2021 High School Photo Contest

December 01, 2020 - February 28, 2021
Canon R6 Camera with lens ($3600 value!)

High Schoolers! Do you LOVE photography? Do you want a free camera? Want to do something with those photos that only exist on your smartphone or Instagram account?

Enter Rocky Mountain School of Photography’s 6th annual High School Photo Contest for a chance to win some new professional gear! Namely, the Grand Prize winner of our contest receives a Canon EOS R6 camera with a lens!!

View last year’s TOP 100 in each of our four categories


Helbert Ruiz

Nature lover, RMSP graduate, and dedicated light chaser, Helbie captures Earth’s scenes with thoughtful attention to detail.

Inti St. Clair

With clients like Alaska Airlines, Google, and Honda, you know Inti (also an RMSP grad) knows how to make her models look their best.

Forest Woodward

One of the most creative souls we know, Forest was the youngest student to ever come through RMSP, and his work is SO stunning.

Pei Ketron

Few people can wield a smartphone camera as professionally as Pei. She is a testament to the fact that it's not the camera; it's the photog!

How could YOUR photo win??

We are looking for photos that show you are dedicated to bettering your craft, excited about technical and creative excellence, and ready to keep moving forward toward your unique goals. The winners of each of our four categories (People, Nature, Miscellaneous, and Smartphone) are young people who are willing to dig deep into their wells of inspiration and bring it all back up to the surface. If you are one of these people, you have found a creative home.

So pick your favorites, make new pictures, and spend time honing your craft so that you can push yourself right into one of the winning slots.

We wish you the best of luck, and we can’t wait to look at your images!

When will you know if you won?

Judging begins on March 1st, 2021 after the close of the contest. You will be contacted in mid-March if your photo places in the top 100 of a category (the honorable mentions). Winners will be contacted shortly after that, before the contest results are published on our site and our instagram accounts!

Please be patient, as the process of narrowing down 100,000 images to just FOUR is understandably very time-consuming, and we want to give each photo the attention it deserves!


We're a photography-only trade school located in beautiful Montana! We have helped thousands of photographers master their craft and achieve their goals. It's what we love to do!

Check out what we do:

Professional Intensive

Shorter than college; teaches you more. Our 9-month immersive program trains creative entrpreneurs how to create successful, fulfilling photography careers.

Summer Intensive

Spend six weeks in gorgeous Western Montana learning everything you can about your camera, light, editing, creativity, and printing your images!

Online Courses

Not in Montana? Our online courses span a range of topics and offer our signature RMSP instruction at super affordable rates. New courses posted quarterly.


Whether it's a cityscape, a photo of your cat, that perfect swirl on your pumpkin spice latte, a pair of shoes, an airplane wing, or a fancy product shot, this is the category to encompass all of it. If you are unsure about whether your image fits in this category, ask yourself what the main subject of your photo is. If it is of a hand holding a camera, then it's not "People," it's "Miscellaneous."


Just because you are entering a photo contest sponsored by a photography school in Montana (the most beautiful state ever, anywhere), your nature images don't necessarily have to be of towering mountains, crystal clear lakes, or bald eagles. This category is where you will want to submit all of your amazing images that were taken of our natural world.

If you captured amazing light on a corn field in Nebraska, submit it here. Got a great photo of a bird perched on a stop sign in New York City? Submit it here. Have an epic photo of an octopus riding a shark that is jumping out of the water ... to catch a flying fish ... in front of a rainbow ... with lightning in the distance? Absolutely submit that gem here! If the primary subject in your image is an incredible natural landscape or a wild animal, submit that here. (Cityscapes and pets go into the Miscellaneous category!)


This category is where you should submit all of your amazing portraits, tender moments between your grandpa and his dog, a portrait of your track-star friend, or the overly expressive fan at a football game. Male or female, young or old, silhouetted or well-lit ... if the main subject of your frame is a person or group of people, no matter where they are or what they're doing, submit it in this category. But look closely... if the person is a tiny speck next to a magnificent waterfall, that image is probably better suited for the Nature category.


This category is specifically for the camera-phone users of the world! This is the category that allows smartphone users a fair shot to win a brand new mirrorless Canon camera to replace that phone! Submit up to three images that you've created with your smartphone! Any subject matter goes -- All that matters is the camera you used!

Forest Woodward


In Forest's own words, "Raised by Woodwards and tamed by wolves, I am haunted by the allure of point breaks and powder days, steep creeks and tall peaks; I am a hunter gatherer of natural light and candid moments. With an appetite whet with a taste of the unknown and the smell of home, I wander a path paved by open minds and trusting eyes, guided by willing feet...and a desire to bring you with me.

"From my early days drinking fixer in the dark room, learning zone system and processing 4x5 negatives, to recent trips documenting surf culture in NYC, migrant farm workers in Napa, rock climbing in South Africa, or the street kids of Rio's Carnival, my pursuit of new experiences pushes me to continually evolve my vision, while reminding me of the importance of carrying my camera with humor, compassion and curiosity."

Helbert Ruiz


Helbert Ruiz is a 2016 graduate of RMSP's Career Training program who has spent the last few years developing his skills and his brand to take his landscape photography to a new level. He spent 2019 overlanding in his Jeep from Alaska to Argentina. Full bio coming soon!

Inti St. Clair


Inti St. Clair is the real deal. Her work, which brings stories alive by capturing uplifting authentic imagery, has earned her assignments shooting commercial lifestyle photography for clients such as Chase, Phillips 66, AT&T, Wrangler and Microsoft.

Inti’s photographic career started in 2000 when she attended RMSP’s Summer Intensive program. That fall she moved to Seattle, WA, and her commitment to working toward earning a full-time, independent living as a commercial photographer required a constant grind: her days were filled with shooting, assisting other photographers, part-time work at a camera repair store, and late nights waitressing. In late 2001, she landed a position as a full-time producer, studio manager and second shooter for a very busy studio. She remained in that position for nearly four years, all the while honing her skills and developing her own portfolio.

Pei Ketron


Pei Ketron is a photographer, educator, and consultant based in San Francisco. After a decade teaching special education in the public school system, Pei now teaches photography and social media classes privately and through companies and events such as Creative Live, The Image Flow, the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, and Adobe MAX. She also serves as a photographic mentor for travel experiences with companies such as Passion Passport. In addition to her experience with DSLR and medium-format film photography, Pei is also an accomplished mobile photographer. She specializes in travel and commercial photography worldwide.

Clients include: Adobe, All Nippon Airways, American Express, Apple, Canadian Tourism Commission, Carnival Cruises, Google, General Assembly, Mitsukoshi Isetan Group, Mercedes, Michael Kors, Pfizer, Save the Children, Travel & Leisure Magazine, Turkish Airlines, and UNICEF.

Prizes and Sponsors

Prizes will be awarded to the top winner in each category (Nature, People, Miscellaneous, Smartphone) as determined by our judges. To determine the winner of each category, RMSP's in-house judges will review every image submitted in order to narrow each category down to just 90-100 images. These final images will then be passed on to our category-specific guest judges who will determine the winner in each category. From the four winners (one per category), RMSP's in-house judges will then determine one grand prize winner.

Throughout the contest we will continue to work to increase the prize pool. So, who knows...by the time we announce the winner, the first place prize package could include a Ferrari*!

*Don't count on it.

Grand Prize Winner

(This winner is chosen from one of the four category winners. The following prizes are added to their category prize pack.)

Category Winners






This photo contest wouldn't be as exceptional as it is without the support and generosity of many of our Educational Partners. Every company on this list has chipped in to help us help you, and recognizes that your success = their success. We know that we will be flooded with great images from around the U.S. and Canada during this contest, but that only a handful of photographers will win prizes. (bummer, but true). But even if you don't win the fully equipped, 50,000 square foot studio space in Manhattan grand prize*, we encourage you to support these brands. And if you ever have a question about any of their products or services, we are happy to steer you in the right direction or spend some time on the phone with you to make sure your questions get answered.


Contest Rules

  1. The RMSP High School Photo Contest begins on December 1, 2020 and ends at midnight MST on February 29, 2021. Our system will not allow you to upload any images outside of these times. No submissions will be accepted before or after these times.
  2. All submissions must be made through this website (rmsp.com). Submissions will not be accepted via social media, email, link sharing, file transfer service, or other similar methods.
  3. Uploading images for someone else (i.e., a friend or classmate) while logged into your own account, is not allowed. Each submitter must submit through their own account.
  4. Each entrant must be a high school student, a citizen of either the United States of America or Canada, and 14 years of age or older.
  5. By submitting one or more images to the Photo Contest, you (or your parent or guardian if you are under 18 years of age) are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions, as detailed after clicking the "Enter the Contest" button on the right. Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully and contact RMSP if you have any questions or concerns.
  6. Composite images are allowed, but you must be the legal copyright holder of every source image.
  7. Each entrant is allowed to submit up to three images per category.
  8. By submitting images to our contest, you agree to receive ongoing communications from us and our contest sponsors.
  9. By submitting images to our contest, you consent to RMSP and/or our contest sponsors using your images for promotion of the contest.
  10. Prizes are subject to change.
  11. Judges are subject to change.
  • Click below to start or edit your entry for the photo contest. Log in is required.

Previous Contests

2020 High School Photo Contest

December 01, 2019 - February 29, 2020