top of page

Acerca de

mom and cub-2 copy.jpg

Photo by Discover Churchill

Polar Bears, Belugas and Northern Lights 
A photography adventure with Nikon Ambassador Kristi Odom and Forest Gustaveson  

August 13th - August 19th, 2023

When asked about what I am most excited to photograph (that I never have) the animal that comes to mind first and foremost is the Polar Bear!  I am really excited to be finally leading a Polar Bear workshop in Churchill Canada!  Join me and Forest Gustaveson for our inaugural Polar Bear Trip!!  Since this is my first trip out there, a close friend and amazing photographer Kasey Mueller has provided images from the same location and while on a trip with the same outfitter that we are using.  Our outfitter has also given me a few images to use.  I am so grateful!

There is a small window in the late summer when all the things that make Churchill Canada amazing are available all on the same itinerary. In the late summer the belugas are in the river, the bears are on the tundra, and the northern lights fill the sky.

This workshop takes place over one week with 6 action filled days.  From photographing the night sky with the northern lights to the famous polar bears, this workshop is packed with photographic opportunities galore.    

With a 4 to 1 guest to teacher ratio, this workshop is very limited in numbers, so both Kristi and Forest will have lots of time to spend with each person.  

Our mission is to provide our guests with life-changing experiences and to give them the tools to share their stories. Whether you are a professional photographer or just purchased your first camera, we believe that you can change the world through your own visual storytelling.

Throughout the workshop, we will be teaching classes, assisting with any photography questions and offering one-on-one mentoring.


polar bear-92 copy_edited.jpg

Photo by Discover Churchill

Photo by Discover Churchill


This is a sample itinerary and subject to change.  

Day 1

Today our adventure begins!  On arriving at Winnipeg, you will meet the group at our hotel.  Our first night is in a hotel close to the airport to give us plenty of time to rest after a long flight.  The group will come together for a lecture in which Kristi will give you photography tools that you can use on the adventure ahead!  After the lecture we will get to know the group better at our first group dinner.  


Photo by Discover Churchill

Day 2

Fly to Churchill. Churchill is known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World”.  From July to November around 800 Polar Bears migrate through this area.   

After arriving we will explore town and the area while looking for wildlife. 


Each night in Churchill we will be on aurora watch and if the aurora makes an appearance before midnight, we will go out to photograph the sky.  With around 300 nights a year with the Aurora Borealis visible, Churchill is one of the best destinations on earth to see the Northern Lights. 


DSC_3406 copy_edited_edited.jpg

Photo by Discover Churchill

Day 3 & Day 4

On these two days we will embark on an adventure of a lifetime!  Starting with a three hour zodiac tour looking for the beluga whales.  The shallow waters attract over 3500-4000 Beluga Whales to mate and birth their young making it one of the most accessible places in the world to see them.  Their curiosity gives them the tendency to follow boats and sometimes you can hear them singing underwater. 


In the afternoon and early evening, we will spend the rest of the day on the tundra looking for polar bears and other wildlife.  With the flowers in bloom, if we get lucky, we may be able to photograph the polar bears amongst the fireweeds.  This time of year still has the polar bears, but way less tourism.  We believe strongly in not disturbing wildlife on our tours and high season puts a ton of stress on animals.  These times with less traffic are much more environmentally friendly and our interactions will be more private, giving us more opportunity to spent time watching behavior and being less obtrusive.   Our tour operator told me about how it isn't uncommon to be the only vehicle out there watching a mom with her cub during this time of year.  


Our vehicles are small 4x4 vehicles.  Which helps us not be so obtrusive.  Our vehicles fit 4 students, one photo instructor and our guide.  So you will have lots of opportunity to ask questions and get the perfect photograph.


In the evenings you will have a chance to have a one on one with Kristi and/or Forest getting valuable feedback on your photos.   

Photo by Discover Churchill

Day 5

Today is an action packed day with a half day wildlife tundra tour and dogsledding.  We will end the day with a wine and cheese
night at Nights Under Lights aurora viewing yurt photographing landscapes and hoping for a beautiful showing of the Aurora Borealis.  

Day 6

Our last morning will be spent on the tundra looking for polar bears.  We then fly to Winnipeg and have an evening image share and a group dinner to share all our favorite memories.  


Day 7

Today we will wake up for a group breakfast and spend some time to say goodbye to our new friend and the amazing staff that helped us explore the polar bear capital of the world!

Photos by Discover Churchill and Kasey Mueller



  • August 13th to August 19th, 2023

Education Overview

  • Class on camera settings for Polar Bears and Photographing the Aurora

  • Camera techniques to improve your visual storytelling

  • Drawing people into landscapes through photography


  • Roundtrip airfare between Winnipeg and Churchill

  • All meals once you get to Churchill

  • Two Beluga Whale zodiac tours

  • Four wildlife tundra tours

  • Low tide hike to the SS Ithaka shipwreck

  • One town and area tour

  • Dogsledding

  • Wildlife tundra tours

  • Learn about Indigenous ways of knowing from Churchill’s Knowledge Keepers

  • Shared Accommodation in Winnipeg on both ends of the trip (in a double room with two beds)

  • Five nights shared accommodation in Churchill (in a double room with two beds)


  • International Air tickets to Winnipeg

  • Travelers Insurance**

  • Alcohol

  • Items of a personal nature

  • Gratuities


  • Price:

    • $7850 After January 1st, 2023

    • $7500 Early Bird Special (before January 1st, 2023) 

  • $2000 nonrefundable retainer at time of booking

  • Maximum 8 Photographers

*Single room upgrade - $750

**Travel Insurance is Required

Cub Kisses SM 16_9_edited.jpg
Photo by Kasey Mueller

Photo by Discover Churchill



  • Is August a good time to photograph Polar Bears? 

National Geographic and other publications have been showing lots of photos recently of Polar Bears amongst the fireweeds, which is from this time of year. We believe that there are compelling images of the polar bears on land.  According to our tour operator there is very little tourist traffic at this time, and it isn't uncommon to see and mom with her cub for a full hour with no other people around. Plus, it is the best time of year for the overlap of Polar Bears, Belugas and Northern Lights.  Also, a huge bonus is that it will not be 40 below, which to me is a big plus.   

  • What animals might we see?  

While no wildlife is guaranteed, that is why it is wild, we hope to see Polar Bears, Belugas, Arctic Hares, Arctic Foxes, Ptarmigans, Bald Eagles and a variety of other birds

  • How do I photograph the Belugas? 

While we can’t get in the water with the whales the underwater shots are quite easy with Go Pros, phone housings, or full-on underwater housings. 

  • How do I get there?

You will need to fly into and out of Winnipeg, in on August 13th out on August 19th.  You are welcome to arrive early (early arrival is encouraged in case of flight cancellations or delays), but all costs outside of our trip dates will be your responsibility.  

  • How physically demanding is this trip

Our vehicles and zodiacs will be doing all the work.  So sit back and enjoy being driven around to see and experience the wildlife.  

  • What kind of vehicle will we be in?

We are not in one of those huge 40-person tundra buggies that are common for polar bear trips, instead we are in 4x4 GMC Savanna vans with doors on both sides and step stools for easy access.  Originally configured for 10 passengers they have been modified to fit 5 photographers comfortably.  There is a photo in the itinerary above.  

  • How many guests are in each vehicle?

Maximum 4 guest, one instructor and one guide in each vehicle.   ​​​​

  • Any recommendation for travel insurance?

I personally use an Allianz Global policy.​

  • What about Visas?

Canada does not currently require US citizens to have a visa for stays under 180 days.  

  • What about Vaccinations?

Currently Canada requires all non-Canadian citizens aged 18 and over entering the country to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.




Kristi Odom is an internationally acclaimed photographer, a Nikon Ambassador, an associate fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, and a motivational speaker. A photographer and filmmaker, her work focuses on connecting people emotionally to animals and celebrating those who have a connection to the natural world. 

Her accolades include over 60 international photography awards including 2 Nature’s Best Photography awards, which exhibited her images at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Her work has appeared either online and/or in print for the following clients: National Geographic, Nikon, Forbes, Rollingstone, Microsoft and Outside Magazine. 



Forest has been a lead instructor for Kristi Odom Photography for the last four years, leading photographers to photograph just about everything from bears in Alaska to lions in Kenya.  He has worked on campaigns for Nikon, both in his home state of Colorado and internationally.  His Ecuador video for Nikon has had over 80k views.  He has taught not just at the workshops but on stage for camera clubs as well as Photoplus in New York.  

Forest's deepest passion lies in the mountains. As an avid outdoor enthusiast, Forest uses his camera to share his love of adventure and the natural world. His background is rooted outdoor education where the mountains have been his classroom to bring people closer to the outside world. He has lived all over the U.S. including California, Utah, and even a remote mining town in Alaska. 

Backlit Polar Bear's Breath Cool CDCC_edited.jpg
Photos by Kasey Mueller
While this trip is sold out, fill out the information below to be on the waitlist and/or to be on the prenotification list for 2024.  

We are excited that you want to join this adventure! We'll get back to you soon.

bottom of page