Steve Kozlowski found himself was confronted by one of the blond bears while traveling along Canada's wild Pacific coast.
The spirit bear is an off-shoot of the American black bear population that lives in the lush coastal forests of British Columbia and is revered by native tribes.
"I set out to travel to the last area where a small population of spirit bears is known to exist near Princess Royal Island on the British Columbia coastline," said Mr Kozlowski, 39, who has been photographing wildlife for the past 18 years.
"I emerged from my tent and was confronted with a spirit bear," he said.
"The bear was startled and it charged at me over a log, its hair up, ears back, snapping its jaws.
"I slowly backed away from the bear and it eventually left."
Unperturbed by his close call, Mr Kozlowski believed that this was his chance to photograph the bear in its natural environment.
"I built a camera blind and kept hidden so that the bear became more comfortable with me as I kept a safe distance," Mr Kozlowski said.
"To observe the bear in the wild was a pleasure."
Explaining that the spirit bear is not albino as many people would first think, Steve says that it is as near to blond as a bear will ever get.
"Very few people have even seen one of these bears," says Mr Kozlowski.
"Nearly 60 per cent of the world's coastal temperate rainforests have been logged or developed. The spirit bear's habitat represents one quarter of what remains.
"It is essential that we put in place moves to protect these extraordinary animals."