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Photographing Wildlife Ethically

Emil McCain – Owner

Yellowstone Wild photography instructor guides are leaders in the field of ethical wildlife photography. Deep understanding of wildlife biology and keen observational skills drive our guides’ uncanny ability to set our photography clients up for powerful images, while truly respecting the wildlife, without causing any undue stress, discomfort or harm. The ability to read animal behavior and predict their next movements, along with an intimate understanding of the topography, often allows us to plan ahead and set up for dream shots of Yellowstone’s iconic wildlife on the stunning winter landscape.

We encourage our photographers to focus on capturing images of wildlife interacting naturally with their habitat, with each other and their prey species, unaffected by our presence. Our photo guides strive to help you use your images to tell powerful stories of animal behavior and ecology, and create a sense of place out in the pristine winter setting of Yellowstone National Park!

Although we acknowledge the appeal of getting up-close portrait-style images of wildlife, we are careful to adhere to the ethic (and Park Service Regulations) that if our presence is causing an animal to change its natural behavior in any way, we are causing undue stress. Life in the wild is never easy, and Yellowstone’s severe winter conditions make every day a struggle for survival for all wildlife. In fact, winter kills more wildlife in Yellowstone than any other factor. By reading animal behavior and being sensitive to their needs, we can assure that we are not making their day to day lives any harder. 

The result of this ethic, coupled with proper equipment (see below), is authentic images of wildlife doing their thing in their environment, behaving as if we are not there. This sense of place helps tell the story of wildlife existence in the grandeur of a Yellowstone winter, harsh winter conditions often highlighting the dramas of life in the wild, welcome additions to any photographer’s portfolio.

From $4500

We’re excited to be offering two immersive Yellowstone Photography Workshops for Winter 2025. Each workshop will focus on encouraging all levels of photographers to hone their visual storytelling skills through one-on-one instruction with a local professional photographer.

2025 Workshop Dates and Instructor

Workshop 1:   9-Days: 1/5/2025 – 1/13/2025 ~ Led by local photographer Evan Watts 

Workshop 2:   7-Days: 2/9/2025 – 2/15/2025 – Led by local photographer Rob Harwood