May 23-27, 2022: Beginner-Intermediate Level (FULL)
May is arguably the best month of the year for finding and photographing wildlife in Yellowstone. Most grizzly bears and black bears will be out of hibernation after the first week of May, actively looking for food in the lower elevation areas. Other wildlife like wolves, coyotes, foxes, and badgers are all possible to see throughout the park. Bison calves will be around at the beginning of the month, with elk calves starting to show up by the end of the month.
- Total cost of $1,397 includes transportation and instruction for the three full days in the park, plus an introductory dinner on the first night.
- We will meet for an introductory dinner on the evening of May 23rd
- Three full workshop days are May 24-26th
- You'll depart on May 27th
- Each day is roughly sunrise to sunset, depending on weather conditions.
This workshop is based in West Yellowstone, Montana. I would recommend lodging at the Holiday Inn, Best Western, or Gray Wolf Inn. Other options will work as well; as long as they are in town I can pick you up from your hotel.
Yellowstone is huge so there can be a lot of travel time in between wildlife sightings. Multiple days increase your odds of seeing different animals. We will travel one section of the park each day, overlapping the same areas often, but typically doing 100-200 miles per day.
The group is limited to only three photographers, and we will be traveling by regular vehicle.
This is an instructional photography workshop geared towards beginner to intermediate skill levels, but any skill level is welcome to join. Given the variability of skill levels, interest, and changing subjects I don't typically create a set curriculum for these trips. Instead, I prefer to help each individual person as needed. Please be prepared with your own questions about your gear and technique.
Post-processing instruction is optional but possible at the end of each day.
I'd highly recommending having a mirrorless camera capable of animal eye autofocus. Although not a requirement, it will greatly reduce the learning curve for wildlife photography. You'll want a lens with a focal length of at least 400mm on a crop sensor camera, or 600mm with full frame camera. The Nikon 200-500 and Canon 100-400 (or RF 100-500) are two great options.
I personally use the Canon 400mm f/2.8L IS II with a 1.4x or 2x extender most of the time (400mm, 560mm, 800mm).
Travel insurance is highly recommended because of the possibility of winter weather conditions causing airline or travel delays.
Trent Sizemore Photography, LLC is authorized by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, to conduct services in Yellowstone National Park.
Trent suggested certain effects through the low grass on the bank, where we were observing a female elk and her calf, and it was both fun and challenging to try it out then and there. He was also patient and encouraging, when I was switching out my lenses.
I was fortunate enough to book Trent for a three day workshop the first week of October 2018. First thing I have to say is that Trent is a truly nice person, as well as pro. Does he know cameras and settings forwards and backwards… YES. Is he technically proficient… YES. Does he know Yellowstone very well… YES. He is truly a professional guide and photography workshop expert. However, what sets Trent into an even more special category is his reverence towards the wildlife he studies and helps you photograph. I watched firsthand as Trent would ensure that the wildlife (or client) observed were not bothered nor endangered by the environment. Trent sets an exemplary example as to how to appreciate and observe wildlife, and is a true credit to his profession.
If you are looking for a workshop in Yellowstone National Park I would recommend Trent Sizemore. He is very knowledgeable about the local area and wildlife there. When you take his class you will work on lighting, composition, and the correct settings on your camera. I had a fun three days with him on his workshop.
Recently, I had the opportunity to spend time with Trent Sizemore. I along with two other student-participants, engaged Trent for a workshop located in the Yellowstone National Park. This workshop focused entirely on photographing wildlife in their natural setting. Trent is a licensed guide for this activity, lives in West Yellowstone and knows the Park intimately.
As a native of Montana, this was my second trip in two years to Yellowstone and the West. It is where my soul and heart resides. I was bursting with anticipation to be back in Montana and attend my first “in the field workshop” with a guide. This is an important point! The “class” is with camera in hand, lens of choice and in the park with a live, maybe moving subject and changing environment, (i.e. clouds, sun, various fields of view, angles and lighting). Your shot – your choices! No not entirely; Trent’s teaching style, after assessing your skill level, is to guide you and then gradually loosen the tether. First, shoot f/8, 400 shutter, adapt for ISO. What did you get – Why? Assess and adapt. There is in photography, like life itself, always a learning moment and then the all-important - - “take away.” Trent’s style is not a lecture but more the didactic approach. It is your chance to be fully open and learn. For example, here is a back lite opportunity, What are you shooting? Anyone on B/W? (Darn, that would be good). How are you accounting for the steam behind the Bison? Trent’s groups are small by design – only 3 in our group so you have all the time you need for questions. Maybe, Trent is not the most verbose person, I refer to it as the NW Montana or Gary Cooper style. However, question asked, question answered.
Our group photographed 11 different species in the park, as I recall and six bears in one day!! Trent cannot orchestrate the wildlife obviously but does know the animals, their patterns, behavior, and is totally protective of you the client while being respectful of the wildlife. Additionally, he knows many of the Park Rangers – always helpful. I shoot mirrorless now with a Fuji XT-2 and various lenses. Yes, a telephoto and maybe even an extender are pretty much a necessity. And while you are in God’s country take a few extra days and do some landscapes if so inclined. Overall, I am highly pleased with my experience, photos (1st round 😊) and the service Trent provided. If you need more information, feel free to message me.
Trent’s workshop at Yellowstone was a fabulous trip. The small group allows him to be interactive and provide 1 on 1 help. I learned a lot as it relates to my camera functions and how it corresponds to lighting conditions. He knew where a wild den was as well as a badger den. Unfortunately we did not see any wolves. I highly recommend using him as a guide in Yellowstone you won’t be disappointed.
I was very happy with the knowledge, and patience Trent showed to all of us at the May workshop this year. I learned so much about using my camera, there was a big difference between my 1st day pictures, and my 3rd day pictures. I would definitely recommend Trent’s workshop to anyone wanting to learn more about photography and Yellowstone.
We had a great day of photographing in Yellowstone with you last month. You certainly know where the bears can be found, and I learned some useful shooting techniques from you, as well. I have some good shots also of pronghorn, bison, a heron rookery, and various duck species, including harlequins, which we were most eager to see. I hope to spend some more time with you the next time we get to the park. Thanks for everything.
The photo workshop was great. Trent taught me more about my camera and new techniques, which are really helping me to improve my photography skills. It was also a really fun trip as I did not have to worry about finding my way or doing any of the driving. We saw gorgeous country and wonderful wildlife. It was an excellent choice to give myself this opportunity.
Outdoors, nature, beauty, art, education. My three days in Trent’s workshop were fun, instructional and fulfilling. My photographic knowledge now includes back button focus and continuous single point auto focus. I have a better understanding of natural light and the benefit of continuous shutter release. Despite using a camera from a different manufacturer than mine, Trent knew more about my camera than I did. He taught me camera mechanics as well as composition and shooting angles. We visited and appreciated many areas in and outside the Park. I learned a lot and realized I still have more to learn. Trent is a great guide and teacher. Everyone could learn from and appreciate Trent’s workshop. And what better location than Yellowstone.
Last week, I attended Trent Sizemore’s workshop in Apalachicola, Florida, and would encourage anyone who is considering signing up for any of his workshops to do so.
My goal was to learn how to use manual settings on my camera, and by the third day of the workshop, I was able to (most of the time) choose the correct settings on my camera and get good photos.
Due to the small group size, Trent was able to tailor his instruction to the skill level of each client, ensuring that everyone’s skills improved by the end of the workshop.
Included in the workshop was a two-hour session, where Trent covered enough content on Adobe Lightroom to enable me to understand how to use it to properly edit my photos and most importantly, how to not over edit them in order for them to remain realistic.
Trent is a patient teacher and will explain a concept multiple times and in different ways until it “sinks in.” Once I paid for the workshop, I was given access to his online course material, which will serve as a great resource for me as I continue to practice my new skills.
I look forward to learning more, and I do plan to attend one of Trent’s workshops in Yellowstone NP as soon as I have time to take a trip out West.
Trent is a very talented and professional photographer who was a pleasure to work with and learn from. I know that I am fortunate to have stumbled upon his amazing wildlife photos on Instagram, that led me to his website and workshops.
Rev. Gerald Burns
Trent Sizemore was recommended to me by a good friend and I certainly was not disappointed. Trent, is safe (obeys all recommended laws of Yellowstone National Park), carefully watches out for his clients (some animals and landscapes are potentially dangerous), is financially reasonable, is incredibly knowledgable about not only photography, (my travel partner joined me in spending a whole morning advancing our photo skills in his teaching workshop.) but also about the location of beautiful landscapes and the possible location of the various animals.
Due to his capable experience I was able to get really good photographs of: bison, otters, coyotes, big horn sheep (male and female), a fox mousing, elk and was fortunate to see some wolves feeding at a good distance. Trent was punctual each day, arriving at the agreed time and was tireless in his efforts to find animals and landscapes that anyone would want. He could recommend where we enjoy a good meal or simply a good pizza (they can be the same).
I would love the opportunity to make a fall trip to Yellowstone in the not too distant future and have him as they guide.
I had the opportunity to spend three days with Trent Sizemore in Yellowstone, January 25,26 and 27, 2018. A bit chilly that time of year, 3 below one morning. The highlight of the trip was 2+ hours watching /photographing a pack of wolves dine (two at a time - wolf etiquette) on a felled elk from about 100 yards out, the pack was up a hill and out of sight.
In addition to the wolves, spotted on the last day, during the first two days we had shots of Bison, Swans, Elk (from 50 yards), a Fox from a great distance (250 yards out) and a Coyote feeding on trout (yes feeding on trout) across the Madison River shooting from about 125 yards for almost an hour. Landscape, actually snowscape, till your heart's desire.
Trent is very patient, good with all makes and models of cameras, and offers effective settings for a given situation (when snowing and blowing for example) and last, but not least, a well-versed Yellowstone Historian and Naturalist. Workshop exceeded expectations.
I plan on going back with Trent in the Fall of 2019. Yellowstone is mesmerizing.
If you have ever wondered about seeing Yellowstone National Park do not put it off - just go! I went to Yellowstone in a small group led by Trent Sizemore and it was a moving and rewarding experience on many levels. Trent is an excellent photographer and gave very helpful insights into taking pictures in very different conditions - from snow flakes to bright out blue skies. The small group allowed us to see park in a quiet, respectful way - we saw columns of Bison walking one by one in the snow - as they have done for countless years. Wolves - you want to see wolves and coyotes up close - go in the winter. The snow around thermal features makes for exquisite photographic opportunities. The winter weather was initially my biggest concern, but the weather was not a problem at all. The snow coaches are heated and ours had heated seats and can pretty much drive in any snowy condition. All in all, I highly recommend visiting Yellowstone Park in the winter with Trent. My trip last year was my second trip with Trent and were simply outstanding! I plan on going back next winter! (Note: Cory combined a snowcoach and northern range trip together to see more of the park)
Becki F., October 2017
Yellowstone is one of my favorite places to visit. My husband and I have been there many times. Last fall I chose to go on a photography workshop with Trent to learn how to improve my photography skills while enjoying my favorite place. I had just gotten off of auto mode and was playing around with aperture priority or shutter priority. Trent challenged me to shoot in manual. This terrified me but after his instruction and a lot of practice I am glad he did. I am more confident with my camera and happier with my photos.
I just returned from a thoroughly enjoyable three day photo workshop with Trent in Yellowstone. The small group (3 people) is an excellent format for a personalized outdoor learning experience. Trent is a professional and very knowledgeable wildlife photographer who readily shares his tips and suggestions. I think I learned more about effectively using the features of my DSLR in 3 days than in the previous 5 years. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect was learning about light conditions, settings and light utilization in improving my photography. I found the cost to be reasonable, the opportunity to find wildlife excellent and the small group setting extremely beneficial. I highly recommend Trent for those interested in personalized photography instruction and a very small group opportunity to find wildlife in an incredible National Park.
The experience was wonderful! Trent is as knowledgeable of his environment as he is with his photography. Each workshop is tailored to the skill level of the participants and Trent makes every effort to allow the participants to experience the beauty and majesty of the park. Whether your interest lies in the wildlife or the landscape, I highly recommend Trent's workshops. I guarantee a good time and will be back for more.
If you're thinking of booking one of Trent's Yellowstone workshops - do it! You will not regret it! Trent is very knowledgeable of the park and the wildlife in the park. With the workshops only having three students you get a lot of time with Trent to help perfect your photography skills. By taking this workshop I was able to learn how to properly compose my shots and get a betting understanding of the settings on my camera. The workshop is worth every penny you pay for it!
It became immediately evident that Trent was very knowledgeable about the wildlife and their habitual stomping grounds in the park. Several times he stopped at locations that I drove by in the previous 2 days while exploring on my own and discovered excellent opportunities to photograph landscape and wildlife. Be it Bison along the Madison River, Coyotes and Mountain Bluebirds by the hot springs, Red Fox, Big Horn Sheep, Black Bear and Bison with newborns in Lamar Valley to our ultimate prize of a Mother Grizzly Bear with a year old cub. Once wildlife was spotted, Trent always kept our group out of harms way at all times. He kept one hand on his bear spray while using his impeccable photographic skills to assist us with capturing that amazing Yellowstone image of a lifetime. I was extremely gratified with the amount of images I added to my portfolio. Well worth every penny I spent and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!
Took Trent's workshop on the 22-23 of April. I had a great time. Trent knows the park like the back of his hand and got us to all the best spots at just the right time. His knowledge of the animals and their habits helped to make this a very special trip for me.
I have only been to Yellowstone three times in my life, and this trip with Trent Sizemore was by far the best experience. Trent was patient, accommodating and knew where to find the wildlife. I got to experience Yellowstone as a tourist and a photographer and can’t wait to go back to learn and photograph more.
The team of three students was perfect, as we shared ideas and had different perspectives which made the trip even more fun. I highly recommend taking Trent’s course as he can tell you about your camera, settings and help you take great photos.
Mike & Lauri Griffin
Lauri and I really enjoyed spending the weekend with you as our guide to the scenes and wildlife of Yellowstone National Park in the winter. Your knowledge of the area and your unique approach to locating the wildlife, e.g., the bison, elk, coyotes, and the male grizzly bear feeding on a winter-kill bison carcass, was very impressive. We were extremely pleased with your experience in Yellowstone and its wildlife and the special one-on-one attention you gave us regarding focusing, exposure, and critiquing our photos. Even to the exclusion of your own desire to photograph nature's wonders. We learned a lot and only hope that we can retain just a portion of it. We also appreciate the after hours time that you spent with us regarding Lightroom. You were very patient and involved for over 2 hours in trying to help two old folks understand. I would recommend you and your services to anyone interested in a personalized and affordable guide. When we next need the services of a professional and personalized guide in this area, you're it my friend.
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Trent Sizemore Photography, LLC