Aurora Bear
About
Aurora Bear is a photography school in Fairbanks Alaska. We are specialized in Aurora- and Wildlife-photography: Learn from our skilled & experienced photographers how to take amazing Aurora photos! Create your everlasting memories with us!
Fairbanks, Alaska

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(22 reviews)
(8 reviews)
(39 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles185 reviews
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Jennifer G
Chicago, IL1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021
There are several options for Northern Lights tours in Fairbanks, but I doubt that any can compare to Aurora Bear! We had a tour booked for our first night in Fairbanks. As luck would have it, the forecast was not good and we’d have a slim chance of seeing the lights that night. Frank reached out to see how long we would be staying in Fairbanks and graciously offered to move our tour to another night with a better chance viewing.

Two nights later his lovely wife Miriam picked us up from our Airbnb and drove us to their home. When we arrived the Aurora was already beginning, and the sky was filled with stars We didn’t think I could get better than that but we were wrong. After stargazing and watching the lights for a couple of hours we went inside for some delicious soup, homemade bread, and wonderful drinks. Frank and Miriam, along with their incredibly sweet dogs, sat and visited with us as if we were lifelong friends. We truly felt like their personal guests.

We went back outside around midnight just in time to see the lights put on a real show. We were extremely lucky and were able to see the lights dance across the sky and change colors. It was like nothing we’ve ever seen before! It happened to be my birthday, and at the stroke of midnight Miriam ran out with a bottle of champagne and sang happy birthday. It was a night we will never forget. I highly recommend this tour to anyone going to Fairbanks. It was the highlight of our entire trip!
Written February 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mudita v
Gurugram (Gurgaon), India11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
If you are looking for an intimate aurora experience in Fairbanks, I'd highly recommend Aurora bear LLC. My husband and I booked a last-minute trip to Alaska in September to see the Northern lights and I am so glad I found Frank and Miriam's page! Frank is very prompt with communication and booking details, he also spent some extra time recommending some other things to do during our stay.
For us, it was not just about seeing the lights and getting a few pictures but to experience life in Alaska and have an experience that we would cherish forever. Frank and Miriam's story from Germany to Alaska is equal parts fascinating and inspiring. You get to enjoy a cozy evening in their beautiful house with warm bread and the best soup we have had (going to need the recipe!), learn about the science behind the phenomenon of the Northern lights and watch Aurora from the cute swing setup outside. Oh not to forget their doggos are the absolute cutest!

We are not into photography and I did not have a DSLR but Frank helped me in learning about some tricks to capture the lights on my iphone. It was by far our favorite night in Fairbanks and we would definitely be back again to explore Alaska in winters with Frank and Miriam.
Written October 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan W
New York City, NY4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
While the Aurora was only minimally cooperative and temperatures were near 20 below 0 F, the hospitality was great. Highly recommend aurora watching from this home base, with the comforts of wood burning stove, snacks, hot drinks, midnight soup, and great conversation.

I signed up the for the Advanced Photography Tour and greatly appreciated the instruction and demonstrations in night time photography and using Lightroom.
Written November 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lorax
Seattle, WA19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
Of course, you can come here to see the amazing aurora, learn the science behind the aurora and get excellent photography instruction on how to best capture the aurora, and be served delicious food while learning but, that's not what this review is about! This review is about the outhouse at Aurora Bear LLC and how it is situated to provide you with a beautiful view of the snowy landscape or a magnificent view, front row in fact, to the beautiful northern lights. I ask you - have you ever used an outhouse built and orientated to provide an awesome view of the northern lights? With the split door, you can stay private and still have a show or just open both doors for a top to bottom show. Of course, you might find it a bit chilly, so be quick - but think of the story you will have to tell your friends that stayed home and watched Netflix in their PJs all weekend.
Written February 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew Ross
San Diego, CA10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021 • Couples
I booked a tour through Aurora Bear as a surprise gift for my partner who is amateur photographer. We were staying at Borealis Basecamp and I wanted to make sure he would have all of the tools necessary for the nights when the Aurora was dancing in the sky. Frank delivered on that and much more.

Frank picked us up along with one of his pups Muka and we drove up to his home which has its own amazing story and the story of how he ended up in Alaska was pretty awesome as well. As soon as we arrived and we’re met by the dogs the Aurora subtly started showing itself to us so we sat on a swing with a blanket and watched a little bit of the show before heading inside where Frank had snacks, drinks, and an incredibly informative presentation set up for us. He walked us through the entire camera, settings, etc without losing our attention or confusing us. He takes the camera and relates everything to real life examples so it clicks and you’ll remember what he means. Frank is probably one of the smartest people I’ve met in my 34 years on the planet and an amazing teacher/mentor. He and his wife went above and beyond to make sure we were comfortable and enjoyed ourselves.

Not that Frank sells the Aurora itself, but when we went outside the sky lit up and the Aurora showed off. It was amazing.

I highly highly highly recommend booking with Aurora Bear.
Written January 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cindi K
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
Fabulous evening! Frank and Miriam are most gracious hosts - and the dogs are tons of fun. Their cabin is very comfortable and they go out of their way to make you feel at home. Frank did a great job helping each photographer individually to make sure that you came out with great photos.
I really liked that the cost of the trip varies based on photographer/non-photographer and that the group is kept to a small number.
My husband and I left very happy (if a bit tired) with great memories of the evening.
Written March 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tim S
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Honestly, this is the only way I could imagine shooting the Aurora! You don't feel like a client but a guest in their home.

It starts the a pickup in at your hotel in Fairbanks then a comfortable ride to Aurora Bear with pleasant conversation. You are then greeted by their fury pack which much prefers it when you're petting them for the rest of the evening. You spend some time in the living with hot or cold beverages and snacks learning about the science behind the aurora along with shooting techniques. Did I mention that the dogs prefer to be on your lap on the couch? You then layer up for a guided shoot of the aurora throughout their expansive property along groomed trails finding different compositions. There is guidance for any questions or even for a challenge in how you're shooting! You return to the warmth inside, along with the doggos, to warm back up with more hot beverages and maybe some incredible soup! You discuss your evening, maybe go out again, then they return you back to your hotel in the wee hours of the morning!

I can't recommend Aurora Bear enough!
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Awwww - Thank you so much, Tim and Megan, for these wonderful words (and for cuddling the dogs all the time ;o))! All six of us loved to have you here and we feel very lucky we have been able to spend time with you guys. It is always something special to have guests who are as nerdy into photography as we are, but being able to spend time with friends, who are as nerdy into photography as we are AND are as crazy about our dogs as we are AND love to crawl through the snow to get the perfect shot as we do, is outstanding. So thank you guys for coming out to our place and making the evenings with you so special and precious. Don't wait too long to come back! You know, it's only a cat hop to Fairbanks from Seattle! Hope to see you soon and sending lots of hugs from the six of us, Miriam and the furry pack
Written March 7, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Akshay
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020 • Solo
I visited Frank for the beginner photography workshop on November 19th. We had chatted on Instagram a few weeks prior on what to expect and what camera equipment I need to carry ( lenses.. tripod.. etc) and helped me prepare mentally and physically for the workshop ( it was 15 degrees below zero in Fairbanks)..

I arrived at Frank’s beautiful home in Fairbanks and was greeted by his wife, and his four adorable dogs ( Dippy , Nuk’ah! , Kodiak and Kailash). The workshop started with frank explaining the physics of a camera and how all the components work in tandem to capture an image (super informative for a beginner), after which we proceeded to take picture of the aurora. The aurora was absolutely amazing, nothing like I expected, and frank was there to guide you thorough every single picture I took. The end result was absolutely stunning when I edited it the next day.

Overall, amazing hospitality, and makes you feel like a member of their household. His personality is striking, and very inspiring on how he takes photography very seriously, and inspires you to become better at taking pictures.

YOU HAVE TO VISIT FRANK, else you have not seen Fairbanks. My experience was so good that I had to visit twice!

100/10 experience.
Written November 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cathy D
Folsom, CA8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Friends
We visited Aurora Bear Photography in late September 2021 on the recommendation of photographers in our community. We booked our aurora viewing sessions on two concurrent nights just to hedge our bets in case the first night was unsuccessful. Fortunately, the aurora came out and danced for us the first night. We got lots of wonderful images and were able to enjoy Aurora Bear’s spectacular landscape and hospitality.

Frank and Mirium are gracious hosts and Frank is very knowledgeable about photography and in particular aurora photography. He worked well with my novice photographer daughter as well as my daughter with more photography experience.

I would love to the repeat the trip again in the spring. Next time, we would like to go full moon snowshoeing to view the aurora.
Written October 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Cathy, thank you very much for your sweet words and taking the time to write us a review! It was great having you and your daughters out here with us and we are happy that you had a good time! All the very best for you all - please say Hi to your daughters from us - stay safe and thanks again!
Written March 20, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rahul Pathak
Mexico City, Mexico22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
We did the tours twice with Frank & Miriam. They are both super nice people, very friendly, very knowledgeable and more than anything very professional in what they do - and that is most important. Their dogs are super amazing. Their property is very well located to view the northern lights away from the light pollution of the city of Fairbanks. Although we did not have the best viewing of the lights due to cloud cover, but still we thoroughly enjoyed their company. Novice photographers can learn a lot of tips about taking good shots. This tour is highly recommended!!
Written December 31, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Ruchita, der Rahul, thank you for your wonderful words and for staying with us for two evenings. It was so much fun having you guys. Rahul will for sure hold the title of "The toughest Snowshoer" for a very long time! ;o) And Kodiak for sure will miss all the cuddle time Ruchita shared with him. Save travels back to your super warm home and give your furry kids a few belly rubs from us. Happy New Year from the 6 of us, Miriam .... and now, that you have this awesome snow pants, you could just come back next winter for more northern lights, dogmushing and cuddle time with Nuk'ah!, Dippy, Kodiak and Kailash, right ...
Written January 1, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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