" ... The contest made me realize what I could do if I took the unpopular decision and moved to Missoula instead of going to college."

It's true. Traditional four-year colleges aren't for everyone. Each and every person has different interests, passions, and goals for how they want to shape their lives. And no one path is better or worse than the next. Take a minute and read what 2016 Career Training graduate Jonah Besel had to say about his decision to attend photo school instead of college.

The thought of college never really excited me. I did months of research and visits but no matter what, the thought of four to five more years of school wasn’t what I was looking for. Then I heard about RMSP and over an impromptu trip over from Seattle to Missoula for the open house and meeting with some of the instructors, I was thrilled to see what their Career Training program (CT) was all about. Although excited, I wasn’t completely set on RMSP. But then I entered the High School Photo Contestand won third place in the Nature category. The contest made me realize what I could do if I took the unpopular decision and moved to Missoula instead of going to college. So, two days after graduating high school, I started SI.

Ever since beginning CT I had no regrets. I actually had to miss the first week of the program due to the fact that I had to graduate from high school, but I felt immediately welcomed. The whole staff couldn’t have been better. Catching me up took almost no time at all and soon I was fitting right in. I came into CT as someone who just loved capturing the moments in front me with my camera. As classes progressed, I realized there was so much more. With the access that I received to amazing gear and studio time I was able to explore many other parts of photography and grow in my skills immensely. The assignments handed out in classes also challenged me in new ways. From learning to use lighting techniques I never heard of in studio, to documenting people in their environment, I believe the skills I developed over the summer will last me a lifetime.

Taking a leap of faith and coming to Rocky Mountain School of Photography was, with no doubt, the right decision. The staff constantly pushed me to be more creative and stretched my skills to new heights. I was inspired yet challenged with every new assignment and with every question I had an assistant or teacher there to help me. With the new knowledge I gained during CT, I can’t wait to jump into the photography world and all it has to offer.

Check out Jonah's work below, on his Instagram account (@jbesel) or his website.


RMSP Admin