Sean Kurdziolek Photography » Northern Lights Photographer in Fairbanks AK

  • Sean and Amanda were an amazing couple to work with! Our vision kept changing due to weather and other hang ups, however they remained flexible up to the time of our shoot. The wealth of knowledge coupled with the years of photography experience made it worth while to attend the
    Aurora photography class and have our pregnancy announcement captured. - A. Nisbett, Eielson AFB, Alaska

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Family Memories. Priceless.

Creating memories is why we got into this business. We believe that capturing our moments in time is one of the most valuable gifts we can give ourselves and our children. Family memories such as star gazing under the Aurora is a beautiful way to remember our moments and our childhood. We had great pleasure in capturing this moment for this beautiful and kind family. The Madden family do so much for our community and we were very happy to help them capture this moment for them.

I recently read a blog somewhere about how important family photos are. A woman recently lost her home due to a fire. Before her house was engulfed she managed to retrieve some of her most prized possessions…her family photos. Family memories captured are treasures. They are worth more than gold, more than a Prada bag, more than the newest Mustang. Our cars will rust, our bags will go out of fashion, our iPhones will become outdated, but the images we capture of our loved ones will always be a treasure. This is why this sweet family came to us. This beautiful family wanted what we have…heirloom portraits on our walls. They didn’t want another disc to sit in their office draw, they didn’t want another USB that would become a useless piece of technology like the floppy discs of old. They wanted to see their children’s sweet faces every time they walked into their living room. And so this is where these portraits stand, in a living room surrounded by the people who cherish and adore them the most.

This is our job. This is our passion. We create portraits. Call us today to schedule your session, whether it be under the Aurora or on Alaska’s great landscape. 253-254-3271
Click here to schedule your session.

Enjoy the photographs!

Family MemoriesPINIMAGEFamily MemoriesPINIMAGEFamily MemoriesPINIMAGE

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A Fairytale Proposal

Friends, you’re going to love this fairytale proposal! We recently got a call from a young gentleman, who was staying at our friends cabin, The Moose Walk Cabin. He was in need of someone to capture a very special moment. He was going to propose to his girlfriend and he needed help! So help we did. Between Rod and Terri Pangborn (Moose Walk Cabin owners) and us we secretly set up a surprise proposal at the Fairbanks Ice Park.

A few details needed to be set up behind our soon to be bride’s back. We needed permission from Fairbanks Ice Park and we needed to be set up ready for the soon-to-be newly engaged couple. All of this happened while Cody, our romantic groom, snuck away to the bathroom to text us the details. In the end the proposal all took place in front of the cinderella carriage ice sculpture. A real fairy tale proposal.

We asked Cody and Beth some questions about their amazing moment and here is what they had to say. Enjoy!

Why did you want to visit Fairbanks, Alaska?
Beth and I chose Fairbanks primarily to see the Northern Lights.  We both had time off for a spring break, but we didn’t want to go to the traditional spring break locations with sand and sun.  We prefer deep snow and plenty of stars filling the sky.  We are also working on checking off items on our bucket lists, and the Northern Lights was one that we shared.  Fairbanks was just as beautiful as we’d imagined it, and the Northern Lights were life changing.

Why did you choose to capture this moment?
I wanted to have the surprise on Beth’s face and the pureness of our love captured forever.  I knew it would be a memory to last a lifetime; they say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case it is absolutely true.  These images will remain close to our hearts for the rest of our lives.

What were your favorite moments during the session?
Cody (groom): My favorite moment was easily when she said yes (of course!).  But other than that, I really enjoyed how amazing the backdrop was and how perfect the plan came together.  Sean played his role perfectly and really helped me keep the element of surprise.  So seeing her face once she realized what was happening was just simply amazing.
Beth (bride): My favorite moment was when I realized what was happening (Cody was down on one knee!) and putting all the pieces together from the night. I was decidedly unsuspicious that night, which is unusual for me, so actually being surprised was the best!

Tell us how the surprise happened.
We went to the ice carving championship in Fairbanks.  We’d never even heard of such a thing before, so the intricacy of some of the work was mind-boggling.  We worked our way through the park admiring the works of all the different artists from around the world.  The last piece that we got to was an incredible life-sized sculpture of the scene from Cinderella where she’s running down the staircase to Prince Charming as the clock strikes midnight.  As we approach the sculpture, Sean bumps into us pretending to be a photographer working for the park.  He asks us to pose for some photos for the park catalog.  Unbeknownst to Beth, he’s setting the stage for the surprise.  As he sets us up for the picture, I turn around behind her and get her attention.  And that’s when it happened!  Surprising Beth is a monumental challenge that no words can accurately describe, so seeing her so surprised that she couldn’t even get the word out of her mouth at first was a huge success.

Cody, tell us what you were thinking throughout the whole process.
Truth be told, I can’t remember what I was thinking exactly.  I must’ve blacked out from anxiety!  The predominant thought was “don’t screw up, don’t screw up, don’t screw up!”  I had a general idea of where the Cinderella sculpture was, but it definitely snuck up on me.  So when we happened upon it, my heart rate doubled and all at once I started feeling every emotion known to man.  I could barely contain myself by the time Sean had us positioned for me to make my move.  I’m a very verbose person, so I didn’t think asking the question and making the perfect proposal speech would be very difficult.  However, that couldn’t have been further from the truth!  I was barely able to squeak out six words, “Hey Beth, will you marry me?”  Beth can tell you more about that, but thankfully that was enough!  She said yes, and from that point on I was on cloud nine!

Beth, give us your side of the story.
I was convinced that Cody was going to propose the next day, so I was completely relaxed as we were walking around the ice sculptures. We were taking a bunch of pictures, just having fun and I was babbling on and on about life (which made me not even notice Cody’s nerves). We walked up to the Cinderella scene and I was pointing out all the little details—the clock, the pumpkin, all the details on the stairs. Then I almost ran into a photographer, who looked at me and Cody as if he was debating something in his head. Then he asked us to go up to the sculpture to get an interactive picture for the park catalog. I totally fell for it, and jumped right in. Cody took off his hat and gloves (which should have been the first sign!), but I decided not to take mine off. Sean posed me facing Cinderella and Cody facing Prince Charming. I waited a few seconds and then I wanted to do a goofy pose. As I was about to ask Sean if we could get a fun photo, I heard Cody say, “Hey Beth…” So I turned around and he was down on one knee asking if I would marry him. I was completely shocked! It took a few seconds to fully realize that I had been completely surprised and then recover from that surprise, but of course I said yes! Sean took some amazing photos during the whole thing. It was a very positive experience and I’m so happy to have as a lifelong memory.

How was your experience working with Sean Kurdziolek Photography?
Working with Sean was awesome.  He played a pivotal role in the proposal, so he was part photographer, part actor in our shoot!  He really made us feel at home and comfortable as he was taking our pictures!

Fairytale Proposal engagement Fairbanks Alaska Ice Park on one kneePINIMAGE

Fairytale Proposal engagement Fairbanks Alaska Ice Park cinderellaPINIMAGE

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Fairytale Proposal engagement Fairbanks Alaska Ice Park she said yesPINIMAGE

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Fairytale Proposal engagement Fairbanks Alaska Ice Park fiances ringPINIMAGE

Fairytale Proposal engagement Fairbanks Alaska Ice Park ring PINIMAGE

Engagements are not usually our forte but giving a young couple this experience to treasure for the rest of their lives was something we couldn’t pass up and as night photography experts we were pleased they chose us to capture their Fairy Tale Proposal.

As always we are open for creativity. Schedule your session with us today and capture your moments forever!
Call 253-254-3271


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Northern Lights Photography | Fairbanks | Byrem Family

Meghan is a good friend of mine (Amanda). She is an incredibly kind and loving woman. I absolutely look up to her so when she said she wanted to capture our experience for her family under the northern lights, I jumped for joy! I was so excited for her and her boys! Blair is a very busy man who loves the outdoors and I know he was just as excited as Meghan was.

Here’s what Meghan had to say after her experience with us at Sean Kurdziolek Photography:

I wouldn’t say Fairbanks was on my bucket list of places to visit…

     but military life has a way of taking you to places you never expected to go.  We have really enjoyed the area and the opportunity to  explore the great frontier.  We always joke that Fairbanks has everything you need but nothing you want.  As we have settled into the area, we have found that our needs and wants are met abundantly.  We have a freezer full of meat and fish, we have been to the wild places, experienced -50 degree temps and monster snowflakes, the reason for blackout curtains, and so much more.
The aurora is one of the things that we have been fortunate enough to experience. She is never the same, always changing and beautiful.  She is nature’s light show and an incredible experience when she is out dancing in the heavens.  To have a family portrait under this natural phenomenon captures this time in our life and the beauty of the environment. We try to take family portraits every year.  I like to take pictures that capture the uniqueness of the places we live and the stage of life we are as a family, and our Aurora Portrait session did just that. 
Our first session unfortunately was not successful.  The Aurora was out on the way to the photo shoot, but didn’t show back up the rest of the night.  Which was disappointing, but what can one do?  Then it was cloudy for the next couple of weeks.  The day we captured our photos, the weather forecast was bleak and the aurora forecast was high.  We were not sure we would see her, but according to the weather forecast we had about a two hour window in which the clouds would break.  We talked with Sean and took a chance.  Sure enough the clouds started to dissipate.  In our earlier photos you can see some of the clouds.  Then before long they were gone and Lady Aurora gave us a beautiful show.  We were thrilled.   
 I would say the most stressful part was coordinating winter gear to ensure the children are warm and safe while out in the cold without clashing with one another.  The other part is scheduling a date and praying that the Aurora is out.  It’s brutal with a four year old and one year old sleeping in a vehicle.  We all understand the importance of schedules and sleep for everyone.  I knew that going into this session we would sacrifice quality sleep and be off-schedule for a few days.  Flexibility and a realistic mindset is a must to capture photos under the aurora.  It was well worth the sacrifice.  A few days recovery is minor in the scheme of things.  When I see our portraits in our home I am transported back to that night and the magic of the aurora.    
We enjoyed working with Sean and appreciate the knowledge he has accumulated over the years.  He knows his equipment and the environment.  He has spent the time and education it takes to be a subject expert.  He strives for excellence in his work and I value that as a client.  If you are looking for something unique and of high quality, then consider Sean.  Lots of people can take good snapshots, but Sean knows his equipment and can assess the environment to capture a beautiful photograph.  We are extremely pleased with our portraits.    


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Byrem Family Aurora Photos

Northern Lights Photography PortraitsPINIMAGE

Byrem Family Portraits

Northern Lights Photography PortraitsPINIMAGE

Byrem Family Photos Under the Aurora

Call us today to schedule your personalized session:


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Aurora Photographer|A Christmas Gift |Hayes Family

The Hayes family wanted to gift their father in law a very unique Christmas gift while we was here visiting. Read what they had to say about this once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

“The BIG Fish Story”

“What an amazing experience!  Getting our family portrait under the beautiful Northern Lights. We have wanted to come to Alaska for many years and when we finally got a chance to move up here, we couldn’t have been more excited.  Personally, I couldn’t wait to see with my own eyes the Aurora Borealis along with the wilderness that is the Last Frontier!

Our session with Sean Kurdziolek Photography started out by going to the Kurdziolek’s house and getting stocked up on coffee and goodies.  Our first night out was cloudy, but they were supposed to clear up so we drove out to a lake about 45 mins away.  Then we waited; excitement mounted when we saw the clouds start to slowly burn off around 1 am.  But by 2 am they moved back and we were all tired and wanted to be in a bed sleeping.  So we’d just have to try again.  I loved the experience and perspective, even the missed opportunity of the first night.  Such a good reminder that we do not control nature.  We can have our plans, ideas, predictions and still not be in control.  I was reminded we are blessed when we get to see the Lights and every night is different.
The next time we went out, we stuck to a close tried and true place down the road from the Kurdziolek’s.  Still partly cloudy, but the Aurora clearly visible ebbing and flowing on the horizon, moving closer and closer to us.  Though the Aurora still has a significant prominence in our picture, you wouldn’t have guessed this show was the most incredible experience and viewing we’ve had in our time in Alaska!  This night, the Aurora was out in multiple colors and literally directly above our heads!  The other thing about not being able to control nature is how quickly things change.  The lights we saw that night were stunning to our family and as quickly as they came they were gone again!  After Sean got some great shots, the Lights started to dance across the sky once again.  This time we could probably catch them in our portrait… However, people too are a bit like nature and uncontrollable, especially when they are little.  The kids didn’t fall asleep with the close proximity of our shooting location.  It was well over midnight and it was I don’t know, maybe -10 or -15 out? somewhere in there!  So we just enjoyed what we got to experience, even if it will probably sound like I’m telling a “BIG fish” story!
Thank you so much for opening your home and sharing your talent!  For us, this photo captures the incredible journey we have been on as a couple who left home and became adults, became one, living like nomads, enjoying what each new place brings, and growing as a family in numbers and love!  We could not have captured it without you”. – Angie Hayes.
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Romantic Aurora Portraits | Sean Kurdziolek Photography | Sanchez Family


Amanda and Manny Sanchez were a lot of fun to work with during their Aurora Portrait. They had a vision right from the start of what they wanted and we were very open to their ideas and suggestions. We also learned what a classic “Cowboy Kiss” is. For those like us who didn’t know, it’s when a cowboy tilts his hat to hide the kiss. It is considered a gentlemanly thing to do in the south. We like it! We like gentlemen! Hah!

We asked Amanda and Manny why they choose to update their pictures and they replied that they do not have very many photos of just themselves so they decided to take some romantic pictures under the Aurora. Amanda always loved watching the Aurora so when she found that she could have Aurora portraits she was ecstatic. I asked Amanda what her favorite moments from the session were and she said “Every moment…just knowing that we would have these photos…with the aurora, means everything to me”. One thing she does recommend is to dress warmly. Hah. Yes, that is a must.

The Sanchez’s wanted large prints to hang above their bed. This is a very common practice these days. To hang a more intimate picture over your bed. Only you see it or those who you feel most comfortable with. The Cowboy Kiss is the right amount of intimacy and class and one that will forever remind them of their adventures in Fairbanks, Alaska and the love they share.

Sanchez Sean Kurdziolek Photography Romantic Aurora Aurora PortraitsPINIMAGE

Sanchez Sean Kurdziolek Photography Romantic Aurora Aurora PortraitsPINIMAGE

Sanchez Sean Kurdziolek Photography Romantic Aurora PortraitsPINIMAGE

Sean was very professional and fun to work with. I adore our finished projects! – Amanda Sanchez


Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and what a unique gift to give you and your spouse. Let us help create this beautiful and loving image for above your bed. Our spots for this is limited.

We love meeting new couples and finding out their love story. Call us today and tell us how we can make a special moment for you to cherish until death do you part. CONTACT

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