Professional Intensive is at the forefront of technology and technique. Our eight-month flagship program will set you apart and give you the edge you need to succeed as a professional photographer.
You'll learn how to bring your creative vision to life, develop an exceptional foundation in photography skills, and leave with a professionally critiqued portfolio and a practical business plan. Then, your own passion and determination will put it all into effect.
It requires dedication and drive to break into the photographic market with success. This program is the fastest route to getting you started.
If you think you've got what it takes to be a pro, Professional Intensive is for you.
With 1000+ hours of all things necessary to build a photography career, RMSP's 8-month Professional Intensive program leads students through an extensive customized curriculum. Designed to prioritize the topics that most photographers struggle with, this intensive course creates graduates who are prepared to work any photography job that comes their way.
Comprised of business and marketing education, technical camera, lighting and editing instruction, and vision-based assignments, "PI" gives students the knowledge they're seeking while they focus on their unique strengths – the qualities that will set them apart in the industry. We're all about one-on-one attention, immersive education, and collaborative learning.
which is why this program requires students to work hard, to appreciate failure, and to remain motivated. It covers more photography than a four-year photo program – but without all the gen-eds. We want to maximize your time, so that you can start building professional work experience as soon as possible – with the confidence you'll need in order to succeed. Our graduates hit the ground running with a heck of a lot of knowledge and industry connections that will last forever.
It's one thing to love photography. It's something else entirely to turn that love into a profession.
An RMSP education is your passport to a career in photography. You'll learn more in our eight-month Professional Intensive than you would in a traditional college photography program, and in a quarter of the time. Oh, and did we mention there won't be any yawning over textbooks? Our concentrated curriculum incorporates 1,000+ hours of engaging classroom and field time with instructors and visiting professionals. You'll study alongside other student photographers who will challenge and inspire you. Perhaps most importantly, you'll form valuable, life-long connections as you travel along the path of your career. Throughout the program, you'll remain in close contact with our dedicated core instructors while also learning from top industry leaders. You'll never get lost in the shuffle.
When you graduate, you'll find a mentor ready to help you with the transition from education to profession. Becoming a professional photographer means finding your identity and niche — but it also means being versatile. It's hard to make a year-round living as a photographer, which is why RMSP prepares you for both the retail and commercial industries. Today, photographers are hired based on style and vision, not on genre alone. Being well versed in both industries opens the door to more job opportunities in the future.
If you want to be a pro, then take it from our pros. Great photographers have mastered their art. Successful photographers have mastered their business. Let RMSP teach you how to do both.
At RMSP, you'll live, breathe, and dream photography for eight of the most incredible months of your life. Our method? Full immersion. The result? Your mastery of the craft. Our curriculum starts at square one, where everyone gains a foundation in the basics, and evolves toward more specialized learning that suits your professional goals.
Phase I is all about fundamentals: cameras, editing, lighting, flash, composition, creativity, output, business, and marketing. Let us fill in the gaps in your knowledge that you can focus on moving forward. This phase is packed full of beginning-through-advanced photographic techniques, a solid foundation in business and marketing skills, and important workflow management considerations.
Phase II focuses on skills-development in the two industries that employ photographers: retail and commercial photography. Today, photographers are hired based on style and vision, not on genre alone. Being well versed in both industries opens the door to many more job opportunities in the future. During this phase, you will learn directly from working photographers in the industry who have built successful businesses and want to share their experiences with you.
Phase III is all about becoming a professional. At this point, you've built your foundation and it's time to practice your new knowledge and skills with the pros. During this phase, you'll develop your own business materials, learn how to advertise, create videos, and spend time in what we call “Breakout Weeks," when industry pros with unique perspectives work side by side with you, give you feedback, lead photo shoots, and share secrets about how to stay afloat in the photography world.
I think RMSP is one of the best photo programs out there - students get fantastic technical skills, an up-to-the-minute business and marketing education and a supportive network they can rely on for the rest of their careers. You really can't beat that combination.
Students get a ton of support at RMSP from faculty, staff and each other. Instead of the usual cut-throat competition, RMSP students are encouraged to master soft skills like collaborating effectively, managing teams and building relationships - skills that have become critical to success in today's photo industry.
By bringing working professionals in as educators, RMSP exposes students to real-world practices, almost like an apprenticeship with a lot of different masters. Seeing how so many people solve the same problems gives students an arsenal of tools and approaches they can use and adapt in their own careers. I wish I'd had that when I started out.
Photographer. Traveler. Seeker of human connection. Alex specializes in contemporary women’s portraiture and feels most alive when she’s creating intimate and evocative images that make people feel beautiful and seen. She attended RMSP in 2011 and will always carry a fondness for Missoula and the places where she first learned to view the world through her lens. She calls Utah home but has traveled much of the world in search of experiences and connections bigger than herself. She’s a little cheeky and a lover of home-made pasta, good wine, and lingering conversations with interesting, kind people.
Theresa Bear graduated from Rocky Mountain School of Photography (Otherwise known as The Hogwarts School of Photography). She is a human with the last name of an animal she aspires to be. Her dog is named after the stars (Star) and her baby Oak is named after a tree. Her work, life, and understanding of the World is completely inspired by the magic of nature and the beauty of life on Earth. Her process is wild and messy and full of emotion. You will always see flowers in her work or pieces of nature. It is a theme that isn’t going away. Her goal … to remind people that they’re an unstoppable force of magic.
Gabriel Bidermanhas been exploring the night topography for over 20 years. Using film and digital, he blends the surreal look of the night to enhance historic and urban landscapes. Biderman’s work has been exhibited in NY, London, San Francisco, and Hawaii and he is the author of the recently released book Night Photography – From Snapshots to Great Shots.
Jesse Boone founded Finest Moments Photography in Cleveland 11 years ago and now operates Jesse & Nelli, a boutique wedding studio along with his wife. Weddings have been the primary focus of his photography business for over a decade. Combining an upscale client experience with an artistic, photojournalistic style elevated his studio to one of the most sought after options in his area. Jesse and his wife have been commissioned to photograph weddings in amazing locations such as Sonoma, New York City and Mexico. From private estates, to vineyards, to oceanside celebrations, Jesse aims to capture the natural emotion and joy of each event focusing on natural interaction, relationships and great lighting. As a full-service studio, they create beautiful albums and wall art as timeless heirlooms for their clients. Their work has been featured in publications including the Wedding Channel, The Knot, Brides and Grooms, Rocky Mountain Bride, Photo District News, Destination I Do and Costco Connection. In the photography industry, Jesse has appeared on Shutter Network for his expertise in the business aspect of wedding photography. He is also creator of the Photo Gift Registry and SnapShotBot. For Jesse and Nelli, family is the most important thing. Today Jesse primarily enjoys helping photographers build successful lifestyle businesses that provide freedom for travel, adventure and maximum family involvement.
Mary Brunst, a portrait, wedding and editorial photographer, considers herself to be a smile-loving, adventurous soul. She is a go-getter, big dreamer, and a messy perfectionist. Photography for her is a way to focus on what is good and to cherish some of life’s happiest moments. Mary loves getting to document life as it happens, creating images that reflect real life in a genuine and uncontrived way. She strives to create images that radiate authenticity and reflect the true personalities of those she is photographing. She is a 2010 Graduate of RMSP's Career Training Program and worked as a Summer Intensive teaching assistant in 2011. Mary finds sharing her passion for photography with others both fun and rewarding. She currently resides in Westminster, Maryland. Her work has been featured on The Knot, Grey Likes Weddings, United with Love, Mountainside Bride, Charm City Wed, Bayside Bride and other wedding blogs & publications.
Jessica Carter is all about balance: passion with practicality, simplicity with thoroughness, creativity with strategy. She even balanced a degree in business administration with one in public administration. Jessica has worked with small nonprofits, universities, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. Through most of her career, she’s developed and managed programs for college students, adult learners, retirees, and alumni. (Speaking of alumni, she’s also a graduate of RMSP’s Summer Intensive.) Jessica is currently the Program Director at RMSP where she manages the Professional Intensive and Summer Intensive programs, balancing the big-picture curriculum with logistical details. She teaches business planning and management courses in Professional Intensive, and she loves bringing new ideas, helpful insights, and a boost of energy to aspiring entrepreneurs. Jessica’s love of teaching is second only to her love of nature; in addition to business courses, she also teaches wildlife, nature, and abstract photography.
Forest Chaput de Saintonge directs Rocky Mountain School of Photography with his wife, Sarah. He has been immersed in photography since he was born. He grew up in Missoula and began taking photos with an SLR when he was seven years old. He started working for Rocky Mountain School of Photography at age 13. During his free time, he likes to become a master at new things, build stuff, run, hike, bike, photograph, and be an amateur astronomer. Forest has a BA in Astrophysics, just because. He really enjoys teaching and loves to help students understand concepts thoroughly. Forest has vast experience working with and teaching Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, and has worked many hours in the black and white darkroom.
Forest and Sarah also own a aerial media company: Altitude Media
Simply stated, Jeanne has been involved in anything and everything that has happened at RMSP since its inception. In a time before RMSP existed, Jeanne graduated from Florida State University where she majored in English. After marrying Neil, the two decided to pack it up and make the move to Montana. She now works as the school's logistics, business and finance guru.
Sarah Chaput de Saintonge directs Rocky Mountain School of Photography with her husband, Forest. She has a BA in photojournalism and enjoys experimenting with many kinds of photography, but her primary interest is portraiture. She attended RMSP's Career Training program in 2011, ran a business in consumer portraiture for a while, then started working as an instructor and teaching assistant. She successfully completed one 365 project (take a photo a day for a year) and once made it to 155 consecutive days of making self portraits. She is now documenting ten years of her life with a daily photo of a person, place, or thing. She loves people, image editing, composition, film, her cats, and Forest.
Michael Clark is an internationally published outdoor photographer specializing in adventure sports, travel, and landscape photography. He produces intense, raw images of athletes pushing their sports to the limit and has risked life and limb on a variety of assignments to bring back stunning images of rock climbers, mountaineers, kayakers, and mountain bikers in remote locations around the world. He uses unique angles, bold colors, strong graphics and dramatic lighting to capture fleeting moments of passion, gusto, flair and bravado in the outdoors. Balancing extreme action with subtle details, striking portraits and wild landscapes, he creates images for the editorial, advertising and stock markets worldwide.
As a former physicist Michael has worked on both sides of the technical revolution – helping refine the technology and using it for his current profession. Michael has worked as a professional photographer since 1996 and added digital photography to his repertoire in 2003. While Michael still shoots some film, mostly medium format, the lion’s share of his images are now produced with high-resolution digital cameras. He has been featured in Digital Photo Pro (December 2011), Outdoor Photographer (September 2001), Nikon World Magazine (Summer 2006), Digital Photographer (UK, 2010), Rangefinder Magazine (May 2010), and New Mexico Magazine (2007) for his work with extreme sports. Digital Photo Pro proclaimed Michael a "Master of Adventure" Photography in their 2011 Masters issue.
He contributes to National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, Sports Illustrated, Outside, Men's Journal, Backpacker, Outdoor Photographer, Digital Photo Pro, Climbing, Alpinist, Rock and Ice, Bike Magazine and The New York Times among many others.
A sampling of Michael's advertising clients include Apple, Nike, Nikon, Adobe, Red Bull, Microsoft, Nokia, Patagonia, Propel/Gatorade, Pfizer, DuPont, 20th Century Fox, Black Diamond, Cloudveil, Prana, Arc'teryx, Camelbak, La Sportiva, Gregory Packs, and Butterfield and Robinson.
In addition to shooting still images, Michael has also launched Michael Clark Productions, which produces top-notch motion and video pieces using state of the art digital cinema cameras.
Mark Cluney is a wedding and editorial photographer based in Missoula, Montana. He
bought his first camera in 2009 and has photographed 15-25 weddings a year since
2010 as Cluney Photo. He is passionate about capturing the themes of emotion and
memory through photography. His wedding work focuses on storytelling; emphasizing
the authentic moments and feelings of the day. Consciously opposing many of the
trends and fads in the wedding industry, he strives to take images that are timeless.
In addition to running Cluney Photo and teaching/mentoring photographers, in 2016
he partnered with New York commercial photographer Cody Rasmussen to start Timeless
Photo Co., a luxury wedding photography studio based in Manhattan, NYC.
In his spare time, he loves to read, study classic fashion and portrait photography, and spend time with his wife (Angela) and son (Eastwood). His work has been featured by Style Me Pretty, Ruffled, Green Wedding Shoes, The Knot, Junebug Weddings, Brides.com, Design Aglow, Aglow Magazine, The Henry Ford Magazine, Spotify, among other local and regional publications.
Ben Ferencz is an art director/graphic designer originally from New York. His work can be seen incorporated into the graphic communications of such brands as MoMA, Yves Saint Laurent, Phaidon, Gucci, MTV, Reebok, Pepsi, Adventure Cycling, Montana Art Museum and The University of Montana. With his wife, Julie, and daughter, Evelyn, Ben resides in St. Ignatius, Montana, where he continues to design and farm. He is the founder and creative director of The Design Cooperative.
Rob Gappert is a landscape and nature photographer. He grew up in Bismarck, North Dakota but now calls Missoula home. Rob enjoys the outdoors and has been shooting landscapes for the better part of 15 years. He loves to travel with his family and is a self-proclaimed “National Park Junkie”. Rob is a 2015 Summer Intensive graduate and loves to share his passion for the art.
Ryan Gobuty is an architectural and lifestyle photographer based in Los Angeles. He has worked with Gensler, a global architecture and design firm, since 2003, and has served as the photography manager for six offices since 2009. He graduated with an architectural degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2002.
Ryan has traveled the globe helping to build Gensler's portfolio, photographing nearly 450 projects worldwide since transitioning from an architectural designer in 2009.
Quinn Hegwood is one of RMSP's core instructors, specializing in printing and social media. She enjoys photographing people in their natural habitat, primarily mothers and children, and she is on a constant search for light. Quinn is passionate about helping students to discover the artist within themselves.
Judy Herrmann of Herrmann + Starke, creates imagery for advertising, editorial, and corporate clients. A past president of ASMP, an Olympus Visionary, and recipient of the United Nations IPC Leadership Award, Judy was named one of eleven “photographers you should know” by Rangefinder Magazine. Her inspiring seminars on photography and business have helped thousands of photographers. Through one-on-one consultations and her blog, www.2goodthings.com, she helps people grow creative and financially rewarding businesses.
Marcy James is a fine art documentary photographer who began teaching for RMSP during the old wet processing days when her passion was building pinhole cameras and working with antiquarian photo processes. Today, she has merged antiquarian methods with digital technology and has a special love for exploring the importance and potential with how our images live in the world regardless of whether we are presenting our work through the web or with exhibitions.
Marcy received her MFA from the University of Montana in 2005 and has taught for both the University of Montana’s School of Art as well as Rocky Mountain School of Photography where her focus has involved working with wet processes, visual studies, working in long projects and portfolio development. Marcy developed her photography through a myriad of jobs including working for CBS News and Television in London and Los Angeles, freelancing as an architectural photographer and photojournalist and owning a successful portrait studio.
In addition to teaching for RMSP, Marcy served the school as their Director of Education for seven years where she designed curriculum and coordinated classes for both our Career Training Program as well as our Workshops. As an artist, Marcy has exhibited nationally and her work has been featured in several publications over the years. Today, if she’s not out walking the hills of Missoula with her family, you will find her photographing in her favorite fictional landscape, No Mans Land.
Doug Johnson is a Colorado native now living in Missoula, Montana. Before a life-changing pursuit of photographic art, he was an outdoor educator for more than 20 years, passionately teaching people backcountry skills in navigation, mountaineering, avalanche awareness and wilderness first aid. Since graduating from RMSP’s Summer Intensive program in 1996, Doug’s work has covered many diverse projects in the documentary, commercial, fine art and educational fields. Assignments have taken him from coyote shooting in Wyoming to the last stages of a woman’s life to the graffiti-covered alleys and abandoned buildings of Denver. He is currently involved in an ongoing project called Art Music, which fuses the art of photography with live musical performance. His educational philosophy is fun, intuitive and full of creative persistence. No matter where you are in your photographic journey, Doug’s balance of the aesthetic with the technical can help you further express your unique vision.
I shoot people and things for a living, and I love it. Yes, with a camera. I don’t even need a camera, really—I can’t go anywhere or do anything without mentally framing a shot, analyzing the light, memorizing the colors. The camera helps, though. It’s my typewriter, my paintbrush, my microphone and amplifier. It’s how I take what I see—what you see—and create an image that encapsulates a story, a feeling, a message. This process is basically my life. My studio is in Salt Lake City, Utah, but I’ll travel anywhere to make that one perfect image, and I often do. In between it all, I’m probably drinking damn good coffee or a craft brew, hiking up/sliding down/sleeping in the mountains, or wandering around some city with my wife.
My client list includes Google, Lenovo, Mercedes Benz, Converse, Specialized, Delta Airlines, American Express, Filson, AKG, Koch Industries, JBL, Simon & Schuster, Billboard, New York Magazine, Popular Mechanics, The Wall Street Journal, Inc, Men's Fitness, Runner's World, The Guardian, AD Week, Cosmopolitan, Guitar World, SPIN, and Harvard Business Review.
Wes Kroninger is well known for his inventive editorial and beauty portraiture—cleanly lit images with a vitality and vibrancy that impacts viewers immediately. Kroninger has been a full time photographer since 2003 and in that time his work has gained national exposure, in publications including American Salon, Rolling Stone, Modern Salon, Rangefinder, Studio Photography, Banking Investor Magazine, Long Beach Magazine, Travel and Leisure Golf and a wide range of trade publications. He has worked with a broad range of commercial clients like Home Depot, Stanford Eagle, AVEDA as well as numerous salon and beauty industry clients across the country. In the photography industry, Kroninger has also been recognized for his work as an instructor, leading an extremely successful platform class at the 2009 WPPI convention in Las Vegas, where he shared some of the secrets of his elegantly lit beauty images. He is also a contributor to Pro Photo Resource, a popular on-line resource for professional photographers. Kroninger’s first book Lighting: Design Techniques for Digital Photographers, exploring the creative and technical aspects of photographic lighting is now on shelves.
Joe Lavine lives in Golden, Colorado, and works as a commercial photographer specializing in food and beverage. For 20 years, Joe has worked with clients in his studio on Santa Fe Drive, the growing (prominent) art and photo district in Denver. Along with his commercial work, Joe has been teaching for more than 10 years at the Art Institute of Colorado. Education has always been important to him; he holds an undergraduate degree from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California, and a master’s degree from Savannah College of Art and Design. Joe is an Adobe® Certified Expert in Photoshop® and beta tester for Leaf America. His expertise in Photoshop allows him to do his own digital retouching and manipulation for both client and personal work. Joe’s clients include General Mills, McDonalds, Quiznos, Rock Bottom Restaurants, Coors, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Wells Fargo Bank, Duracell and Qwest.
Jeff McLain is a photographer, videographer, and digital retoucher.
After his photography education, Jeff got his start as a freelance photo assistant in San Francisco working on editorial, catalog and advertising shoots. His skills in Photoshop and computing allowed him to help photographers bridge the gap between the film days and all-digital workflows, and he stood at the forefront of the advent of the career of the "Digital Technician."
Jeff soon moved into shooting, and then moved laterally to video capture. His background as a multi-instrumental musician has also benefited his understanding of sound design and audio capture, which can be a technically challenging aspect of film-making.
He worked for many years as a digital technician for Pier 1 Imports, Pottery Barn and a slew of others. As a photographer, he has shot for Williams Sonoma, Mountain Living Magazine, Keen Shoes, Mountain Hardwear, Red Envelope, and Robert Mondavi Wines, among others.
He has loaded 15 cases of equipment onto planes, coordinated with Spanish-speaking producers in Mexico, photographed hamburgers by window-light in Hong Kong, shot smoothies on the balcony of Rudolph Valentino's Hollywood mansion, talked about film technology on a photo shoot with George Lucas, and has worked out of helicopters, Cessnas and random hotel rooms.
He has been a freelancer for over 15 years and takes a 'real-world' approach to his perspective of the photographic industry and the skills needed in today's market. Locally, he and his wife own and operate a boutique wedding videography business.
Jeff is a 2001 graduate of Hallmark Institute of Photography and has B.A. from the
University of Montana. When not shooting in-studio or on-location, Jeff spends time
with his wife, son, dog and cat in Missoula, Montana. He plays bluegrass dobro,
banjo and guitar to unwind.
Montana-based artist, Scott ‘Raff’ Rafferty has been honing his skills as a photographer and image maker since the late '90s when he was first trained as a professional photo finisher in high-end traditional labs. His path has since taken a windy road throughout many different creative disciplines beyond photography, including product design, brand development, graphic design, and interior space curation. Raff’s melting pot of experiences all share a common thread, which is his passion for strong composition in creative expression. Whether it’s taking a photo of a still life or styling the furniture in a client’s living room, the fundamentals are the same (and they are to be honored). Most recently Raff has fallen in love with a new discipline- Aerial Photography. As a licensed and trained drone pilot he now takes his photography ‘to new heights’ by exploring shape, color, movement, and composition from the skies.
Ben Reed is a photographer and cinematographer based in Bozeman, Montana. Originally from the coastal region of North Carolina, he grew up exploring the woods and waves, which led him to photography, and eventually surf photography. In 2010, he attended the Rocky Mountain School of Photography (RMSP) in Missoula, MT, where he developed his keen eye and later moved to the North Shore of Oahu to engross himself in the ultimate surf destination and pursue surf photography with Brian Bielmann, eventually shifting into cinematography too, especially with the Red Digital Cinema Dragon by his side.
If he's not hiking around Glacier National Park, he's in front of a computer. If he's not paddling his kayak around a lake in western Montana, he's in front of a computer. If he's not at the gym, he's playing video games with Forest... in front of a computer. With degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Information Technology, Tony is the smartest person on our staff and is responsible for maintaining all of RMSP's digital systems. He is a Wisconsin native and a graduate of RMSP's 2008 class of our former Career Training program.
Colin Ruggiero is a filmmaker and photographer in Missoula, Montana. He has produced a variety of award-winning independent films and shorts and has worked as a cameraman for clients such as National Geographic, Discovery, ESPN, and PBS among others. He loves the ocean and has spent many hours working as an underwater cinematographer. He received an M.F.A. in Documentary Filmmaking from the Discovery Networks Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program and has taught a variety of filmmaking and photography classes for The International Wildlife Media Center and Rocky Mountain School of Photography. Although much of his work focuses on the natural world, he enjoys turning his lens on anything that inspires him. In addition to being a filmmaker, Colin is a musician who has traveled throughout Latin America studying music.
Rob Sylvan is a photographer, teacher, and author, who is also the Lightroom Help Desk Specialist for KelbyOne, and an instructor for the Bryan Peterson School of Photography and the Digital Photo Workshops. Rob writes the “Under the Loupe” column for Photoshop User Magazine, and is the author of many photography related books and videos such as Lightroom 5: Streamlining Your Digital Photography Process, Lightroom 3 Video QuickStart Guide, Taking Stock, and Nikon D750: From Snapshots to Great Shots to name a few. In 2002, while working as an instructional designer, Rob started shooting stock as a hobby that quickly led to a joining the (then) six-person team inspecting all the submissions to iStockphoto. In 2005 Rob was tasked with the responsibility of providing detailed feedback to all contributors looking to understand the underlying reasons for their rejected submissions, which led to the creation of the very successful Scout program on iStockphoto. Over nearly a decade he was part of the content team that grew the collection from under 30,000 files to over nine million. After leaving iStockphoto Rob went on to become one of the founding contributors to Stocksy United, where he currently serves on the board of directors. Witnessing the stock industry from the inside out provided incredible insight into all the facets of what it takes to create useful stock imagery.
Mike Tittel admits an obsession with all-things photography. As a freelance active lifestyle photographer based in Salt Lake City, his work reflects his personality: passionate, energetic, adventurous, and focused. His zeal for the craft and technical side of photography is equally matched by his love for running a business and working as a team with other creative professionals to create visually stunning work. Mike’s beliefs in developing personal relationships and fostering creative collaboration have enabled him to work with nationally-known brands including Wells Fargo, Verizon Wireless, Puma, Columbia Sportswear, Red Bull, Gore-Tex as well as publications such as Men’s Journal, Outside, Fitness, Runner’s World, Shape, Skiing, Bike. When Mike isn’t working on location or in the office, you’ll find him rippin’ single-track, skiing powder, or spending quality time with his wife and two kiddos.
Krista Welch specializes in working one-on-one with couples, families, and small businesses to tell the story of who they are and what their legacies represent in life, love, and work. Since graduating from RMSP's Career Training Program in 2010, she has joyfully photographed an eclectic collection of weddings in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, and worked as on-screen workshop host at a Seattle-based startup called CreativeLIVE, geeking out over camera gear and interviewing some of the photography world's leading educators. Her weddings have been published in Offbeat Bride, Seattle Bride Magazine, and Style Me Pretty.
Krista is amazed by the power photography has had in her life to travel the world, build relationships, and give back. In 2014, she co-founded a US-based volunteer group consisting of a collective of 200+ creative professionals from around the US who volunteered their time and talent to create storytelling content for growing nonprofits. Krista has a deep love of story, the arts, and community.
For the last 10 years, I've been working as a self-taught professional photographer based out of Missoula, Montana. Since I started my company in 2009, RMSP has been on my radar. Over the years, I watched friends who attended the program and saw the quality of their work improve drastically. Having spent the last ten years within a niche market of whitewater action sports photography, I'm familiar with the demands and challenges involved in making a living as a photographer. However, I reached a point where I was feeling stuck and unsure how to grow and expand within my career. After reading through the comprehensive PI curriculum I was convinced that attending PI would give me the skills and vision to move forward. I made the choice to attend the PI because I didn't want to waste any more time trying to figure it out on my own. Having now completed PI I can say that it was hands down one of the best experiences of my life. To be fully immersed in photography in a supportive, positive and engaging environment for nine months was invaluable. My technical competency as a photographer has grown leaps and bounds and I have significantly more confidence in my abilities. I now am able to take on new and interesting photography work, a lot of which is outside of my niche specialty of whitewater action sports. The PI program moves at a fast and demanding pace which, in my experience is not unlike the actual job of being a photographer. Having the opportunity to learn from industry professionals and collaborate with other photographers was incredibly enlightening. Additionally, RMSP strongly emphasizes personal growth and development. The staff really pushes you to go beyond who you are as a photographer and explore who you are as a person. Coming out of PI, I'm not only running my existing company more efficiently, I'm also getting new opportunities and constantly expanding the range of my abilities.
The PI program has given me the support, tools, direction and confidence to go forward and create a profitable and meaningful career in photography. I honestly wish that I had taken the PI program ten years ago when I started my company. If you are dedicated to making it as a photographer and want the opportunity to jumpstart your career this is an experience that should not be missed!
I first discovered RMSP in the Summer of 2014 as a young twenty something newly engaged to an aspiring doctor with LOTS of long term commitments. In a fortunate turn of fate I had already begun my journey in photography as a full-time wedding assistant at a local studio. As I fell in love with the art form I realized how badly I wanted to learn more and expand my opportunities. As my husband and I planned ahead for school and relocation continually sacrificing to balance both our dreams, I finally got my chance to attend Professional Intensive in Fall 2017 and boy did I have high expectations!
While the internet has many offerings for the aspiring photog, quality and currency of those resources was always something I felt skeptical of. When you're trying to build a business in an exciting but competitive industry, education is nothing to take lightly. Cue RMSP - All the tools, all the techniques already gathered for you in one place, with ALL the professionalism and all the contacts you could possibly need to grow your photo business. Hands down, I think RMSP has one of the most effective learning models for a non-traditional photography education that WILL equip you to succeed. Instructors are readily available to teach and critique work, including business plans and web design, and the level of expertise among staff is phenomenal! I'm not talking about people who just have a degree to teach photography but people who have worked in the industry anywhere from 15 -30+ years sharing their knowledge. RMSP is where I fell in love with studio and food photography; give me all the tacos and ice cream and Iím a happy girl, haha! With the guidance of fantastic commercial photography instructors, I was able to explore just how far I could take that passion to reach aspirations of a career in food & lifestyle.
Through assignments in both lighting and visual concepts I learned what my creative perspective was and polished my style both behind the camera and in post production. By the end of the program I had orchestrated two on-location shoots for my final -- they involved lifestyle models, food styling, and prop management. I realized I was capable of pulling off projects I would have felt grossly underqualified for prior to the program, and my confidence and photography technique grew exponentially. In the year following graduation, I hit the ground running as a freelance food photographer and have already worked on a retainer basis with restaurants making a substantial side hustle while I work myself into the industry full-time.
If you're worried that attending Rocky Mountain School of Photography's Professional Intensive is too big a sacrifice, please just consider the big picture; there will never be a "perfect time" to make a commitment this significant, but it is 100% possible. It may be the one commitment that leads you into your future photography successes. If photography is your passion, give yourself the chance to make it your dream job!
My experience with the Professional Intensive (PI) program at RMSP exceeded my expectations! From day one I felt the ‘warmth of family’ working with the directors, administrators and instructors supporting me on my journey to be a professional photographer. The curriculum is smartly designed and incrementally builds a student’s confidence and abilities over the rigorous 9-month program.
I not only learned the fundamentals of Commercial and Retail photography but I was also exposed to so many additional photographic genres like - drone, surf, dance, macro, architecture and astro photography. I soaked in every minute of my time at RMSP and took advantage of every lecture, shooting and studio opportunity presented to me. I will be forever grateful to the team at RMSP for an amazing life experience and my new career!
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have about my time at RMSP and Missoula, MT – firstname.lastname@example.org
My time at Rocky Mountain School of Photography was nothing short of transformational! A previous student described RMSP as the Hogwarts of photography education, and I couldn't agree more. The whole experience was magical and provided once in a lifetime opportunities. Our education wasn't limited to the classroom; we were constantly out experimenting and putting to practice what we learned.
The RMSP staff truly made everyone feel incredibly welcome and part of the community. RMSP offered a supportive, family environment where I felt comfortable to ask questions and get productive feedback that took my work to the next level and beyond. So much of my experience there was fun and exciting, and I made life-long friendships with my fellow students.
RMSP provided preparation for the business of photography, as well as the creative and the technical. RMSP gave me the fundamental tools to understand and start my own business. I can also say with confidence, now that I am working as a professional photographer, that I have been prepared for the actual work. Sometimes, even more prepared than my self-taught peers who have been working as professional photographers for years. The level of detail we were given the opportunity to learn is extraordinary, and not common among other photography education programs.
One of my biggest takeaways from RMSP was something Neil said on one of our first days of school; ìThe more you know, the more you know you don't know.î This could not be more true as my world has been opened to the possibilities in this career, thanks to RMSP. My education doesn't end because I graduated from RMSP, it is only just beginning, and I thank RMSP for opening the door to my future.
Capture One Pro is a cutting edge imaging software program designed to help professional photographers streamline their workflow. Each Professional Intensive student will receive a free copy of Capture One Pro after starting the program!
Creating estimates and invoicing clients before and after a big photography project can be difficult and chaotic, but BlinkBid makes it easy. Each Professional Intensive student will receive one free year of BlinkBid to help with this process and make starting their business a little easier.
By registering and completing any course with us, you will automatically be eligible for EDU status with B&H Photo. EDU members can save money on select items sold by B&H.
The software you use in your workflow is almost as crucial as your camera. Register for any RMSP course and you will receive a code to save 15% on a Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for the first year.