Workshop Details

This northern lights photography workshop in Utsjoki, Lapland, is adequate for photographers of all levels, from beginners to the most experienced. With a small group of maximum 7 participants, there will be opportunities for many one-on-one sessions with each participant. This also avoids us to stand in each other’s way, and makes a smaller impact on the fragile Arctic environment.

This workshop is focused on field experiences and only limited time will be spent in a “classroom”. We will have at our disposal a room where we will sit together and do some editing and answer the questions of the participants.

This workshop is all-inclusive, this means that there are no hidden costs for you as participants. We want you to know fully what you are getting before your trip, and in this way, there can’t be any disappointments. So we take care of everything for you from the moment you land in Ivalo, to the moment you leave.

Included in the Workshop:

  • In-the-field instruction
  • Classroom sessions
  • Transportation during the workshop, including transfers to and from Ivalo airport
  • Accommodations Jan 2-8 at Aurora Holidays
  • Cold weather coverall and boots
  • All meals - breakfast and dinners at the Aurora Holidays restaurant, packed lunches
Not Included in the workshop:

  • Flights to and from Ivalo
  • Any alcoholic beverages
  • Clothing base layers
  • DLSR or mirrorless camera
  • Tripod
  • Remote/Intervalometer/Shutter Release
  • Extra batteries
  • Extra memory cards
  • Laptop
  • Variety of lenses
    • Wide angle, fast lenses are ideal for Aurora and low light conditions
  • Snacks (we will stop at markets)
  • Base layers, mid layers, etc. We will email a list.
  • Camera back pack
  • Headlamp
  • Hand/toe warmers
  • Masks
  • Hand Sanitizer

The workshop plan is tentative and will be adaptive to conditions and weather.

Day 1

We pick you up at Ivalo airport and drive to your cottages in Utsjoki. We stop at a large supermarket / convenience store on the way for your last minute supplies if you need any (Utsjoki is quite isolated so we do this near the airport). For the rest, your workshop is all-inclusive!

Day 2

A snowmobile takes us in a sled to the wilderness. We explore the fell area around Utsjoki and the Teno River. Packed lunch in the wilderness. We stop whenever there are good photo opportunities. When we are back, we have some classroom/editing time, and after diner, Northern Lights photography weather permitting.

Day 3

Breakfast, drive to the shore of the Arctic Ocean in Norway, where we spend all the light hours of the day photographing the totally different landscape. We pack lunches with us, and eat in Norway. Back to Utsjoki in the evening, diner and Aurora chasing weather permitting.

Day 4

We will photograph reindeer. For this we will drive to a Sami reindeer herder who will tell us everything about his job and traditions. We will be quite close to the reindeer, giving us amazing photo opportunities.

Day 5
Breakfast, and drive to Tana in Norway to meet the huskies. You will go on a tour in the sled pulled by huskies. 1 driver, 1 person who sits in the sled. You can exchange at any time, and there are plenty of stops along the way for photo opportunities. Northern Lights photography weather permitting.

Day 6
Village tour of Utsjoki (church, old cottages, bridge). Classroom time and finale 3-course diner at the Aurora Holidays Restaurant.

Day 7
It is time to say goodbye. We have a final breakfast and drive back to the airport in Ivalo where you will catch your flight back to Helsinki.

Participants will have to sign a waiver with Aurora Holidays. All terms and conditions upon booking through Aurora Holidays apply.

If you are thinking of attending a workshop-choose this one! The trip to Finland was the most amazing and creative experience I have ever had. I was looking forward to the activities that were being offered as well as photographing the Aurora Borealis. The Aurora experience was 100 times better than what I was expecting. The activities that we attended were very close in comparison to the incredible display of the Aurora’s (imagine a cone of light above you) We spent a day with a Reindeer Herder that was a highlight of the trip for me. We travelled into Norway to the Arctic Ocean, and it was breathtaking. It was like being in a picture it was so beautiful. Then there was the Sledding with the sled dogs and a day in the wilderness in snowmobile. Every moment was full of beauty and I took 2000 pictures. I have seen the Aurora‘s in Canada and expected it to be a similar experience.  Not at all.  It was different and unique every night and uniquely different from here in Canada. Arranging a workshop during a pandemic is difficult, but it was done so well and so safely that I was not concerned at any time. Also, the accommodations and food were perfect! I would give them a five star rating myself.  If you have an opportunity to attend this workshop, do so.  

Kristine McLean (Canada)

 

My trip to Utsjoki and stay with Aurora holidays was absolutely what I needed in the middle of the COVID pandemic. 

I’ve known Monika for 15 years. When she adapted her photography as a professional endeavour, observing her style helped to inspire my own photography. Combining her passion for photography with the northern expanse of Finland and the Aurora Borealis made for an amazing learning experience and helped make the trip absolutely worth it.

She brings a different style than her colleague and their skills married up well. My week there even lead to my proposal to my now Fiancee. 

If you have the opportunity to venture into Finland (any location honestly, but particularly to the Finnish Lapland), I highly recommend it. 

Monika’s excitement for photography, and knowledge of the skills and science behind doing it well, are always apparent in her scouting of locations and teaching of the subject material. I easily captured the best photos I’ve ever taken under her instruction. 

Sean Lundy (Canada)