top of page
Melissa Schäfer and Fredrik Granath are The Motherbear Polar Tales Bortom isbjörnens rike


We are photographer Melissa Schäfer and producer Fredrik Granath. Partners in life, work and all. We are based in Stockholm, Longyearbyen and the world.


We do this work because we feel it is important. But also because we love it. We love life in the field, the long spells wintertime on the pack ice and around the frozen fjords. It is a work which is as much life as it is work. Our goal is to capture the truth, and perhaps some of the essence of Arctic life. We want to get under the skin, get close to our subjects. Because when we're able to do that, what is behind and between the photographs becomes more important than the photos themselves. And a story is created, where all the images connect, and add up to something bigger than the individual shots. 

Melissa Schäfer, photografer, The Motherbear.


From her early childhood days in Hamburg, Germany, Melissa has viewed the world through her camera lens. With a background in creative and portrait photography she has always had a unique eye for the surroundings. A deep love for the Arctic and polar bears as well as a strong commitment to nature and the environment is a foundation for all her work

Fredrik Granath, producer, The Motherbear


Leading expert on field work and production in the polar regions. Since 2001 he has been working around the Arctic on his own projects, and also as a producer and adviser for other film- and photographic projects in the Arctic, including work for film studios and the National Geographic. He has assembled a unique expertise of working under the most extreme conditions and is specialised in polar bears.

Nanuk, Samoyed, The Motherbear


Our little girl Nanuk was born in May 2016. 




  • Instagram - Black Circle


  • Instagram - Black Circle
polar bear motherbear melissa fredrik


We are available for lectures. We tell stories from a world of ice, show unpublished photos and talk about our work, ice, life and future. If you are interested, send us an E-MAIL with details on your event, dates etc. 

Lecture with Fredrik Granath and Melissa Schäfer


There are many things we can do as individuals for our environment and future. One is to join others and let our voices be heard together. Parts of our profits are donated to great organizations like these.


We at The Motherbear work for a better future on this planet. Working with photography around the world, we do leave footprints. Traveling far and often we can’t avoid emitting some extra greenhouse gases. We calculate all unavoidable carbon emissions created during our work, and we carbon offset (climate compensate) as much as we possibly can. Our goal is to over-compensate, to give more than we take to our planet. This is mostly done through ATMOSFAIR.

Atmosfair Climate compensation
Gold Standard Global Goals
United Nations Framework Climate Change
Svalbard Arctic Motherbear Melissa Schäfer Fredrik Granath


Working in the Arctic is demanding. It is a place which often offers the most extreme conditions on the planet. In our work in the field, uncompromised quality and performance need to be at the core of everything.Only the world's best equipment and logistics are good enough. 


Without the fantastic support of our partners, work and life on ice would be impossible.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines Fredrik Granath Melissa Schäfer Arctic Svalbard Hubba Productions
Hurtigruten Svalbard Melissa Schäfer Fredrik Granath
Fjällräven Fredrik Granath Melissa Schäfer Arctic Svalbard Hubba Productions
SAS Cargo Melissa Schäfer Fredrik Granath
Lundhags Melissa Schäfer Fredrik Granath
Woolpower Fredrik Granath Melissa Schäfer Arctic Svalbard Hubba Productions
Triumf glass Melissa Schäfer Fredrik Granath
Melissa Schäfer Fredrik Granath Hubba Productions
Iridium Fredrik Granath Melissa Schäfer Arctic Svalbard Hubba Productions
Zeiss Fredrik Granath Melissa Schäfer Arctic Svalbard Hubba Productions
Ursuit Melissa Schäfer Fredrik Granath
Cordland Marine Melissa Schäfer Fredrik Granath
Honda Melissa Schäfer Fredrik Granath
Explorer Cases Fredrik Granath Melissa Schäfer Arctic Svalbard Hubba Productions
polyver copy.png
Blå Band Melissa Schäfer Fredrik Granath
Primus_DARK 2 copy AA.png
baltic logo CROP copy.png
Bruvik Fredrik Granath Melissa Schäfer Arctic Svalbard Hubba Productions
bottom of page