Jonah Besel

Summer Intensive

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 from Seattle to Missoula for their Open House and meeting with some of the instructors, I was thrilled to see what Summer Intensive (SI) was all about. Although excited, I wasn’t completely set on RMSP until I entered their High School Photo Contest and 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 I started SI I’ve had no regrets. I actually had to miss the first week of Summer Intensive 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 SI 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 in studio I’ve never heard of to documenting people in their environment, I believe the skills I’ve developed this summer will last me a lifetime.

Taking a leap of faith and coming to The Rocky Mountain School of Photography was, without a 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 learned during SI, I can’t wait to jump into the photography world and all it has to offer.