Intimate Alaskan Brown Bear Photography

September 2–11, 2022

  • Our private small ship gets us up close and personal with coastal brown bears
  • Experienced local guides take us by zodiac to places you can’t get to by land
  • We can quickly move to where the bears are
  • Many more photo ops than other land-based Katmai photo trips

Katmai National Park and Preserve is most widely known for its bears—more than 2,000 of the magnificent creatures are thought to inhabit the area. This is most evident in the summer months when bears (as well as many of the park’s forty or so other species of terrestrial mammal) gather near the coast to feed on a seasonal abundance of sockeye salmon. The park also plays host to at least 137 species of birds, many using the region as a migratory corridor in spring and summer. Several species of marine mammals, including harbor seals, sea lions, otter, and humpback whale, frequent Katmai’s coastline and belugas, orcas, and gray whales feed along the Shelikof Strait just beyond Katmai’s boundaries. All in all, it is an area dense with life, and one of the wildest and most unaltered places left on the planet.

To best photograph and explore this wild place, we’ve chartered our own private expedition ship, with a captain and crew exceptionally well–versed in the region. Functional and well–suited to our photographic purposes, our ship will act as our base and means of transportation around this roadless region. Two Zodiacs will enable us to get up close to our subjects. We’ll be photographing both from the Zodiacs and from onshore—but don’t worry, our local guides are experienced and knowledgeable, and the bears well-fed and relaxed. Unlike other bear viewing areas, there is no hunting here, and plenty of salmon means the bears are very non–confrontational so we can get very close. Don’t try this elsewhere! You may also get to try kayaking or even catch a halibut.

Your expedition leaders are Lisa LaPointe and another team member TBD, who will not only help assure that you are safe and comfortable, but also that you come home with some great shots and having learned some new photography skills. They will work with you on the finer points of wildlife photography, spending time on the technical aspects as well as the artistic aspects. In addition to instruction in the field, we will make sure to make time for our signature Lightroom instruction and image reviews.

Your Pros

Additional Pro TBD
Additional Pro TBD

Alaska, USA




September 2–11, 2022

Fitness Level



Open for Registration
Limited to 10 Guests


About the wildlife: This workshop offers significant opportunities for photographing wildlife, and while we do our best to maximize our wildlife encounters—based on past experiences, local knowledge, and the current conditions—we need to impress upon you that the wildlife really is wild and that we don’t control it.

This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.

September 2, 2022: Arrive today into Kodiak Airport (ADQ), which is accessed via regular flights from Anchorage. We’ll gather at our hotel in Kodiak for a welcome dinner. 

September 3, 2022: This morning we’ll fly by seaplane to either Geographic Harbor or Kukak Bay, where we will meet our expedition ship, the M/V Dream Catcher. This will be our jumping-off point to the coastal areas of Katmai National Park and Preserve, a 6,395 square mile wilderness region located on the Alaska Peninsula.

September 4–9, 2022: We’ll be aboard the ship these days, using local conditions and insight to inform our exploration of the region’s many inlets and bays, and to look for wildlife. Locations we may visit include:

Geographic Harbor. A secure anchorage, Geographic Harbor, is an outlet for numerous salmon streams, and both bears and wolves frequent the area. The outer bay is an excellent location for spotting marine birdlife and even rafts of otters.

Hidden Harbor. An outlet for three salmon streams, and a popular place for bears working the beaches. Also, an interesting location for fans of geology, as one can spot volcanic ash deposits from the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. Hidden Harbor is a short Zodiac ride to Hidden Valley, where at low tide bears can be seen fishing in a stream. Between Hidden Harbor and Kinak Bay, we can stop (conditions permitting) at a small seal colony.

Kukak Bay. Kukak Bay has tidal flat areas where bears & wolves frequent to fish the river.

Hallo Bay. The bears work the tidal flats of Hallo Bay for clams, fish the stream for salmon, and graze on the bay’s extensive surrounding grasslands. This is a great place to see sows and cubs. The backside of Ninagiak Island is home to a fairly large puffin colony, and bears will sometimes swim out to the island to lay in the grass and hunt for sea otters that have hauled out on the beach.

September 10, 2022: We’ll disembark the ship early for our seaplane flight back to Kodiak. We’ll have a final image review today, time permitting, and the last group dinner tonight.

September 11, 2022: Flights home from Kodiak Airport (ADQ) can be made at any time today.



Moderate: You must be able to get in and out of Zodiacs and walk on uneven, wet, boggy, rocky, possibly slippery ground.


Arrive Kodiak Airport (ADQ), Kodiak, Alaska before 5:00 PM on September 2, 2022. Flights out can be made anytime on September 11, 2022.

What to Bring

Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.

What’s Included

  • Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $300 supplement. Kodiak hotel ony.
  • All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop
  • All permits and park fees
  • Internal flights during the workshop
  • All transportation during the workshop
  • Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides
  • Meals and lodging onboard the ship
  • Waterproof boots for shore excursions
  • Photographic guiding and instruction from 2 pros
  • Image reviews and post-processing instruction
  • Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!

Not Included

  • Travel to and from Kodiak, Alaska.
  • Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
  • Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Medical Evacuation Insurance (required).
  • Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
  • Anything else specifically not listed as included.
  • Single rooming available for $300 supplement.

Payment Terms

  • Your non-refundable deposit of $4,995 will hold your space in this workshop.
  • Further non-refundable payment of $3,000 is due by January 1, 2022.
  • The non-refundable balance is due not later than May 1, 2022.
  • In addition to our standard Terms and Conditions, for this workshop all payments are non-refundable, and this is why we recommend comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancelation.
  • Need special payment arrangements? No problem, just ask us.


“It was an amazing trip. Great menu and truly the comforts of home and more. Lisa and Andy helped guide me to meet my goals of a higher level in my photography. This was my first trip with Lisa and she was amazing. I learned so much from her about how to improve in my photography, knowledge of all the wonders we were seeing and her sharing of her truly kind self.rrAndy as always. You are the Best. I always appreciate all that I learn from you and enjoyed my second trip with you. ”

— Frances Kuelz, Galápagos '19
Behind the Scenes
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