Yesterday was World Photography Day. We missed it. I missed it, but for a good reason.

It was Sunday, I was off, and I was taking photos.

These days, every day is a holiday. There is a pancake day, cat day, and I can only assume a Zucchini day, (There is. I just Googled it and it was 12 days ago). Ridiculous, I know, but it furthers my point. There is a day for everything.

I’m sitting at the local watering hole, enjoying an adult soda around the corner from our Asheville office. The summer showers have prolonged my bike ride home, and there is no better way to wait out a storm. As I finish this fine craft beverage, I’m scrolling through the BRO Instagram account, mindlessly digesting the hashtag #blueridgeoutdoors. At this moment there are 18,416 photos tagged.

 

Almost twenty thousand photos with that tag alone are floating in space, in this one app, from this region. Soon there will be a paper on a new thumb-related medical condition caused by the indefinite scrolling of pictures on our mobile devices. Either that or our thumbs are only getting stronger. My sincerest of apologies to the thumbless “grammers” out there. I’m sure your index fingers, pinkies, and/or nubs will succumb to the same ailment. I digress.

After a dozen or so double-taps, I wonder, “Hmmm, when is Photography Day?” It was yesterday. Dammit.

 

How did I miss this? Photography is a quintessential part of what we do, what we share. Without the support of photographers across the region, our Instagram Feed would be pretty, well…shitty. Our magazine would be boring to say the least. The amount of love and support we receive from the outdoor community, photographers in particular, is astronomical. As the digital content editor for this fine publication, I’m constantly reaching out to you, the photographer, asking permission to share your work.

 

I’m always met with, “It would be an honor!” or, “Oh my goodness, of course!” It’s an incredibly humbling experience to chat with you all, to work with you, and to share your hard earned captures with our audience. You hike for miles, wake up before sunrise, and stay past sunset to capture our region in so many unique and beautiful ways. From convenient overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the bowels of wilderness areas, you tell the story of these mountains in a way words can’t describe.

 

A picture is worth a thousand words, an old but true saying. Pictures of these mountains are worth over 400 million years. A story forged by the elements and time, every snap of a shutter writes a new chapter. The jaw-dropping views that make you question your existence. Deafening waterfalls that drown out thunder. Creatures that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. You capture light, convert it into pixels, and continue to tell the story of this magical place.

 

World Photography Day is a day where photographers are encouraged to share one photo of their world with the world. Whether landscapes, action shots, or even selfies, its purpose is to help showcase the endless possibilities of photography. Endless they are. The cause has helped raise money for charitable foundations and inspired countless photographers across the globe. If you ask me, there is no better place in the world to take a photo than the Blue Ridge Mountains.

 

Snack break FTW.

A post shared by Jess Daddio (@jessdaddio) on

So This is a thanks to you, wandering photographer. Thank you for capturing these mountains, everything, and everyone that call them home.

Next year, this post will be one day sooner.

Side Note: National Nature Photo day was back on June 15. I missed that too. It’s probably time to look into one of those calendar apps.


Justin Forrest is an outdoor writer, fly fishing addict, and co-founder of Narrative North—based in Asheville, N.C. He posts pictures of cats and fishing on Instagram sometimes.