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Private Wildlife Photography Tour

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Wildlife Photo Tour with Local Professional Wildlife Photographer

Spend the day immersed in photographing Yellowstone’s wildlife-rich Lamar Valley area, revered as the gem of North American wildlife photography. Yellowstone boasts the largest intact ecosystem in the northern temperate zone, and scientists believe the park is now as rich, diverse and healthy as it has ever been. Capturing images of bison in the morning light with thermals in the background or a mother grizzly bear with cubs in a sea of silver-green sage is on any photographer’s dream list and would be a signature Yellowstone image to add to any portfolio. On our photo tours this dream can become a reality.

Join award-winning wildlife photographer and filmmaker Brad Orsted as he guides you through his backyard, Yellowstone National Park. Brad lives in Gardiner, Montana, at the north entrance to the park and spends most of his day in Yellowstone, photographing and filming its apex predators and scenery for National Geographic, The BBC, PBS, Nature, and ARTE. His photography has appeared in publications and on billboards across the West, as well as the AP, including The Washington Post. His Cougar Pose image was named in the top ten images for the decade by Mountain Outlaw.

Exploring Yellowstone’s Northern Range, our focus will likely be on the predators and their prey, who are most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. We will spend our time in the best places to find these icons of American wilderness, while discussing the ecology and natural history driving their behavior. Understanding the ecology and behavior of your subjects will help you tell their story through your photographs and will help you read and predict their movements to best position yourself to capture outstanding images.

On these excursions, we will likely encounter wolves, grizzly and black bears, bison, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, otters, and numerous other species, large and small. Depending on the season, we may focus additional time on any one of many different aspects of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. It might be the bugling elk during their breeding season in September/October or the bashing heads of the bighorn rams during their breeding season in November/December. It might be the birthing bison on the emerald green bottomlands of the Lamar Valley in May or the spawning cutthroat trout in June. Late May through early June is the best time to find a mother grizzly with her tiny cubs foraging along a mountain stream and across a sage-covered slope.

There is something totally magical happening everyday somewhere in Yellowstone; it’s just a matter of finding it. Every day in Yellowstone is different and unpredictable, and therefore, we like to leave room for adapting to situations as they arise to fully maximize each opportunity as it presents itself. Whether it’s a grizzly bear crossing the road, a lightning storm over Electric Peak, or the array of autumn colors of aspen, cottonwood, and willows along the Lamar River, we aim to take full advantage of every bit of magic that Yellowstone presents to us.


Photograph the magic of Yellowstone’s abundant wildlife and iconic beauty
Full-day (~8 hours) private guided photo tour
One-on-one instruction while shooting with one of Yellowstone’s most well-known local photographers
Vast wide-open landscapes and abundant wildlife
Small private group – no more than 6 guests
All skill levels welcome
Breakfast and lunch – picnic style – catered by the region’s best boutique eco-lodge, the Wonderland Café and Lodge
Interpretation of wildlife activity and behavior through observation and dynamic, engaging discussions
Informed and accurate information on the biology, geology, and conservation issues surrounding the wildlife and landscapes you will experience on our tours

Note from Brad:

Hi everyone, and welcome!

Thank you for taking the time to look into a photography tour together. Here are my goals for you during our time together:

Through a full immersion into the Yellowstone ecosystem, you will learn not only the functionality of how to capture iconic images, but a deeper understanding of our subjects by sharing in their world. We will learn how, why, and where different animals move at different times, and how to use our instincts and animal allies in the field to help us locate our subjects. Through a respectful and more meaningful re-connection to the landscape we become not only better observers, but more accomplished storytellers – with our cameras.

I look forward to sharing what I have learned over the past decade photographing in Yellowstone with you. Yellowstone is a land sacred to me, with many stories to be revealed to those with the skills, patience and cunning to seek them out. During our time together, it’s my personal goal to not only help you become a better photographer, but for you to be at home in the wild; to open your eyes, ears, and imagination to the wonders of the world’s first National Park, my home, Yellowstone.

Brad Orsted
Gardiner, Montana

What is included and what you need to bring: