Alaskan Brown Bear Photography Workshop, June 30-July 5, 2020 SOLD OUT
Alaskan Brown Bear Photography Workshop, June 30-July 5, 2020 SOLD OUT
SOLD OUT - Sign up for Waitlist
Join me for an adventure of a lifetime photographing Alaskan Grizzly Bears in the pristine wilderness of Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.
Lake Clark National Park is a pristine setting; home to a large population of coastal brown bears drawn here by the foraging opportunities provided by the tidal marshes, beaches, streams, meadows, and fishing opportunities nestled between the Chigmit Range and the western shore of the Cook Inlet in the Gulf of Alaska.
For the duration of the trip we will stay in a comfortable lodge located in the midst of this habitat. In fact, brown bears are common visitors to the lodge and property and can be found on any given day grazing, resting, or playing in the front yard. To reach this idyllic destination we will fly in on a small aircraft (hour and fifteen minute flight time) from Anchorage, landing on a beach in front of the lodge, where we will be greeted by our hosts and often by the bears themselves. If the weather is good, we can see Mt. ReDoubt, Mt. Augustine, and Mt. Illiamna, all active volcanoes, on the flight in.
We will spend our days working the coastal terrain, photographing bears grazing in the meadows, digging for clams, walking the beaches, and caring for their cubs. The bears are protected and have never been hunted; therefore they have become habituated to us and allow us to be close at times. We will enjoy the services of a professional bear guide whose knowledge of bear behavior and the local terrain will be invaluable as we seek the best photographic opportunities possible. Our guide will also drive us between sites via ATV, in a comfortable trailer that will provide us the necessary mobility to provide maximum photographic opportunity.
This trip will be an immersion in brown bear photography: we will spend our days in the field photographing cubs, females, and male bears in a wide range of behaviors and habitats. Photographic instruction and guidance by Barrett will be available at all times to insure you are able to make the most of your time in the park. Due to the nature of the setting, there will also be opportunities for landscape photography. During downtimes, and most of the time we will be out in the field shooting, we will focus on camera settings, photo sharing, and constructive critique designed to help you master the techniques necessary to bring home great images. I am not a great photo editor, my skill is capturing the image correctly the first time, and that is what I am going to help you accomplish too.
This is the adventure of a lifetime: from the beginning of boarding a small plane in Anchorage and landing on the beach, to viewing mother brown bears and cubs up close. No moment will disappoint while we are there!
A full list of gear recommendations, including clothing, will be provided. Home cooked meals will be prepared in the lodge kitchen by resident staff. If you have any dietary restrictions or are allergic to anything, please let me know in advance and I will be able to pass that on to the lodge.
Weather in Alaska in unpredictable and it is recommended that you purchase travel insurance.
- Dates: June 30- July 5 (5 days, 5 nights)
- Deposit: $750 (due upon signing up to hold your spot)
Payable be credit card or check
- 50% due by February 1st, 100% due by April 1st
- Participants: 8 Maximum
- Charter flight from Anchorage to Lake Clark and back (60lb luggage allowance/person)
- All lodging (if you require a single room there will be an added fee)
- Transportation at the site
- Guide services, in the field bear instruction and bear viewing
- All meals at the lodge
- Permits and Park Fees
- Travel to Anchorage, AK and lodging or meals for any nights in Anchorage
- Tips for the guide and lodge staff
- Fly in at least one day before the trip begins as we will fly to Lake Clark at 8 a.m.
- There is an island nearby that puffins perch on, and if enough of the group wants to go to it, it will be $150 cash/person.
- Bring your own alcohol, they can’t supply it.
- There is Wi-Fi, but it often is slow or doesn’t work, so don’t count on it.
- Cell phones might work if you stand in the right spot, but again don’t count on it working.
Cancellations: All cancellations must be must be confirmed in writing, and due to costs incurred by BearHead Photography in arranging a tour, deposits are non refundable.
- A waitlist is available for any of my Workshops that are currently sold out. In the event of a confirmed guest cancelling their Workshop spot, I will contact people on the waitlist in the order they have been added. Cancellations can and do happen and spots have opened up in previous workshops.
“This trip was absolutely amazing and exceeded all my expectations. Being able to be so close to grizzlies, to have so many opportunities to observe and photograph them in such a beautiful and remote setting was unique and very special. We spent almost every available hour looking for, finding and photographing bears in various situations and in any weather. We tended to stick with a bear for a while so this gave us lots of time to improve composition, technique and how we used our kit. We saw bears almost every time we headed out, in our case lots of young adults, males and mating pairs, though the group the week after us saw some cubs as well. Barrett was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable around composition and thoughtful around getting the bears in the right light and against a good background, whilst helping the group with their kit and pictures. It felt very safe yet the bears were in their normal habitat, and we were not confined to hides or platforms. The local guide kept us at a comfortable distance for the bears yet close enough for good shots with a 400mm lens. Sometimes bears would wander closer but they seemed to ignore us mostly and weren’t scared or bothered by our presence. The trip is suitable for beginners and photo experts alike. The weather can be challenging so there is a need to be prepared for anything, both in terms of clothing and camera gear. I actually found that rainy days yielded the best colours and the most beautiful bear coats but we did get very wet a few times. Daylight hours in the summer are long but camera and lenses need to be able to handle low light. The lodge is excellent with comfy rooms and great food and the occasional bear in the yard.“
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes bears and photography. I’d love to return!”
"To walk with and photograph the coastal brown bears of Alaska has been a dream of mine since I first picked up a camera. Often dreams like these fail to meet the expectations that one has placed on them, this was not one of those times. First, as a photography instructor and workshop leader myself, I tend to look at others with a very critical eye. When I have clients, my goal is to put them in a position to get the best shots available, Barrett has this same mentality. He was constantly calling out behavior cues and put the needs of his group before his own all while being mindful of not placing the bears in an unnecessarily stressful situation. If you have seen the shots that he has accumulated you know that his is a labor of love, he is truly passionate about the wildlife that he pursues. Barrett understands that the knowledge of wildlife behavior is the key to consistently producing quality images. On several occasions his instincts placed us in the heart of the action. It became a joke, every time I would ask Barrett about photographing a particular behavior we would end up in a position to do just that. The lodge staff and accommodations were first class all the way, their aim is to make this a trip worth remembering. Barrett Hedges came highly recommended from a respected friend and accomplished photographer/videographer. This trip became the trip of a lifetime and I couldn't imagine taking a trip like this with anyone other than Barrett, the recommendation that I received I now pass on. “
“If photographing coastal brown bears is your goal Barrett Hedges is your guy."
- Ron Hayes