For people who want a more in-depth photography experience, we offer a variety of options both inside and outside the enclosure. This is great for art reference, wildlife photography, documentary filming, and just for fun! Programs are led by world-renowned photographer Monty Sloan.
WOLF PARK OFFERS:
- Photography Seminars – These scheduled programs feature a short seminar on photographing wolves followed by a chance to enter the enclosure and photograph Wolf Park’s animal residents.
- Professional Photography Session – These scheduled programs are geared to those who have previously taken a Wolf Park Photography Seminar or have expertise in photographing wildlife. Like the Photography Seminars, they involve time in with Wolf Park’s animal residents.
- Private Photography Options – including through-the-fence photo tours and private group photography sessions. These are geared for photo clubs or the professional who need a specific date outside our regular sessions.
Day-long photography seminars provide participants with a training session regarding tips for photographing animals led by Wolf Park’s photographer, Monty Sloan. He’ll discuss how to get the best out of your time in with the wolves, including good angles, flash usage, and how to eliminate fencing and other background clutter in your shots. This is followed by sessions with the wolves. Participants receive at least two hours’ time with the animals.
You do not have to be a “professional” photographer to attend! Bring the camera of your choice and learn how to photograph Wolf Park’s socialized wolves in a low-key, relaxed setting.
- 9:30am Tips and basic wolf photography methodologies.
- 11:00 Presentation regarding safely interacting with the animals (Required for entering the enclosure)
- Break for lunch*
- We usually step in with the wolves around 2 PM (earlier if the weather looks bad for the late afternoon) and we spend time photographing wolves inside our large wooded 7-acre enclosure. We will be taking several breaks during the program, but we try our best to give photographers more than two hours of time photographing our animals.
- Wrap up by 5:00pm
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY SESSIONS
These programs are primarily directed at photographers that are already skilled at wildlife photography. No formal photography instruction is provided. Participants receive about two to three-plus hours’ time with the animals depending on the program. As with the seminars, sessions may involve one or more breaks to allow the animals to relax (and participants to warm back up or dry out depending on the weather)
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY DAY
- 9:30am Presentation regarding safely interacting with the animals (Required for entering the enclosure)
- 11:00 Animal photography session 1
- Break for lunch*
- 2:00 Animal photography session 2
- Wrap up by 5:00pm
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY AFTERNOON
- 1:00 PM Presentation regarding safely interacting with the animals (Required for entering the enclosure)
- 2:30 Animal photography session
- Wrap up by 5:00pm
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY – “AN EVENING WITH WOLVES”
During summer months and early fall, we offer evening photography sessions in the main enclosure. These are relaxed two-hour sessions with a pack of wolves. These are limited to four people max. They offer good opportunities to talk with the staff, photograph the wolves in evening light, and enjoy the park at a peaceful time of day. If the weather is nice, we may even take the group out in the rowboat and photograph from there.
PRIVATE PHOTOGRAPHY OPTIONS:
THROUGH-THE-FENCE WOLF PHOTOGRAPHY
This program is for those who want to photograph the wolves at odd hours of the day (late afternoons and evenings) or in the winter months even when we are not open to visitations. This is also a good program for those on a budget, or for those who simply can’t go in with the wolves.
This program is held by Monty inside the safety fence where you can put your lens right up to the habitat fencing. (A good DSLR with a long focal length lens will “blur” out the fence, making it invisible in most shots. Smaller ‘pocket’ cameras may have a lens small enough to simply fit through the chain link which is potentially even better.) When possible, we may also be able to get some great photos through the observation room window. Monty takes a lot of his photographs this way, so although you are above them, the wolves are great at posing from this spot.
Participants must call in advance to make an appointment and not all times are available due to conflicts with other programs held at Wolf Park. For an appointment please call the main office, 765-567-2265 M-F 9-5 Eastern time or email [email protected].
Fees: $100 per person per hour. Maximum 5 participants**.
This program does not include contact with the animals. Photography is through the fence only. Photographers should be age 15 or over. Other restrictions may apply.
PRIVATE PHOTOGRAPHY SESSIONS IN WITH THE WOLVES
These programs are available for photographers wanting unique images or who cannot attend one of our regular seminars. A safety presentation, lasting approximately one hour, is required prior to entering the enclosure.
- Private Photography Session: $395 per person for a 90-minute session in with the wolves. $200 for an additional hour per person. Max time 150 minutes. These sessions are for the individual photographer but can accommodate groups up to five people. Larger groups can sign up for a private group photo session.
- Private group photo session: Does your photography club want a private photography seminar with our wolves? Or perhaps it is just you and your friends who would like a private photography session. We can arrange that. These programs run the same as our regular photography programs (Evening/Seminar/Professional Photography Session or Professional Photography Day), with a minimum of 6 participants (3 for an evening session)
GENERAL INFO FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
Tripods are discouraged. Monopods are OK. Tripods or monopods covered in foam padding are not allowed. A flash is permitted.
Be sure to bring extra batteries, flashcards, etc. we can’t tell you how many photographers have run out of card space or ended up with a dead battery. Wear garments with pockets in which to carry extra gear. However, anything sticking out of the pocket is not a good idea. Some of our wolves are proven pickpockets. Camera bags, cases, fanny packs, backpacks, etc. are not allowed in the enclosure as the wolves want to go “shopping” in them. Basically, anything ‘squishy’ is fun to chew on and squish… The exception is a camera strap around the neck. The wolves are fine with those if you are wearing the strap around your neck, and because you may need your hands free at times, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to have a strap for your camera. Please call if you have any specific questions as two what you can have inside the enclosure.
As with any wildlife photography, a longer focal length lens is recommended. A zoom lens is also a good idea as the wolves are free to move about the enclosure but bring what you are most comfortable with. As an example, Monty mostly uses a 100-400mm lens while working with the wolves inside the enclosure. However, he may use a longer 500mm at times or a wide-angle if in a silly wolf mood…
Plan for the weather. We will be outside for long stretches. Dress warm. Bring changes of closes if necessary. Rubber raincoats are generally not allowed as the wolves may try to eat them. Bring small hand towels to shield your camera from snow and rain. Plastic bags and covers are not allowed as the wolves want to shred those.
Sessions will be held in most weather, including rain or snow. Call ahead if you are uncertain about the weather. We have not yet canceled a seminar due to weather; the wolves are actually more interesting, more active and the photo opportunities are better in inclement weather. There is usually time to dodge between downpours. The schedule may change if we are working around rain showers and we do not want to be out if there is lightning.
Snacks and sack lunches are encouraged. We may not break for lunch depending on the weather. We have a refrigerator and microwave available upon request.
Participants must be at least 18 years of age and physically capable of safely interacting with the wolves. The grounds inside the enclosure are natural, overgrown, and in many places full of holes the wolves have dug. There are very few places to sit down so you will need to be able to stand for at least an hour at a time and on a cold rainy day — that can take a toll on any of us.
Want to see the kind of photos you can get at Wolf Park? Monty Sloan takes pictures of the wolves regularly.
Our animals are also available for video media and have appeared in several notable programs on the BBC and PBS. Television crews, news crews, and filmmakers, please contact our office at 765-567-2265 or [email protected] for more information on filming our animals.
*Depending on the weather conditions, we may skip the lunch break and go in right after the safety talk, so if the weather looks like rain, we recommend bringing a lunch.
**We may be able to accommodate larger private groups for the through the fence program