This month’s Instagram Takeover features Western North Carolina-based photographer Justin Costner. If you haven’t already seen Costner’s stellar photos on Instagram check him out here, and learn more about his passion for the craft by reading his Q & A below!

BRO: How did you get into photography?

JC: My interest in photography started after a few hikes into the Linville Gorge with some friends and snapping a few photos on my iPhone and being captivated by the landscape. I’ve always been drawn to the mountains and the beauty of Western North Carolina ever since and enjoy truly sharing these places with folks.

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 BRO: When did you discover your passion for photography?

JC: My passion for photography found me about 2 years ago when I got back in to hiking and camping on the weekends and sharing these places I was exploring with friends and documenting our trips. It really ignited a passion within and has led to the lifestyle that I now live and embrace. As my desire to document and explore grew so did my camera. From iPhone photos to an intro DSLR and now to a full frame setup.

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BRO: How long have you been shooting?

JC: I’ve been shooting about a year and a half now with a DSLR camera and I’m pretty much self taught. Learning more each trip and enjoying the ride and places photography has taken me!

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?

JC: It is so tough to pin point a specific area in WNC! I’m pretty partial to The Linville Gorge and Grandfather Mountain area, but I definitely want to spend more time in the Hickory Nut Gorge and familiarize myself a little more with that area. There are so many amazing places in our home state that you could spend a lifetime enjoying!

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 9.00.29 AMBRO: One piece of gear (minus your camera) you wouldn’t head into the woods without?

JC: That’s a tough one as well but I’d say my water filter and a Sierra Designs tent. Shelter and water are key!

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 BRO: Aside from photography, what is your favorite thing to do in the outdoors?

JC: I’d say rock climbing has to be up there. I’m def not a great climber, but I love getting worked on the wall and being in the mountains with my buddies. Slack lining would definitley be a close second if not first!

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 BRO: Tell us about your Western North Carolina guiding service.

JC: My best friend and business partner Curt Teague and I started HikeMore Adventures about a year ago. We wanted folks to be able to experience the outdoors and adventure of backpacking/camping safely and teach the proper etiquettes  to protect and conserve our national forests and wilderness areas. We are blessed to have such pristine mountains and rivers here in Western North Carolina and we wanted to give people the opportunity to experience them with the right guidance and offer them the best gear available to do it with. We offer guided day hikes, overnight backpacking/camping trips, team building outings for companies and photography workshops as well!