brown bears, up close

Wild Brown Bears of Finland

In conjunction with Natures Images, join us in one of Europes most desolate and wild areas, along the Finnish and Russian border. Where, within the forests, lives the Brown Bear. A species that is as much impressive as it is threatened. During the summer nights, when darkness barely falls, the silence is broken only by the snapping of twigs as these beautiful animals come within feet of your hide.

Group Size: 7

Our Finnish brown bear workshop accommodates only 7 guests. For the most part we will have access to four 2-person hides during our stay.

Days Shooting: 4

This is a highly concentrated trip with one target species in mind. As such you will have four overnight sessions to maximise your time photographing bears in the area.

Fitness Level: Low to Medium

The 30 minute forest walk to the hides can be tricky in several places, over uneven terrain. Especially if the weather is either very hot or very wet. We will spend long hours in the hides, from 5pm until 730am the following morning. As it is midge season, repellent will be necessary.

All Experience Levels Welcome

This Finnish brown bear workshop is suitable for all levels of photographer. Some of the hides involve shooting under the canopy of the forest, so light levels can be low. So a faster aperture lenses would be very useful, though not essential.


Our guest house is very comfortable for the remote location, set amongst the forest and is based on twin rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

During Downtime

Due to the logistics of hide based shooting, there will be opportunity during our time back at base to go over images taken. This time can also be used for tips and advice.

This photo workshop is fully booked. Please see the full range of other photo safaris and workshops here.

Your workshop guide

Richard Peters is an ambassador for both Nikon and Datacolor with a style that is well known for capturing dramatic light, alongside having a friendly and down to earth manner. His work has been internationally acclaimed, including as a category winner in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and is one of the only British photographers to be named European Wildlife Photographer of the year. Richard has been a judge for many competitions, including the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year and the British Wildlife Photography Awards plus, been a keynote speaker to many industry events, from close to home in the UK to as far afield as Australia.

Hire a lens for your safari

Richard has partnered with Lenses for Hire, the UK's best known and most reliable lens rental company. We are pleased to offer UK residents a 10% discount on any lenses hired for your Wild Brown Bears of Finland workshop. With light levels in some of the forest hides sometimes being low, this could be the perfect opportunity to try out a faster zoom or prime lens. Feel free to get in touch and find out more.

Your full itinerary

Day 1: We all travel to Kajaani airport in Finland, via Helsinki, where we will be met for the 4 hour transfer to Martinselkonen. This will be our base for the duration of the trip. We will arrive too late in the evening for photography but over dinner we can discuss the days ahead.

Day 2: Our body clocks will take some adjusting as it will be light for almost 24 hours. After the previous days long journey, we suggest you use this morning to relax, ahead of our first night’s encounter with the bears. Breakfast and lunch will be served at set times and we will advise once there. There is a small bird feeder near the accommodation to spend a bit of photographic time at during the day too.

Dinner is around 3pm. Then we prepare ourselves and set off for the hides at 4pm. Sandwiches are provided for you to have in the hide during the night. We have use of four, 2-person hides. There is a variety of settings and positions for the hides, so each night will not be the same. The forest hide is set in the pine trees and the activity lasts well into the night. It is a beautiful setting and with a bit of luck young cubs will be around, they make for great shots when they climb the trees to escape the large males. The swamp hide setting again is beautiful, especially if the bears stand in the cotton grass. The pond hide, on a still night, offers incredible mirror like reflections.

Day 3-5: Each morning we head back to the accommodation for a well earned breakfast. A snack is provided at midday and then dinner at 3pm. The days then repeat this cycle.

Day 6: After our final overnight session, we'll have a quick shower and breakfast ahead of our transfer back to Kajaani and homeward bound.

Wild Brown Bears



June 26th - 1st July


How to book

This trip is now full.

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What's Included

  • Airport transfers in Finland
  • All accommodation in Finland
  • All meals

What's not included

  • International flights
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Sundry items
  • Alcohol