For this month’s Instagram Takeover we caught up with Western North Carolina photographer Halley Burleson, A.K.A @appexposures. Born and raised in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, Halley has spent most of her life, hiking, kayaking, and horseback riding throughout the beautiful Blue Ridge. She’s well-known in the Instagram world for her stunning landscapes—often featuring her adventure dog “Sallie.” Check out some of her work and read our Q & A with Halley below, and stayed tuned to the @blueridgeoutdoors Instagram account all week for daily features of Halley’s photos!
“A whitewater kayaker takes on the rapids of the Nantahala River during the 2013 NOC Spring Fling.”
BRO: How did you get into photography?
HB: Hiking mostly. You see so many beautiful sights and colors in nature. I wanted to be able to capture and share some of what I saw.
BRO: Where did you discover your passion?
HB: In February 2012, I went to Peru to volunteer with a feeding program for children. While I was there I spent most of my time in an orphanage that was in great need of daily living necessities; things that I have always taken for granted. I knew when I came home that I had to do something more. I took a few of my favorite photos had them printed and sold them as a fundraiser for the orphanage.
It was then I realized how much I could really do locally with a camera in my hand. Shortly after I purchased my first DSLR (a canon T2i) and started pursuing my passion for helping others, through photography. I decided to call my photography Appalachian Exposures in hopes of sharing more than just the landscapes that make this area so beautiful.
I hope my photography also brings exposure to the charities of the Appalachians and their beautiful purposes. Each year I pick a local charity to volunteer with and donate to. Last year was “Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Asheville” This year will be Avery County Special Olympics.
BRO: What kind of photography do you specialize in?
HB: Landscapes. Mostly from the Blue Ridge. Sunsets and sunrises are my favorite.
BRO: How long have you been shooting?
HB: With purpose, three beautiful years.
BRO: If you could only choose one area in this region to hike and explore and photograph for the rest of your life what would it be?
HB: Would have to be the Black Mountain Range. This is where I developed my love for nature and hiking. It is home to me.
BRO: Favorite musician from the southeast/Mid-Atlantic?
HB: Yo Mommas Big Fat Booty Band! What can I say…I like to dance!
BRO: One piece of gear (minus your camera) you wouldn’t head into the woods without?
HB: My Gregory backpack. I’ve had this particular pack for more years than I remember, it’s a part of my trail life.