Private Photography Sessions

If a professional photographer, videographer, moviemaker, or any individual wants to film or view the bears during closed hours, a fee will be required. The fee for still photographers, Tuesdays through Saturdays, is $275 per person, per day. Regardless of weather conditions, bear activity, or how long you photograph. The Sanctuary is closed to visitors on Sunday and Mondays. Photographers wishing to shoot at the Sanctuary on a Sunday or Monday will be charged a fee of $350 per person and need to contact our office for approval. All photo sessions include a complimentary digital version of our basic membership, Bear in Mind, don’t forget to provide us with your e-mail address to receive your copy. YOU MUST BE 18 YEARS OR OLDER TO REGISTER AND ATTEND ALL PHOTO SESSIONS/WORKSHOPS. ID REQUIRED UPON ARRIVAL IF REQUESTED BY STAFF. 

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There are numerous individual wild black bears that visit the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary throughout the summer season. They range in age from females with spring cubs to old males approaching their thirtieth birthday. They vary in color from the deepest black to all shades of brown. They exhibit natural behaviors that even seasoned researchers rarely, if ever get to witness including scent marking, mating, play, dispersal, nursing, and dominance struggles. Some have called the Sanctuary “the best place in North America to photograph wild black bears in their natural habitat”. After a mandatory bear safety session, private photographers get to roam the open areas by foot in our 2.5 acres as wild bears go about their day. Photo session length varies with the time of year and bear activity. Once you register, a representative will be in touch to schedule a bear safety training session and to give you a start time. Everyone MUST renew their bear safety session each year. Since the bears are on a strict feeding schedule, we do not allow photographers on the grounds any earlier than the time that is communicated to you. Most photographers arrive around first light and stay until sunset. You may bring a lunch with you to eat in the safety of your car, however, you may also leave the property for lunch and then come back to finish your photo session. This must be coordinated with ABA staff.