Brown Bear Safari 2022

Spaces Available: SOLD OUT               

Location: Lake Iliamna Area                                                    2022 Cost: $8800

Dates: August 31 – September 7, 2022 

“It was absolutely amazing, and I can’t imagine it could have been any better. There were so many bears, and wonderful locations resulting in many, many  appealing images. Most of all, it was rewarding to have great people to share this experience with. ”                                                              

Greg Ness – Participant 2019

Details: Photographing brown bears in Alaska is a bucket list trip for wildlife photographers. Bristol Bay hosts one of the largest salmon runs in the world. The  Sockeye salmon attract bears….and the number of bears are staggering. On this trip we photograph boars, sows and plenty of cubs….often chasing bright red salmon up the streams.

On this trip we fly into a remote lodge on Lake Iliamna and have access to bush planes each day to transport us to our shooting locations. Our lodge is located between Katmai National Park, Lake Clark National Park, and Bristol Bay. Each day we can plan our destination based on where the bears are congregating: Katmai National Park, Brooks Falls, Lake Clark National Park or Bristol Bay.

This trip is more physical than our other workshops in Alaska. On this trip, we will be getting in and out of planes and boats on a daily basis. We will be walking through uneven Alaskan wilderness and crossing streams often to get to the bears. Participants must be in good condition and able to hike several miles with their own gear.

Katmai National Park, Alaska.
Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Occasionally the weather in Alaska will prevent us from flying to photograph bears.  This time can be used for editing images or photographing the area by boat. This is a regular part of photographing in Alaska and may result in rescheduling flights or hotel stays at the participants’ expense.

Come join us for this fantastic trip.  We love photographing bears, and can’t wait to return!  We promise you will have a lot of fun, improve your photography, and create images worthy of hanging in your home.  

What you will learn:

  • Wildlife photography techniques
  • How to photograph bears in their natural environment
  • Slow water techniques at Brooks Falls
  • Editing in Lightroom and PhotoShop

A typical day: After a hearty breakfast at the lodge we will head out for the day in a float plane. We will photograph a variety of bear and eat lunch in the field. After a full day with the bears, we return to the lodge for a relaxing dinner. Our goal is to help you learn how to take compelling bear photos with hands on instruction. We will cover camera settings, anticipating behavior, and using a variety of perspectives.


Our group will be staying at the Bristol Bay Adventure Lodge on Lake Illiamna in Alaska and these nights are included in your workshop fee. While in Anchorage our group will be at a local hotel.

Closest Airport: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport ANC

Participants will arrive on Wednesday, August 31 to be ready to fly to Lake Iliamna on September 1. We will land back in Anchorage in the late afternoon on Thursday, September 7. Tom and Cree will take a red-eye flight out of Anchorage that night.

Recommended camera gear:

  • 1-2 camera bodies (back up body recommended)
  • Lenses ranging from wide angle 24mm to 70-200mm
  • Wildlife telephoto lens – 300mm or more (200-500mm or similar works great)
  • Tripod
  • Polarizing filter
  • Laptop for editing and critique
  • Large Photo Backpack (with extra room)

Included in the fee:

  • Lodging in Anchorage for the first night
  • Airplane service to and from Bristol Bay from Anchorage
  • Daily transportation by small plane to photography sites
  • Location and permit fees
  • Copy of Tom’s ebook Create Better Photographs
  • All meals while at the lodge

Students will provide their own:

  • Hotel accommodation in Anchorage if spending the night after trip ends
  • Dinner in Anchorage on August 31
  • Round trip transportation to Anchorage, Alaska
  • Alcohol: the area around Bristol Bay is dry. You can purchase alcohol in Anchorage and take it with you or have it shipped ahead of time.
  • Gratuity for staff and guides while at lodge

Know Before You Go: Rated Difficult. This trip involves walking from 3-5 miles per day in challenging uneven terrain, multiple stream crossings and getting in and out of vehicles frequently. A wildlife lens is recommended.

Non-refundable Deposit for Brown Bear Safari 2022

Dates: August 31-Sept 7, 2022


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