This month’s Instagram Takeover features South Carolina-based adventure photographer Will Milford, AKA @stognasty. Will’s portfolio spans the gamut from natural landscapes to wildlife scenes captured in and around his South Carolina home. Will has been documenting the sights, scenes, plants, and wildlife connected to his native region and areas all over the U.S. for several years as his passion for new photographic challenges have emerged.
Check out a sampling of his work below, follow him on Instagram for more great shots, and read our in-depth Q & A to find out what makes Will tick.
BRO: How long have you been into outdoor photography and how’d you discover your passion?
WM: I’ve had the shutterbug for about two and a half years, but I was an addict from the start. I began by taking a mandatory class in college using a 15-year-old canon dslr that had dust spots all over the sensor, but I began investing my money and time updating equipment and honing my skills.
BRO: Where are you based out of?
WM: I’m from a little town known for the widest main street in the United States. Greenwood, is in the piedmont of South Carolina, but I try to make a voyage to the mountains at least once a week to get a dose of the outdoors.
BRO: What is you favorite place to shoot in the Southeast and/or Mid-Atlantic?
WM: There is no place in the US that compares with the scenery we are able to enjoy right here in our on backyards. The Blue Ridge Mountains are one of the most picturesque spots and one of my favorites. However, I have a love of bird photography as well and the Charleston, SC area is one of the greatest places to chase that passion, as well as some fine coastal cuisine.
BRO: One piece of gear (minus your camera) you wouldn’t head into the woods without?
WM: Besides a cooler full of beer waiting on me at the campsite after a long hike, one thing I never go into the woods without is a good pair of boots. I’ve got an old pair of Scarpas that have stood the test of time and traversed a lot of rocky terrain. My ankles owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
BRO: Aside from photography, what is your favorite outdoor activity?
WM: I’m an avid water lover, so kayaking is one of my favorite outdoor activities. I’ve been paddling since I was in high school and I still try to hit some of the local rivers whenever my schedule will allow. As with most anything else, a good group of friends always makes the outdoor experience that much better!
BRO: Craziest adventure ever experienced during an outdoor shoot?
WM: I’m hoping that the craziest is still yet to come, but once (actually more than once) I was in a rush to catch a sunset in an iconic spot and was pulled over by the long arm of the law. He was not amused when I told him I was in a hurry to catch some good light. That was crazy expensive.
BRO: Is photography your primary gig?
WM: I wish my job was as cool as getting paid to spend time photographing the places I love, but for now that is just a passion. I sell Velux skylights by day to fund the weekend adventures!
BRO: What advice would you give to an aspiring outdoor photographer?
WM: I would give the same advice that was given to me when I first picked up a camera. Rather than investing in equipment, invest in a tank of gas. To take more interesting photos, you must stand in front of more interesting places.