After being at the gallery most of the summer so far, I was ready to get out and lead my photography workshop to Lake Clark National Park. I left the gallery on the afternoon of the 18th and drove seven hours into the Yukon and slept in my car on the side of the road. It was nice to finally have some time and be able to think and look back on how things have gone so far this summer. I finished the drive to Anchorage on the 19th, and met me group for dinner that night. It’s always neat seeing everyone for the first time and getting a feel for how the group will be and seeing their excitement for the week ahead!
On the morning of the 20th everyone was on time at 7:30 a.m., and we met at the bush plane airport to take off to Lake Clark. It was raining in Anchorage, but not long after we took off it cleared up and we had a beautiful flight down to Lake Clark. Once we landed, everyone was eager to get out and shoot. It was warm and windy, not a good combination for seeing bears, but we finally found a mom with two, three-year-old cubs. Normally by now the mom would kick them out and make them be on their own, but these were still with her. It was neat; because it was a set of cubs we had during my workshop last year. Not long after being with them they began standing and playing and our first shoot got the trip off to a great start!
After lunch we headed back out and found two, four year olds that were still hanging together. We didn’t get many photos from them, but when we went back around we found the mom and three-year-old-cubs again. Last year we got them sleeping as a family on a log, and they were near this log, so we waited and waited hoping that lightning might strike twice and we would get them sleeping on that log again. Our patience paid off, and they actually slept on that same log! I couldn’t believe it! They didn’t sleep together, but they were still on the same log and we got some nice pictures of them sleeping, even though it was raining.
That night after dinner we went to a different area of sedge flats and found a mom and three second-year cubs. Not long after we were with them they went to the beach, and the fun began. Those cubs had so much fun running, playing, fighting, chasing, playing king of the log, and just being wild cubs. What was also amazing was that we were able to walk behind them enjoying this experience and not interfering with them being wild! It was one of my most enjoyable shoots ever, because the cubs were having so much fun and we got to walk and be a part of nature for over a half mile! They had so much energy and really gave us a show. What a first day!