This week we’re launching a new monthly series where we hand over the reigns of our Instagram account to a local adventure photographer. Up first is the Western North Carolina-based @Steve_Yocom. According to his Instagram bio, Steve’s main interests are German Shepherds, fly fishing, and whiskey, but he also takes a mean photo. His willingness to get off the beaten path and head to the places less-traveled, coupled with his skill and passion for outdoor photography, allows Steve to bring these southern mountains to life in a unique way. Check out his work and get the inside scoop from Steve below, and stay tuned to @blueridgeoutdoors Instagram for daily features of his photos.

When you’re out taking your own adventure photos, don’t forget to use the tag #myblueridge, and you could be the next to take over our account.

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My pup Cain taking a nap at the 6030 ft summit of Cold Mountain on day 2 of our Art Loeb Hike, What an amazing trail to backpack, everyone should put that on their to do list!
DSC00269Clouds spilling over Round Bald and Roan High knob as the sunsets looking back from Grassy Ridge. My buddy was traveling the entire country, every national park and he still says this was the highlight of his trip!

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Asia standing tall on the Summit of Tennent mountain at sunrise after a wonderful night under the stars. Asia is our security guard on backpacking trips, she’s stood up to bear’s that come through camp 4 times now!

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Summer sunset atop Sam Knob, I will never forget this night, we all laid in a circle and just stared up at the stars and Milkyway for a few hours. We talked and exchanged stories but it seemed like every other minute we would all scream Oh! Did you see that one? I think we lost count on shooting stars that night.

Screen shot 2015-05-18 at 9.38.02 AMI don’t think there is a more stunning place to see the fall colors than is South Western NC. It was starting to get chilly so we were sure to pack the flask here on Black Rock in the Plott Balsam Range

Naturally, we had to ask Steve a few questions after seeing his amazing work.

BRO: How did you get into photography?

SY: After traveling all over, I decided the iphone just wasn’t going to cut it anymore, the beauty we were witnessing was just too good to not try and hold on to. I picked up my first camera, a Sony A65 shortly after.

BRO: How long have you been shooting?

SY: It’s been a little over a year now that I’ve been into photography and I recently just upgraded to a Sony A7R with a bunch of old film lenses.

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?

SY: If I had to pick one area to shoot in and explore for the rest of my life it would have to be the Pisgah Ranger District, specifically the Shining Rock Wilderness. Only because the amount of diversity here. There’s countless mountain streams and waterfalls, several picturesque balds, the quartz outcroppings, and most importantly it was the place that got me hooked on the outdoors.

BRO: Favorite musician from the  southeast/Mid-Atlantic?

SY: One thing I love just as much as these mountains is music, it’s another form of medicine in my book. I would have to say my favorite artist in the Southeast is Jason Isbell. His song writing is so amazing. I can not wait for his new album!

BRO: One piece of gear (minus your camera) you wouldn’t head into the woods without?

SY: I would have to say my absolute favorite item is my Nemo tent. It’s kind of like a second home to me, sometimes I think I sleep better in that thing than my own home. I ran a set up eno string lights through the roof and it’s perfect for lighting up the tent inside. No more wearing a headlight all night!