Picture the models in the high-end fashion magazines. Or the over-the-top scenes presented in clothing catalogs. And the exaggerated hair and make up looks we are bombarded with every day by advertisers. Now, run the other direction – fast and far – right into this class geared toward a more human approach to posing your subjects. 

Over the course of eight Wednesday night sessions, wedding and portrait photographer Jesse Boone will teach you the basics of posing models, so you know just enough to begin to break the rules and bring out your subjects’ true personality. Through demonstrations and lectures he will teach you communication skills to use in directing your subjects, the importance of having confidence in your understanding of your equipment, the basics of storytelling through imagery, and embracing people for who they are in order to encourage them to express themselves. 

Four of this class’ sessions will consist of lectures and critiques, while the other four will include field shoots at various locations in downtown Missoula with models on-hand for you to work with.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this course.

Beyond the Basics

4/10/2017 - 4/24/2017


It clicks. You get it. You've experienced the "lightbulb moment" of photography. You know how to manipulate your aperture, ISO and shutter speed to achieve a proper exposure in a variety of situations. However there is still so much more you want to do with your camera, but you just aren't quite sure how to make it happen. The good news here is that you are already in the ballpark. Now it's simply time to push yourself and your capabilities by furthering your education.

How do people achieve those "streaky" night time shots you see all over Instagram? How come your landscape images never have the depth or vibrancy as the images your friend posts? What's the secret behind all those images you see in magazines every month?

This six-session course begins with a brief review of photography basics including ISO, f-stops, and shutter speeds. Then you will move on to more advanced topics such as the Zone System of exposure, techniques for landscape photography, and an intro to night, portrait and documentary photography. Each meeting will include lectures, demonstrations, assignments, and (except for the first meeting) image critiques by Claire and Quinn. One of the sessions will also include time in the field with your instructors.

Students will need a digital SLR camera (or an interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera) for this class as well as a way to edit and view images.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this course.

Barnyard Safari

4/21/2017 - 4/23/2017


Photographing lions while on safari in the Serengeti?
Pointing your lens toward a grizzly with Glacier National Park as your backdrop?
Hauling your 500mm lens to the tallest peak around?

Nope! Not in this class!

Instead, this weekend-long course taught by professional photographer Pam Voth will keep you a bit closer to home and have you photographing animals of a much more approachable nature. Goats, pigs, chickens, cows, dogs, and maybe even some birds, bees, and frogs will command center stage while photographing on an 80-acre permaculture farm near Hamilton, Montana with river access and gorgeous views of the Bitterroot Mountains. Here, Pam will teach you to embrace the delicate balance between infinite patience and lightning speed that is required when photographing animals. You will learn to look for the the decisive moment with animals, and work on capturing the ones that stand out from the crowd. Pam will teach you to use shallow depth of field to isolate a subject as well as capturing action three different ways: freezing movement, blurring action and panning with a subject. All the while you will learn to tell a visual story about the human / animal bond.

This course starts on Friday evening in Missoula with a brief lecture on safety (for photographers and animals alike!) when photographing on a farm or ranch. A short discussion on camera gear will make sure all participants feel comfortable with the tools they have to work with. Saturday is spent at ABC Acres near Hamilton gaining experience photographing the animals while also picking up pointers from Pam as she moves around to offer one-on-one help and the occasional group lesson. After returning to Missoula in the afternoon, the group will reconvene for a critique of the day's work. On Sunday morning the class will follow a similar format. But this time, you will visit the Wild Rose Emu Ranch outside of Hamilton to photograph emus, in all of their cute and goofy splendor! The afternoon is reserved for downloading and editing images and will be followed by an image critique session and discussion at RMSP's facilities in Missoula.


Some topics Pam will cover over the weekend include:

The Decisive Moment: Behavior and interactions between individuals

Photographing close ups

Showing animals in their environment

Capturing expressions: did that chicken just smile?

Focusing on the details: Furry, feathery, scaly, slimy

Standing out in a crowd - how do you photograph a group, flock, gaggle, or herd?

Capturing the human-animal connection

How our own movements and actions affect the behavior of the animals we are photographing

Telling a story through images


Please scroll down to see a schedule for this course.

Take Better Photos

5/5/2017 - 5/7/2017


Sometimes don’t you just want to ignore all of photography’s technical jargon? Or pretend like the confusing menus on your camera didn’t exist? You are definitely not alone. Every time we hear about these hurdles stopping people from really diving into their photography, we cringe. 

And then we create a class to make it better!

This weekend-long class is your chance to revel in every aspect of photography EXCEPT the technical; to create images WITHOUT worrying about megapixels; to use WHATEVER camera you have. Beginning with introductions and a discussion on Friday evening, Sarah Ehlen will get you thinking about creative compositions that can be created when looking through the viewfinder. She finishes the discussion on Saturday morning, and then takes you into the field to play and practice at different locations. Peppered in are additional lectures, breaks for meals and an evening sunset shoot. Sunday is all about critiquing Saturday’s work and beginning to see how post-processing can add a bit of “wow” factor to your images. She will also dedicate time to talking about mobile photography and answering any and all of your questions.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this course.