Summer in eastern North Carolina is a great time of year. Absent of waterfowl, the wildlife refuges are still called home by lots of different species of animals. Song birds, whitetail deer, bobcats and much more can be seen during this time of year. Most of the mammals in the area have had their young, so the chance of seeing baby deer & baby bear are high. The large number of black bear are one of the many reasons that make the Pocosin Lakes & Alligator River National Wildlife Refuges a hot spot for wildlife photographers.

Pocosin Lakes & Alligator River NWR are the top locations for photographing black bear in the state of North Carolina. Feeding on the freshly grown crops and winter wheat, you can see as many as 50 different bear a day. Neil Jernigan has been photographing these bear for over 8 years and is now offering photo tours & workshops. Neil will help you better understand their behavior and will be teaching you everything he knows about photographing these beautiful animals.


There are two scheduled dates, one weekend in May & June. Neil decided to offer it with multiple days to give you more opportunities to photograph wildlife. When photographing wildlife you never know what may happen. The more time you spend in the field the better chance you have for seeing more animals & capturing more images.

For the beginner to the seasoned pro, join Neil on an action packed, Ultimate Black Bear photo workshop. Space is limited so register quickly. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Neil with the form below.


Cost: $600        

Deposit: $300

Dates:  May 15-17, 2020 | 6 spaces available

              June 12-14, 2020 | 6 spaces available

July 10-12, 2020 | 6 spaces available

Min-Max: 2 person minimum; 6 person maximum.                                                                                       

Skill Level: beginner to advanced

Topics we’ll cover include:

  • Wildlife Portraits

  • Composition

  • Wildlife Behavior

  • Technical Skills ex. (shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, metering)

  • & much more!

Physical Difficulty: easy to moderate {walking on dirt roads, 1 - 3 miles possible}

Transportation:  IS INCLUDED during the duration of the workshop.

Lodging: Lodging IS NOT included. Hotel stay in Plymouth, NC is recommend.


Summer on the Pocosin Workshop:

We will begin the morning at a predetermined location to photograph the wildlife/sunrise.  Next we will move on to photographing wildlife until lunch. After filling our stomachs, we will head back to the refuge for the afternoon & evening. Sunset location will be determined more than likely by the wildlife we are photographing.



Workshop -Day 1 4pm - 9pm

  • (4pm) Everyone arrives & meets at base camp in Plymouth, NC

  • Ultimate Black Bear Photography Presentation

Workshop - Day 2 5am - 9pm

  • (5:00am) Leave for refuge to photograph wildlife around ENC

  • (AM Hours) In field hands on instruction photographing wildlife

  • (Midday) Depart refuge for lunch, break, image reviews & post processing.

  • (PM Hours) Photographing wildlife around ENC

  • (8:30pm) Sunset

Workshop - Day 3 5am - 10am

  • (5:30am) Leave for refuge to photograph wildlife around ENC

  • (AM Hours) In field hands on instruction photographing wildlife

  • (12:00pm) Workshop ends, everyone will depart to head home



In order to register for this workshop please first contact us either by email or by phone in order to inquire as to whether or not there is room. With only 8 participants, this workshop fills up quickly.

Once you have confirmed that space is available we will need two things from you in order to make your spot on this workshop official:

  1. A signed and completed registration form which will be emailed to you.

  2. A $300 deposit - NON REFUNDABLE.

Once your registration and deposit have been received, you will be notified by email.


The deposit is due within 2 weeks of notification of your intent to register for the workshop.

The final installment is due 30 days from the start of the workshop.

Questions? Please feel free to contact us anytime if you have any questions regarding this or any workshop. Below you will find a simple contact form in place to make this process as simple as possible for you. If you would like to talk personally to me please feel free to contact me at:


Name *
Would you like to register for the May Workshop?
Would you like to register for the June Workshop?
Would you like to register for the July Workshop?

  • How do I sign up?

    • To sign up using the contact form above. I will instruct you from there.

  • Are you familiar with the area?

    • Yes, I've been traveling to the area yearly since I was just old enough to walk. I've been studying the wildlife there and photographing them since 2009.

  • Deposit?

    • The deposit is due within 2 weeks of registering for the workshop. Total of $300 - NON REFUNDABLE. Deposits are non-refundable due transportation and refuge permits.

  • Cancellations?

    • If for some reason you need to cancel, please contact me AS.SOON.AS.POSSIBLE. I will then go over the cancellation procedure.

  • What size lenses do I need?

    • We will be photographing wildlife, some at close range and others at great distances. I recommend at least 200mm or greater, macro & wide angles lenses. If you would like to contact me to let me know what you have I would be happy to help out.

  • Should I rent equipment?

    • If you have only wide angle lenses or less than 200mm, I would recommend renting a telephoto lens. I wouldn't purchase a lens specifically for this workshop. Rental is the best way to go. Here are a couple links to online companies I recommend. www.lensrentals.com & www.borrowlenses.com. Also if you are local, ASAP PHOTO & CAMERA in Greenville, NC has a selection of rental gear. Call them ahead of time and schedule your camera or lens.

  • What animals will we photograph?

    • The possibility of animals we could see are endless. But with wildlife photography nothing is guaranteed. We will however be targeting black bear.

  • What type of clothing should I wear?

    • This workshop is in summer, so that means it will more than likely be warm if not hot. Please dress accordingly. Also, this is summer on the Pocosin, so BRING BUG SPRAY!

  • Are there any rest rooms nearby?

    • You will be about 15 minutes from the nearest bathroom & restaurant. I will make sure everyone takes a "break" before living in the morning. We will be going to town for lunch and bathroom breaks.

  • Not included?

    • Meals, photography equipment

  • What equipment do you recommend to bring?

    • Telephoto & Wide angle lenses, tripod, any photography gadgets that you normally would. I would rather need it & have it than need it and not have it.