Loon and Bird Photography Workshop by Boat

Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada

Common loon with chicks © Greg Downing

Create adorable portraits of common loons interacting with their chicks at our unique bird photography workshop on the lake in British Columbia, Canada.

In an intimate, small group setting with only 8 participants, you will learn the techniques Greg and Alan use to capture captivating images of these birds as they go about courtship, feeding, nesting, and brooding their chicks. Equipped with boats specially set up for bird photography, you’ll have the opportunity to photograph loons and their chicks at close range along with many other bird species that nest in the area.

With lots of hands-on instruction and working closely with each participant, Greg and Alan will personally work with you on image capture and technical instruction targeted to your individual needs throughout the trip. They will also do extensive field scouting prior to the loon and bird photography workshop with the goal of creating as many photographic opportunities as possible when everyone arrives.

The resort we will be at sits right on the main lake where loons nest and raise their young. All meals, lodging, and other expenses are included as well as non-intimidating and casual photographic instruction. All you have to do is get yourself there and we will take care of the rest!

Loon bird photography workshop on the lake, Canada © Greg Downing

“Being out on the lake early in the morning was a very special experience. Seeing and hearing the loons was magical! The loons were great of course, but Greg and Alan also found us other species of birds to photograph in different habitats. The group dynamic was just fine and everyone got on well together. Greg and Alan were great guides—friendly and knowledgeable, and made you feel that they were interested in you and your photography. I had high expectations of this trip and can honestly say that my expectations were exceeded.” –Dawn O.

Premier Location for a Loon and Bird Photography Workshop

While on the lake we will have access to up to 4 pairs of loons. The timing of this loon and bird photography workshop is planned around the hatching and brooding of chicks. Most of the loons are friendly and fairly easy to photograph at close range. On some mornings, 6–12 single loons have been photographed together right in front of lodge!

Create Photos of Other Bird Species

Other possible bird subjects that you may get to see and photograph include great gray owl, marsh wren, yellow-headed blackbird, common yellowthroat, Audubon’s warbler, Townsend’s warbler, horned and red-necked grebe, ruddy duck, Steller’s jay, dark-eyed junco, golden-crowned and ruby-crowned kinglet, pine siskin, Cassin’s finch, hairy and downy woodpecker, mountain and black-capped chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, Swainson’s thrush, red-naped sapsucker, mountain bluebird, yellow-headed blackbird, northern flicker, western tanager, and more.

There is always a chance we will see a bear or moose in the area too. A special focus on creating set-up shots of these birds will be included as part of Greg and Alan’s instruction.

Pine siskin © Alan Murphy   Steller's jay © Alan Murphy

Dedicated Boats Ready for Photography

During this bird photography workshop we will have exclusive use of two dedicated boats specifically set up for loon and bird photography as well as unlimited access to a number of kayaks, canoes, and small motor boats.

We will be at 4,200′ elevation and the city, which is only 20 minutes away, is at 1,100′ elevation. This provides a variety of bird species and wildflowers for us to photograph. Because of the high elevation at the lodge, everyone should be prepared for possible cool days and nights. Historically we have enjoyed great weather with blue skies and warm days during this time of year.

Ruddy duck © Greg Downing


This itinerary is subject to change based on weather conditions and wildlife activity. Participants should plan to arrive on the first day of the workshop for a late afternoon orientation and slideshow and depart on the last day of the workshop. We will enjoy 3 solid days of shooting plus one final morning on the lake on the last day.

Day 1

Participants should plan to arrive in the late afternoon for a meet-and-greet dinner with everyone and an orientation.

After dinner, Greg and Alan will present an introductory slideshow sharing images from past trips to the area and discuss the schedule for the next 3½ days.

Common loon feeds chick © Greg Downing

Day 2, 3, and 4

For 3 solid days you will have countless photographic opportunities alongside Alan and Greg. They will have already thoroughly scouted the area and set things up in advance of your arrival so you’ll be able to get started immediately.


On typical mornings we rise early for a light breakfast and coffee before heading out on the lake. We will pair off into two groups in search of loons and chicks as well as some marsh species such as Virginia rail and Wilson’s snipe among others.

Late in the morning we will return to the lodge and take a much needed break or photograph birds at feeder set-ups, with possible visitors such as evening grosbeak, Steller’s jay, junco, pine siskin, Cassin’s finch, hairy and downy woodpecker, mountain and black-capped chickadee, and yellow-headed blackbird.


In the afternoon we will explore the surrounding areas for more elusive species such as three-toed woodpecker or local nesting birds like the red-naped sapsucker and northern flicker. We will even get a chance to do some wading in shallow ponds in search of waterfowl like ruddy duck and redhead, and red-necked and horned grebe. You may also opt to photograph these birds from the shore should you prefer not to get into the water with your gear. If you want to get eye-level shots of these birds, be sure to bring lightweight, breathable chest waders.

Northern flicker © Greg Downing   Downy woodpecker © Alan Murphy

Day 5

On our final day we will head back on the lake for one last morning shoot, followed by a hearty breakfast or more shooting at the feeders before checking out and departing for home. We will have quite a productive morning with our normal meet time as early as 4:30 AM on sunny days. Plan to depart by noon this day or arrange to stay additional nights.

Great gray owl portrait © Greg Downing


  • 4 nights lodging (double occupancy)
  • All activities and access to full resort amenities (including boats and guide services)
  • All meals
  • Photographic instruction from Greg and Alan

Does Not Include

  • Airfare
  • Car rental
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Incidentals


  • Any 2 consecutive workshops get an extra night lodging (total 9 nights); extra day is on your own relaxing or shooting independently, depending on your preference.
  • Single Supplement: $400 (for each workshop with limited availability)
  • Non-photographer partner including all meals: $600 (for each workshop with limited availability)
  • To sign up for multiple workshops please register for each and pay a separate deposit.

If you would like to register for this workshop, please fill out our registration form. A non-refundable deposit (listed above) is required to reserve your spot. Please refer to our workshop information section for our cancellation and refund policies.

Workshop Information
  • Dates: June 6-10, 2019 (3 openings)
                June 11-15, 2019 SOLD OUT
                June 16-20, 2019 SOLD OUT
  • Cost: $4,995
  • Deposit: $1,000
  • Participants: 8
Any 2 consecutive workshops get an extra night lodging (total 9 nights); extra day is on your own relaxing or shooting independently, depending on your preference.Single Supplement: $400 (for each workshop with limited availability)Non-photographer partner including all meals: $600 (for each workshop with limited availability)
The single supplement fee reflects our actual cost and is subject to availability. If you are a single traveler and we are unable to place you with a roommate, you will be placed in a single room and charged the single supplement fee.

Greg Downing

Greg Downing

Greg has been traveling the world teaching professional and amateur photographers for more than 15 years hosting his instructional workshops and seminars. Instructing photographers of all experience levels Greg has earned a reputation for his gracious and generous teaching style.

Greg’s images are known for their unique style, exacting composition and strict attention to detail. Continue reading »

Alan Murphy

Alan Murphy

Alan Murphy, an award winning photographer, grew up in England and is an avid birder. Upon immigrating to the States Alan picked up a camera and began pursuing his vision of how birds should be photographed. Alan has developed a style that is very recognizable with stunning portraits of birds on beautiful perches. Alan turned a full time professional bird photographer a few years ago and is now in demand to speak at festivals, conferences and photography clubs around the nation. Continue reading »

I want to thank you for being very helpful to me. I appreciated the lesson on flash, and went right away and practiced. My loon babies came out very well, and culminates six years of trying. I just couldn't get close enough from shore. I would recommend you to anyone who wants to travel and get chances for good shots. Thank you more than you know for arranging for our group have the boats to film the loons on the little lake after you left. As you well know word of the hatching got around fast, and without your help I'm quite certain that we would have lost access!
Caryl U.
Loons and more - Kamloops, BC
Greg is a great guy. Well organized, good instructor. My overall experience was good.
Adrienne S.
Loons and More - Kamloops, BC
I especially enjoyed the shoots, of course the loons, but also the opportunity to see and photograph birds I don't normally see: Ruddy Duck, Red-Naped Sapsucker, Mountain Bluebird, Stellar Jay, and Evening Grosbeak. Greg and Alan, you do a superb job of teaching—not just getting us to a shooting position, but teaching as we go. Thank you.
Julie J.
Loons and More - Kamloops, BC