My name is Dirk Schilder and I was born in 1962.
I am married and have two grown-up sons. Professionally, I work as a certified nursing educator in the university hospital, children's hospital and nursing school in Münster (Westphalia, Germany).
Since the age of 10 I am an enthusiastic amateur photographer. At first my only interest was in steam locomotives of the German Railway. Nowadays the Museum Railways and the Swedish Railways have been added to that list. In addition, I wrote several articles in a magazine called "LOK Report" and added my own pictures to them.
The interest of taking photos of brown bears grew since I was 6. But because of financial reasons and bad preparations I did not pursue this dream.
In 2001 I had my first encounter with brown bears in Sweden. The impressions I got there helped me grow a passion to take photos of brown bears in their natural habitat.
But at first, I had to "study" this passion: That is why I read (and still do) every book about brown bears that is available in German language to prepare myself to be mentally self-confident when it comes to an encounter. I also spoke to many different photographers of bears and nature which was absolutely essential.
In 2009 finally I joined a photographer of nature on a trip to Alaska to learn from him. After that, I did another trip on my own, not only to take photos, but also to establish important contacts.
I thought that this was the best adventure of my life!