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North American Black Bears Photo Workshop

July 21, 2018 - July 23, 2018 | Orr, MN
Workshop Fully Booked


Address: 12541 Nett Lake Rd Orr, MN 55771 United States
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This workshop is fully booked. Please see upcoming dates below


Start: July 21, 2018
End: July 23, 2018
Cost: $950
Additional Info: $500 non-refundable deposit at time of registration
Remaining balance due by April 21, 2018, which is then non-refundable.
Participants will be required to sign the Sanctuary's Risk Waiver
Cancellation Policy
Liability Waiver

Other Dates

There are no upcoming dates for this workshop at this time. Please check back soon.

Minnesota is the most northern state outside of Alaska, and has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined. There are an estimated 12,000-15,000 black bears in Minnesota. Photographing the North American Black Bear is the purpose of this 3-day photo workshop.  Emphasis will be on helping you to capture incredible photographs of black bears of all sizes and ages in their natural environment, and giving you as much time as possible with the bears.  This workshop provides an amazing in-field photographic experience.  Participants must 18+ years old to attend the workshop.

The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary is 500+ acres of North Woods habitat in Minnesota, ideal for black bears and other wildlife.  It is located about two hours northwest of Duluth.  Vince Shute habituated generations of bears frequenting the Sanctuary unintentionally, as he tried to find a way to peacefully coexist with his forest neighbors.  Vince fed the bear for more than 25 years.  The feeding continues today as a means of preserving the extraordinary opportunities this unique situation provides.  It allows the American Bear Association to educate the visiting public about the natural history of the American black bear and all natural resources.  In addition, it allows the Association to offer you the chance to photograph this normally shy and reclusive animal.


  • An informative online webinar presentation in advance of the workshop that covers wildlife photography composition tips, camera settings and recommended gear. It will also include and illustrative slideshow of photos with camera settings taken by Kathleen at the Sanctuary to prepare you to maximize your camera’s potential while shooting.
  • 3 full-days access to photograph black bears and other wildlife on ground level, not available to the public. The most common lens focal length is 100-400 mm.
  • Two mid-day classes during the workshop.
  • Workshop size is limited to 8 participants so you’ll have plenty of one-on-one time with Kathleen to ask questions and get coaching specific to your individual photographic needs.


  • Before the workshop:
    • An online recorded webinar prior to the workshop that covers wildlife photography composition tips, camera settings and recommended gear to prepare you.  You will have access to both the recording and the webinar materials.
    • Detailed handout of what to bring, the itinerary, what to expect and more
    • American Bear Association introductory session on bear safety, bear behavior, history and mission of the organization, black bear natural history
  • During the workshop:
    • 3 full days access to the Sanctuary ground level property, as well as the viewing deck; includes all Sanctuary fees and water throughout the days
    • Sharing a sample of your portfolio with the group
    • Group and one-on-one guidance on location before each photo session to ensure you get the most out of your camera, including optimal shutter speed, aperture, ISO and exposure compensation settings
    • Mid-day conference room demonstrations on post processing wildlife images, how to create/publish an eBook on Amazon and setting up a website on SmugMug (topics based on group consensus)
    • Lots of iPhone photos of you photographing the bears!
    • Inclement weather options to visit the North American Bear Center and the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota
    • Signed copy of Kathleen’s book: Capturing the Moment, The Art & Science of Photographing Wild Animals
  • After the workshop:
    • Group gallery for sharing people pictures


  • Airfare – Recommend flying into Minneapolis or Duluth, Minnesota
  • Lodging – Recommend Oveson’s Pelican Lake Resort & Inn in Orr, MN (218-757-3613)
  • Ground transportation
  • Meals