PROFESSIONAL INTENSIVE
CURRICULUM

Photographic Studies

Photographic Studies is where you master your most important tools. You'll learn how to use and control your DSLR, including how shutter speeds, f-stops, ISO and color balance affect your images. You'll familiarize yourself with lenses, tripods, and the latest in photographic technology. Instructors will also assist during field shoots as you experiment with different techniques and gain confidence. No matter your skill level, we'll help you cement the basics.

Lighting

Lighting is elemental. Great photographers know how to master light in all of its variations and forms. This course teaches you everything from the fundamentals of seeing light to how to work with both natural and artificial lighting, as well as specialty techniques for shooting professional portrait, adventure, food and product images both inside and out. You'll become proficient in your knowledge of the speedlights, strobes, and modifiers that will set you apart in the trade.

Genre Studies

Genre Studies is where you explore what interests you most. Maybe it's portraiture, sports, performance or architecture. Perhaps you're drawn to conceptual photography, weddings, food, or editorial. Whatever you choose, you'll engage in lectures and discussions and work with some of the most accomplished professionals in the field as you get a feel for possibilities and styles.

Business Studies

Business Studies is vital. To make it as a photographer, you need to know how to run a business. In this class you'll learn everything from how to write a business plan to understanding business costs and how to work with clients. You'll learn about pricing, contracts, licensing, and copyrights. These are the skills that take years to acquire on your own. Let RMSP instructors show you how to get things right the first time around.

Visual Studies

Visual Studies is all about perception. You'll consider the history and evolution of photography and think critically about composition, story, perspective, and style. You'll learn to identify the qualities of extraordinary images through interactive critiques with your group. You'll also pursue your unique vision and discover how best to express it.

Marketing

Marketing is where you learn how to differentiate yourself. The internet and social media have been game-changers when it comes to photography, and you need to discover what makes you stand out from the crowd. You will learn how to effectively promote your work, create your brand, and use the best outreach tools available, whether it's social media, a blog, online publishing or your own website.

Image Editing

Image Editing is where we bring the magic of photography to life. Using the top software in the industry, instructors will teach you how to turn a good image into an exceptional one. From proper storage techniques and proven workflows to fine-tuning raw photos and high-end image manipulation, this course covers everything you need to know. Using the latest versions of Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop and Capture One Pro, you'll learn how to correct, perfect, improve and augment your images. Through follow-along instruction and one-on-one lab time, you'll master techniques for capturing, protecting, processing, and maximizing every image to the highest professional standards.

Output

Output is what separates the pros from amateurs. This is where you'll learn how to get your work into the world and practice the many decisions you'll make when it comes to printing, publication or posting online. Discover how to create a workflow for perfect color accuracy every time and how to be intentional when it comes to where you share your work. With one-on-one assistance from your instructor, you'll be producing razor sharp, gorgeous prints in our state-of-the-art lab and sharing your work in a way that generates interest.

Video

Video is increasingly in demand. Knowing how to produce great videography provides photographers with a wider range of income opportunities. We'll give you a crash course in the latest in multimedia, including how to see in sequences and utilize audio and stabilizing equipment to create compelling videos and time-lapse imagery from scratch. You'll also engage in video critiques and a final group video project.

Shoots

Shoots are the reason we love photography. These sessions are held mostly outdoors, where you'll practice the skills you've learned in previous classes with an emphasis on achieving perfect exposures, lighting on location, and receiving feedback in the field. You'll have the opportunity to do all kinds of shoots: collaborative, individual, instructor-led, or assignment-driven.

Breakout Weeks

Breakout Weeks are week-long immersions in specific genres. These shoots, critiques and specialized lectures are taught by successful, industry-savvy pros who are here to help you master the necessary skills for photography's different fields. You'll choose between portrait and architecture, fashion and food/product, and wedding and adventure/lifestyle. For three additional weeks, you'll also get to know video, conceptual, and stock photography from corresponding specialists.

Breakdown of the Professional Intensive Curriculum

We recognize that becoming a professional photographer requires much more than photographic skill and knowledge. For this reason, we crafted the Professional Intensive curriculum to include an even distribution of photographic, lighting, business, and marketing skills professionals need in order to be successful in today's market. Below is an estimation of the percentage of time spent in each of the Professional Intensive core courses.

Professional Intensive students will learn the ins and outs of both retail and commercial photography. That means graduates leave with twice the job opportunities.

What is Retail Photography?

Retail photography encompasses genres in which photographers create memories or document events for individual people.

  • Weddings
  • Portraiture
  • Engagements
  • Families
  • Children
  • Maternity
  • Babies
  • Boudoir
  • Senior Portraits

What is Commercial Photography?

Commercial photography encompasses genres in which photographers create images that help sell a product or service for a business or agency.

  • Architecture & Interiors
  • Editorial
  • Advertising & Product
  • Adventure & Lifestyle
  • Food
  • Fashion & Glamour
  • Sports
  • Stock
  • Celebrity & Band
EXIT COMPETENCIES
What will
PI graduates
actually know?

Throughout 36 weeks at RMSP, there is a lot of time for lectures, assignments, shoots, homework, fun, learning and community. But the most important part about the whole adventure is that you will leave with a massive foundation of applicable skills. Click the icons below to see what Professional Intensive students will have learned upon graduation. It must also be noted that this lists only the advanced topics. The basic skills a student needs to understand some of these advanced concepts will also be covered thoroughly.

PHOTOGRAPHY & EQUIPMENT

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Use the zone system of exposure and be confident creating perfect exposures in all lighting situations.
  2. Achieve accurate focus every time, and know how to set up a camera’s autofocus in multiple different modes for different shooting situations.
  3. Understand the differences between exposure controls (what controls movement, depth of field, noise) and use them intentionally to capture a scene in a creative way.
  4. Know what types of camera and lens equipment are available and what should be used for specific situations to achieve the look they want.
  5. Understand how and when to use tripods and what different types of tripods are available for different purposes.
  6. Know how to calculate and use the hyperfocal distance to achieve acceptable sharpness from a near limit to infinity.
  7. Understand the camera’s sensor limitations in recording high contrast and know the solutions to overcome this.
  8. Be proficient using The Photographers Ephemeris or Sunseeker to predict when and where the sun or moon will be at any location and time.
  9. Have a thorough understanding of white balance in mixed lighting environments and be proficient at color correcting.
  10. Know about modern medium format digital cameras as well as an introduction to how film photography can be used today.
LIGHTING & STUDIO

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Use both studio strobes and portable flashes in the studio and on location to replace or augment the natural light in the scene.
  2. Use a meter to determine what your exposure will be before taking an image.
  3. Use reflectors, scrims, and shade to augment natural and artificial light.
  4. Have full control over (or utilize their knowledge to refine) the lighting in any situation.
  5. Use hard light modifiers in the studio and on-location.
  6. Use soft light modifiers in the studio and on-location.
  7. Recreate traditional and non-traditional (what is current in the industry) portrait lighting setups.
  8. Use multiple lights and modifiers to accentuate or downplay certain elements of an image.
  9. Shoot images of highly reflective or transparent products.
  10. Create appetizing images of food in the studio and on location.
  11. Shoot large objects such as cars and motorcycles on location with portable strobes.
  12. Use lights to enhance exterior and interior architectural scenes to create marketable images.
  13. Understand the differences between TTL and Manual flash modes and understand what shooting situations would benefit from these modes.
  14. Understand the advantages of off-camera flash and how to use it effectively.
VISION & CREATIVITY

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Create images with pleasing and engaging compositions.
  2. Know the history of photography and apply what photographers did in the past to help improve their own art.
  3. Edit their own work and determine what images should be in their portfolio to attract targeted clients.
  4. See like a camera, and visualize what images will look like before clicking the shutter.
  5. Create a series of images that illustrate a story or theme.
  6. Understand how to sequence their images effectively for portfolio and web.
  7. Understand photographic genres and the differences between them.
  8. Present their work professionally and confidently.
BUSINESS & FINANCE

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Know their cost of doing business and what it will take to make a full-time living from their photography.
  2. Have a business plan that outlines where they hope to be in the future and how they are going to get there.
  3. Know the practical, legal and financial fundamentals of starting a business, as well as legal requirements.
  4. Feel confident with pricing their work, negotiating with clients and creating / accepting contracts.
  5. Understand how geographic location influences pricing and job availability.
  6. Feel confident with basic bookkeeping and accounting practices, as well as applicable tax codes.
  7. Know how their business must change and adapt to the changing photographic environment and how to adapt it to match the genre of photography they are pursuing.
  8. Have a thorough understanding of copyright, ethics, plagiarism, law, and the rights of photographers.
IMAGE PROCESSING & WORKFLOW

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Store, manage and organize images in Adobe Lightroom.
  2. Perform global and local adjustments in Adobe Lightroom.
  3. Utilize Capture One Pro for tethering in the studio, file management and basic edits.
  4. Use Adobe Photoshop to create complex composites, to retouch, and to put the finishing touches on images.
  5. Make perfect local adjustments with no selection fringes, even on difficult images.
  6. Perform advanced color corrections using RGB, CMYK, LAB color or other techniques.
  7. Use Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets to develop a consistent style.
  8. Understand how to use Capture One Pro’s overlay feature for compositing or stacking images.
  9. Be proficient in Photo Mechanic, and its integration with Lightroom.
  10. Understand helpful workflow techniques for both the retail and commercial worlds.
MARKETING & ADVERTISING

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Know who their target client is, what they are interested in, and how to effectively market to them.
  2. Understand their brand and convey a consistent brand image across all marketing avenues.
  3. Utilize printed materials, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, social advertising and Google AdWords to promote their business.
  4. Understand additional printed, in-person or relational marketing options available to them.
  5. Have a professional website to showcase their portfolio and help clients find and learn more about them.
  6. Have a marketing plan outlining how they plan to market their photography business to a target audience.
  7. How to conduct themselves professionally during in-person meetings and portfolio reviews.
SHOOT PRODUCTION

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Coordinate with producers, stylists, models and other support staff to put together a large production shoot.
  2. Work with equipment rental houses, understanding the gear they should ask for.
  3. Manage their team and ensure the client gets the best possible product.
  4. How to be involved in creative calls and work within a team to create a single image.
  5. How to find, direct, and work with models.
ASSISTING & DIGITAL TECH

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Set up, break down, and pack studio equipment properly, safely, and efficiently.
  2. Perform important maintenance tasks on studio and camera gear.
  3. Set up Capture One Pro or Adobe Lightroom as a tethering program in the studio.
  4. Manage files as they load into a computer from a tethered camera.
  5. Know how to sell themselves as assistants and how to maintain a professional resume.
  6. Effectively assist on a shoot – understand the assistant role and how to communicate effectively with the other members of the production team.
  7. Understand the expectations of a Digital Tech: capture, metadata, retouching, layouts and asset management.
  8. Understand how to setup and utilize advanced grip and lighting equipment.
OUTPUT & GRAPHIC DESIGN

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Print images from Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Export images for a wide variety of uses on the web, print or digital.
  3. Outsource prints to a photo lab.
  4. Understand different color spaces and what each one is used for.
  5. Use typography and color to convey their brand through a chosen font.
  6. Understand graphic design and how to use design to further their brand.
  7. Understand how to hire professional designers to develop a brand.
  8. Design their logo, business card and leave-behind using Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator.
  9. Design, create and print a digital portfolio using Adobe InDesign.
  10. Understand professional printing options for promotional materials.
VIDEOGRAPHY

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Understand how photographic principles apply to videography.
  2. Understand the technical settings of videography and the creative implications.
  3. Edit and create videos using Adobe Premiere Pro.
  4. Record an interview using constant lights and audio equipment.
  5. Record B-roll for use in a final video project.
  6. Export video for a variety of different mediums.
  7. Create interesting and engaging video scenes for commercial purposes.
GENRE STUDIES

Graduates will be exposed to (and have worked with) the following genres of photography:

  1. Portrait
  2. Wedding
  3. Fashion
  4. Product
  5. Food
  6. Adventure
  7. Sports
  8. Stock
  9. Conceptual
  10. Event
  11. Macro
  12. Landscape
  13. Photojournalism
  14. Documentary
  15. Editorial
  16. Astrophotography
  17. Aerial
  18. Lifestyle
  19. Advertising
MENTORS & COLLABORATORS

Graduates will:

  1. Understand how to make connections in the industry with their peers, industry leaders and potential clients.
  2. Have received useful 1:1 time given by instructors and mentors to help them improve their portfolio and plans.
  3. Possess an impressive list of industry connections.
  4. Be part of a support system of fellow aspiring and professional photographers.
  5. Understand how to work professionally with collaborators of all kinds.
  6. Have received post-school mentoring to help launch their career.