Bonnie Caton — Oregon
Course: Summer Intensive 2012
It took me two years to get up the courage to do Summer Intensive. It meant a long sabbatical from my job,
and a long summer in another state. All of it felt risky. After all, was I even good enough to consider a
career in photography? What if I didn’t like it? What if I failed?
Now, looking back on it, I know it's the best decision I've made for myself, possibly ever.
It's true that you leave RMSP's Summer Intensive program with a rich understanding of photography - certainly
more than you can even get from a four-year college program - packed into 11 weeks. But what you come away
with goes far beyond photography.
I remember one of my last evenings in Missoula. Crickets were trilling, the summer breeze was soft and light,
the full moon was lighting my way. I was coming down from Waterworks Hill with close friends from my group.
We'd been shooting the sunset, having a picnic, testing out our external flashes and laughing while we completed
Everything in that moment was perfect. Good friends. Gorgeous open landscape. A time and a place to use the creativity
that's in me once and for all. Being there, I got to let it out and give it a safe place to land. That one perfect
moment sums up the whole summer.
Now I know for sure that I can do something with this creative thing in me, and I plan to start a new documentary
project next month.
They call it intense, and it is. They don’t waste any time. You get there, and you get down to business learning,
creating, finding inspiration, and forming bonds with people you never imagined you’d know. And by the end, the
person you’re especially glad to know better is yourself.