Yellowknife aurora chaser, photographer, and guide


The short version

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  • To join me on tour, the price is $120 per person, per night, plus 5% GST.

  • There's no minimum number of guests required, and my maximum is seven guests.

  • The nature of my tour is not particularly suitable to children. Please check with me for more details.

  • Accommodation pick-up and drop-off is included, within Yellowknife.

  • Pick-up times will range between 20:30 and 21:45. Expect to be back at your accommodation between 01:30 and 03:30. This will obviously vary greatly depending on the distance we travel, how auroral conditions are, and how the weather is. Daylight saving time (ugh!) can push these times back an hour.

  • Your choice of a warm drink in an individual thermos with home baked treats will be yours during the night.

  • I do shoot photos through the night, and you'll receive a few of my images of just the aurora from tour, along with hopefully a starlit or moonlit portrait or two.



The joy in the journey

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  • While I don't yet have the means to rent you winter clothing, My Backyard Tours does, and it's extremely important you stay warm & comfortable during your stay/tour which does mean coming prepared.
  • I love the Ford Transit - comfortable seating for nine restricted to seven, generous headroom, and wrap around glass windows. I think you'll love exploring the countryside and staying cosy in it too.
  • There will be nights our drive is long, up to a few hundred kilometres. When we need to outrun cloud and trust some weather maps, we're going to do that. You'll have plenty of room to stretch out, other guests to enjoy conversation with, gentle music in the background, and a comfortable temperature inside all through the night.
  • Please understand that realistically, there are nights that we unfortunately just won't see the aurora. We'll always do our best to set ourselves up for success, but ultimately, mother nature does get the final say.

A focus on photography

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  • As someone who loves photography, I really appreciate the depth that photography can add to the experience with the aurora, which is why being on tour with me is a little more photography focused than perhaps when you're out with other tour companies. 
  • When the weather allows for us to cherry pick our spots, we are going to choose locations with photography in mind. Think beautiful foregrounds and quiet corners. Part of this means not running all up and down the Ingraham Trail over a couple hours. We'll find a spot or two we love, and call that home for the night.
  • We will try to minimize artificial light and preserve our night vision, which means using red headlamps mostly please.
  • Having owned both a Sony mirrorless camera and several Canon DSLRs, I am here for you with photography. I'm happy to help you configure your camera for the night and make sure you're getting the best images you can - and I'll be there to check in on you, we're a small group. I do know a little about Nikon - strictly from helping previous guests, so I should be able to help get you set up and do a little trouble shooting if we need to.

Cancellation Policy

There is no charge for cancellations made outside of 30 days to your tour date. Any cancellations made inside of 30 days to your tour date(s) will still be charged at 100% of your tour. Exceptions to this cannot be made, so if this concerns you, please make sure you obtain travel insurance. 
In rare circumstances of extreme weather - something along the lines of heavy freezing rain where travel will become too dangerous, or extreme sickness to myself (or my car - mechanical issues aren’t fun for anyone) I may need to cancel our tour. This is never preferred, but safety always remains our first concern. Refunds will be given in these circumstances.
Cloudy nights are hard, of course, but this is out of our control unfortunately. And the thing is, if we cancel by 20:00 and see the skies clear by 1am - we're going to feel collectively pretty awful. Often a breakup of cloud can lead to spectacular viewing and photography opportunities when you see the aurora tower over or through scattered cloud. It's a whole new perspective to something so grand and otherworldly.

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You're at the heart and soul of why I'm here, and why I'm able to continue to do this.

Sean Norman on TripAdvisor →

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