse ecosystems. With a huge elevation range you can shoot fall photos over a longer period of time.

BRO: Any advice for budding adventure photogs just looking to get their feet wet? 

MB: Just get out there and shoot with whatever equipment you have available, develop your own style for photos, and just have fun with it!

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