Not quite ready to commit to our Summer Intensive program but tempted to spend a fun-filled week steeped in photography? RMSP has a workshop for you. You'll be amazed how much you can learn in just a few days.

At RMSP, you won't find workshop instructors shooting alongside their students. They're here to teach, not build their own portfolios. They'll look through your viewfinder with you, take you to all the insider spots, and show you how to capture that perfect photo you've always wanted to take.


Where We Go: If Ansel were around to teach for RMSP, this workshop would be his pride and joy! Just picture it ... Ansel standing at his tripod, hidden under a black sheet, pointing his lens toward the rustic barns and dilapidated buildings from yesteryear Montana. Or creating rich black and white images of our farms and ranches, and exposing for our ever-changing big sky like no other! Well, taking a workshop from Ansel might not be a possibility anymore, but learning the finer points of black and white photography from a highly skilled photographer and educator is!

With seasoned landscape shooter Doug Johnson at the helm, you’ll visit Garnet Ghost Town and the antiquated Moon-Randolph Homestead, both situated on the outskirts of Missoula, MT. You get the opportunity to photograph the well-kept historical ghost town of Bannack, MT. As day gives way to night, you’ll photograph the sunset and enjoy a night shoot under the epic amount of stars in rural Montana. Nearby (well, by Montana standards anyway), the World Museum of Mining in the hardscrabble town of Butte – rich with history and full of stories from the past will inspire you to grab your tripod and explore! You will also revel in the treasures of Parts Father’s Garage and the expansiveness of the Geary Ranch near Helmville, MT.

What You Learn: One thing many photographers need more than any lens or camera or software update is ... time. Having the gift of uninterrupted time to see and think creatively can do wonders for your photography. This week is all about tilting the scales of time back into your favor so you can improve. Here’s some of what you will learn and experience during this workshop:

  • Learn how to see and read light for black and white photography 

  • Learn how to capture and process images like Ansel Adams did 

  • Gain a solid understanding of the Zone System of Exposure 

  • Explore night photography techniques 

  • Black and white post-processing techniques using Adobe Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex Pro 

Whether photographing in downtown Missoula where this course is based, in the town of Butte, or anywhere in between, Doug makes himself available in the field to provide assistance when you most need it. Following each outing, your group gets together for constructive critique sessions in which you listen and learn from each other and benefit from Doug’s vast amounts of experience.

Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.


Where We Go: When you think of Montana you might think of endless landscapes, rugged wilderness and the incredible wildlife that roams around “out there”. While we do have larger-than-life animals here, most visitors’ interactions with them occur from the side of the road or through binoculars. But for any photographer wanting to capture magazine-quality images, they know that simply rolling down the window to grab a photo will never cut it. This workshop at Triple D Game Farm will put you front and center – and sometimes face to face – with animals such as mountain lions and wolves. The experience will give you the best possible opportunity to create images you’ve always dreamed of, and will surely allow you to cross several things off your bucket list.

What You Learn: As if being in Montana, on the outskirts of Glacier National Park, and safely photographing animals isn’t enough, doing so with the father/son instructor team of Neil and Forest Chaput de Saintonge will ensure this experience is one you won’t soon forget. Their collective, well-trained photography prowess will ensure that every one of your photo questions gets answered in a way that makes sense to you, and that you will get the maximum benefit from this course by photographing alongside the two of them.

During this shoot-and-critique style workshop you:

  • Get a review of basic wildlife photography techniques
  • Cover appropriate camera settings and techniques
  • Photograph wolves and mountain lions in a natural setting
  • Photograph baby animals during morning light
  • Have your images critiqued by two photographers
  • Gain insight on how you can improve your techniques
  • Benefit from having dedicated time to edit your images during the course

Please note that this workshop is primarily a shoot and critique workshop. And unlike other RMSP workshops your instructors will be photographing alongside you during this course as a means to demonstrate concepts and techniques.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.


Why? What does it take to get started in the business of outdoor photography? A nice camera? A handful of great photos? A website? Sure all of these are helpful, but at the end of the day, becoming a freelance photographer who can regularly generate income from outdoor imagery is less about the tangible tools and more about your knowledge of the industry and the unique vision you bring to the table. This course, focused on getting started in the business of photography, is not for photography’s weekend warriors. Instead, this week led by professional photographer Michael DeYoung is geared toward experienced photographers who are looking to turn their outdoor photography habit into a money-making possibility.

What You Learn: The structure of this course is loosely 2/3 in-classroom lecture and 1/3 time spent outdoors photographing. Scheduled shoots will take you to magnificent locations such as a private ranch where the owner rides her horse through the creek right in front of your lens, the Lee Metcalf or Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuges, and Holland Lake where you photograph the Mission Mountains as Holland Falls crashes behind you. Classroom lectures cover a range of topics that will assist you in becoming a more knowledgeable photographer including many of the less-than-glamorous, yet necessary aspects of running a photo business. This will include:

  • Writing proposals and query letters to editorial clients
  • Best practices for making submissions to editorial and commercial markets
  • Developing an understanding of licensing, value and pricing of your images
  • Licensing your outdoor images to magazines, calendars, cards, books, local and regional tourism markets and for commercial art decor
  • How to license your images through by building relationships with stock photo agencies,
    as well as doing it on your own
  • Seeing and thinking in creative ways to make yourself stand out in a crowded field
  • Understanding that the art and business of photography are two separate things

After discussing many of the behind the scenes topics of running your business, Michael will shift gears and begin to share with you the multitude of ways you can begin to market your images. Having experience with editorial, commercial, and stock environments he is a wealth of knowledge (and advice) for emerging shooters. His background of working with editors and buyers will help you:

  • Photograph with an art director’s point of view in mind
  • Photograph from a conceptual point of view
  • Convey a sense of place in your images
  • Understand when and when not to use specialized equipment
  • Become familiar with on-location creative techniques
  • Build trust by maintaining a high standard of ethics

Considerations: Participants need to be totally comfortable operating their DSLR in manual mode.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.


Why? No matter how the world changes from day to day or generation to generation, people (us!) will always be what makes the world turn. From the musician playing a guitar on the sidewalk to the rancher moving cattle to the astronaut preparing to explore outer space … our world is full of fascinating characters. This workshop is your opportunity to learn to photograph people like a pro, with two pros leading the way. Portrait photographer Tony Rizzuto and photojournalist Jeremy Lurgio take you to a variety of locations including the Western Montana Fair and a barrel-racing school in the tiny town of Arlee—to teach the techniques, etiquette, and art of capturing people on camera.

What? Throughout this week, your instructors and experiences will put you on the fast track to becoming a better photographer. During this course you will:

  • Benefit from two instructors each with a unique photographic background
  • Learn how to supplement natural light with artificial light from your strobe
  • Refine your compositional skills to craft effective portraits
  • Gain techniques for gaining a subject’s trust
  • Learn techniques for maintaining a subject’s attention during a shoot
  • Learn to create environmental portraits that tell a story
  • Gain a better understanding of how light creates mood and shapes your subject
  • Push your abilities by going outside your comfort zone
  • See and learn from the work of fellow participants
  • Benefit from constructive group critiques

You need to be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop. 


Why? Wouldn’t it be great if you could store every photo you have ever taken in one place and have an easy and logical method of finding any image that came to mind? Sounds like a pipe dream, doesn’t it? Well, fortunately for photographers of all kinds, this dream actually can come true by simply learning to use Adobe Lightroom. Join Instructor Doug Johnson for this four-day workshop to learn how to make the management and editing of your images less stressful and way more enjoyable.

What? Adobe Lightroom is a powerful, professional-grade image management and enhancement tool that can furrow the brows of new users trying to learn it on their own. For serious amateurs and professional photographers alike, strong Lightroom skills can dramatically improve both your happiness level and your image quality. During this course you will:

  • Learn to manage a large volume of digital images
  • Learn best practices for how and where to store your images
  • Gain an understanding of the relationship between Lightroom’s database and your image files
  • Learn to import your images into Lightroom
  • Learn how to rate, sort, keyword, find and label your images
  • Learn to use the Develop module to make exposure adjustments, crop, straighten, convert images to black and white, remove spots and make further enhancements to images
  • Learn how to sync your edits on one file across a large number of files
  • Use Lightroom to prepare your images for sharing online or in print format

Who? Lightroom is professional-level image management software and may not be appropriate for novice computer users. New users are welcome to attend but must have a solid working knowledge of their computer’s operating system to get the most from this workshop. Participants are required to have their own laptop for this course, and two external hard drives are recommended.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.



Why: Regardless of the camera you use to create your images, Adobe® Photoshop packs the power to take those images to places you never could without it. Whether using this industry-standard software to create dramatic skies in your landscapes, straighten crooked horizons, remove unwanted blemishes in your portraits, or to go completely crazy with compositing many images together, Photoshop can handle most any task you throw at it. Come learn the basics with instructor Tim Cooper.

What: Wow” is the word most people utter when they learn how powerful Photoshop is.  “Overwhelming” usually follows shortly thereafter. But that’s where Tim Cooper comes in.  By stripping away all the non-essential components and focusing on what you need to know as a photographer, Tim teaches you:

  • Photoshop Architecture
  • Layer Theory
  • Selections
  • How to Use Layer Masks
  • How to Make Local Adjustments
  • Techniques for Making Advanced Local Corrections
  • Advanced Image Retouching
  • How to Work With Smart Objects
  • How to Work With Smart Filters
  • About Plug-Ins and How to Use Them in Your Workflow

Considerations: You should have the latest version of Photoshop loaded on your laptop prior to the start of this course.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.


Where We Go: There are few roads in America, or in the entire world, that can compare to Glacier’s Going-to-the-Sun Road. It twists and turns while taking riders through tunnels creatively carved into the steep mountainside. Waterfalls of melted snow flow year round onto one side of the road, while incredibly steep drops on the other side deliver it to the valley below. Jammers – bright red buses that have been carrying visitors to the top of Logan Pass for decades – add pops of color to the landscape, matched only by the bright white fur of mountain goats that get so close they could almost be photographed with a macro lens. In this stunning environment, landscape photographer and professional instructor Tim Cooper takes you straight to the park’s premier shooting spots so you can create images that will leave you as breathless as looking over the edge of the road. Whether photographing the magical Avalanche Creek, or the towering cedars, snow-mantled summits, and sparkling mountain lakes that abound here, you’ll understand why Glacier is a landscape photographer’s paradise.

What You Learn: When you visit Glacier with RMSP, you don’t merely take in the sights and collect a few pretty pictures. Instead, instructor Tim Cooper ensures that you:

  • Become a more educated and intentional photographer
  • Learn creative landscape composition techniques
  • Master the Zone System of Exposure
  • Gain experience in the process of creating HDR images
  • Experience morning and evening field shoots when the light is best
  • Improve your abilities through constructive group critique sessions
  • Receive one-on-one assistance while working in the field

Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera. All skill levels are encouraged to attend, but lectures are not tailored to basic principles. Due to some hiking at high altitude (7,000 feet), it is recommended you be in good physical condition.

To learn more about the experience on this workshop, click the link below to read a blog post written about our 2013 Glacier National Workshop in our local newspaper, The Missoulian.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop. 



Why? After picking up your camera for the hundredth time, it’s understandable if you have been lulled into a certain way of doing things, or a specific way of seeing things. But it’s important to remember that you actually can snap yourself out of your routine. And sometimes, it’s as easy as trying out a new lens!

Macro photography – photographing small items at larger than life size – can inspire big inspiration that can lead to even bigger results! Prepare to get closer than ever before during this week with instructor and macro shooter Tony Rizzuto. From a local floral nursery to the side streets of Missoula and Garnet Ghost Town, you go on the hunt for beauty with your macro lens in natural and man-made landscapes. And in the comfort of a controlled environment, you learn to work with color and composition while enjoying the ability to control the light on your subject.

What? There’s no end to the potential subjects for macro photography. Rusty nails in a barn, colorful flowers in a vase, or fresh fruit at a farmers market are all works of art waiting for you to photograph them. During this course, you:

  • Learn about the tools of the trade used in macro photography including extension tubes, close up filters, and focusing rails
  • Learn macro composition techniques
  • Learn to control depth of field and achieve tack sharp focus
  • Learn methods for adding or altering light in a scene
  • Experience outdoor shoots to photograph items in an uncontrolled environment
  • Photograph items so as to control your creative vision and outcome
  • Push your ability by seeing the work of others
  • Receive constructive feedback from Tony on your images

Throughout the week, Tony makes himself available during shoots for quick refreshers or top-to-bottom assistance creating the photograph you see in your mind’s eye.

Who? Intermediate level photographers comfortable with the manual exposure operation of their camera.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.


Where We Go: The Grand Teton at sunset. Mormon Row barns with the Tetons in the background. The views from Schwabacher’s Landing. The reflections on Jenny Lake and in the backwaters of the Snake River at Oxbow Bend. Witnessing these landscapes – some of planet Earth’s most picturesque  – change like a chameleon beneath skies of dynamic light and weather is enough to leave anyone speechless. This workshop is an opportunity to experience what it's like to view these scenes through your camera’s viewfinder while creating some of the best images of your life. As part of a small, fun group led by landscape photographer and professional instructor Doug Johnson, you explore all the highlights Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park has to offer.

What You Learn: Being surrounded by this much natural beauty while photographing with a professional at your side makes this week a special experience you won’t soon forget. Doug’s mission is to transform you into a more educated, intentional photographer who can use a camera with confidence. He helps you identify your landscape photography goals and then works with you to achieve them. Along the way he uses classroom lecture time to cover various topics ranging from:

  • Landscape composition
  • Night photography techniques
  • Developing a solid HDR workflow
  • Solutions for exposure of high contrast scenes at sunrise and sunset

In the field Doug encourages and assists you as you practice these techniques. Once you’ve had a chance to create images, you will have your work critiqued so you have a clear idea of how you can improve. Seeing the images created by other participants further helps train your eye to become a better photographer.

Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.

Enrollment: Enrollment in this workshop is limited to 8 students.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.

Rocky Mountain School of Photography is an authorized permittee of the National Park Service.


Where We Go: Being in Yellowstone National Park in the fall makes you think someone adjusted nature’s saturation levels to perfection. The cottonwood and aspen trees create a pallet so vivid you have to pinch yourself to know you aren’t dreaming. The yellows, reds and greens that blanket the landscape seem painted on. The blues in the sky invite you to swim in them. The air is so fresh and crisp you savor every breath and smell. During this week with Doug Johnson, let your senses come to life while experiencing some of Yellowstone’s greatest hits: Lamar, Swan and Hayden valleys, Mammoth Terraces, Norris Geyser Basin, West Thumb Geyser Basin and the Great Fountain Geyser. With scenery so stunning, you might even have to pinch yourself a few times throughout the week! And to top it all off, around every corner exists the possibility of seeing elk, bears, moose, and tons of other creatures that will keep you on your toes … and your finger on the shutter button.

What you learn: As if the scenery weren’t enough, the quality of photographic education you receive while on the workshop will catapult your confidence and abilities to the next level. During this photo-op-of-a-lifetime, Doug teaches you:

  • Methods for photographing wildlife successfully
  • A variety of methods for improving your landscape composition
  • How to create HDR and panoramic images by developing a seamless workflow
  • Techniques for night photography
  • Zone System of exposure for digital cameras.

At the end of this bucket-list experience, you emerge as a more knowledgeable and capable photographer. The skills you gain with Doug will stick with you for a long time and ensure you are able to create technically strong images of every adventure to follow.

Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.


Where We Go: Photographers are an inquisitive and determined bunch when it comes to pushing the envelope in order to get “the shot.” We will travel to the ends of the Earth to find better light. We will suspend ourselves from bridges to get a new angle. We will take thousands of dollars of gear underwater just to see a new perspective. So the overwhelming desire to achieve incredible angles from impossible locations should come as no surprise to anyone. Thanks to the surge in popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles, (aka: “drones” to us regular folks), photographers around the world are creating imagery that wasn’t even possible a few years ago.

Whether you have a bit of experience using a drone, are chomping at the bit to get started, or are somewhere in between, this course held in and around Missoula, MT will definitely make you stand up and take notice. This week with Chase Guttman, the guy who literally wrote the book on drone photography and has been named "Young Travel Photographer of the Year" three times, will pour the gas on your drone photography fire!

What You Learn: If you think this class is only going to allow you to dip your toes into the world of drone photography, think again! From day one, you will be running at full speed toward gaining a comprehensive understanding of this niche. Chase will start by taking stock of the drones being used by each participant in the course. He will then lead a discussion on the various makes and models available, and various accessories that are available to drone operators. Once you have gained a broad overview of the choices available in the marketplace, it's time to start learning how to fly! From turning it on, to connecting it to your phone or iPad, cycling through the various flight modes, and moving it through the air effectively, you will quickly gain comfort with the tools. Progressing through the week, Chase will dive into topics including lighting for drone photography, composition, finding supreme shooting locations, post-processing considerations, as well as some of his pro tips on how to get the most out of your locations. You will learn the most current FAA regulations related to operating a drone and best practices for maintenance, how to travel with a drone, and even things to be aware of when setting up a drone photography business.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.


Why? Say goodbye to the days of pressing your camera’s shutter button while also crossing your fingers, and get ready to capture the sights and moments around you with confidence! Blue-sky days hiking in Glacier? No problem! Poorly lit conference room photos for your business website? No problem! After a week of immersion in RMSP-style education, you will understand how to use your camera intentionally to obtain great images in a variety of lighting scenarios.

What? During this week of learning the basics, you explore the craft of photography with RMSP graduate turned photo educator Sarah Ehlen, who makes the process fun. Split between classroom lectures, hands-on field shoots, and lively critique sessions, you listen as topics are thoroughly explained indoors—and then actively explore them through trial and error outdoors. During this week you will hone your technique while visiting locations such as the Moon-Randolph Homestead, University of Montana campus, Fort Missoula Museum, Rattlesnake Creek Recreation area, and Caras Park in the heart of downtown Missoula. Sarah teaches you the building blocks of photography:

  • Shutter speed
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • How they all work together to determine exposure.

You learn a great deal about the basic functions of your camera, such as:

  • The histogram
  • White balance
  • Metering modes

Your instructor will:

  • Discuss compositional techniques that can make your images stand out
  • Open your eyes to the powerful nuances of light such as the temperature, color and direction
  • Facilitate group critiques that help you identify areas you can improve

Who? You’re a beginning photographer who wants to learn how to use your camera in manual mode—and take the best pictures of your life. If you’re not sure if this is the right course for you, here are a couple of blog posts for you to review. This may help you decide if this Basic course is best for you, or if Tony’s Intermediate Photography is the right choice for you:

Should I Take Basic or Intermediate?

Is Basic too Basic?

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.



Where We Go: Between the reds and yellows of the fall foliage, deep blues of the North Atlantic waters and pinks of morning sunrises found along the coast of Maine, it’s clear that this area is a color photographer's dream come true. A colorful character himself, Doug Johnson guides you through this week of beautiful scenery and photographic discoveries while providing an experience you won’t soon forget. As any trip to Maine wouldn’t be complete without the requisite visits to lighthouses and quaint harbor towns, you photograph Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, journey to Monhegan Island and discover endless compositions around Friendship Harbor. While visiting Acadia National Park, you photograph from atop Cadillac Mountain, along the ever-changing rocky coastline near Otter Cliffs and in the Birch Forest at the Wild Gardens of Acadia.

What You Learn: During this week you divide your time between location shoots held when the light is at its best, and a classroom setting in which Doug provides lectures on technical and aesthetic concepts. These lectures will cover topics such as:

  • How to improve your landscape composition
  • Hyperfocal focusing
  • Black and white processing
  • Using the Zone System of exposure 
  • Post-processing techniques with Adobe Lightroom

While on location, Doug is available to work side-by-side with you, answer your questions and talk you through any challenging situations. His constructive feedback during group critiques further solidifies your learning process.

Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera. Be prepared to hike one to two miles on easy to moderate trails.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.


Why? You know the difference between a shutter speed of 1/60th and 1/8th. When you think of the numbers 2.8, 4.0, 5.6 or 22 you immediately think of the word “aperture.” You no longer have to google the acronym ISO to understand what it means. All of this means that you understand the basics of photography, and are ready to ramp it up a notch. This workshop will do exactly that, while also allowing you to explore the beauty of western Montana. You will revel in views of the jagged Mission Mountains from Ninepipes Wildlife Refuge, cascading waters of Kootenai Creek, rustic charm of Garnet Ghost Town, and the historic western town of Philipsburg with its colorful downtown and famous candy store.

What? This weeklong course helps you master exposure and teaches you to see more creatively. In a wide spectrum of shooting scenarios, Tony teaches you:

  • Low-light and night photography
  • Macro photography techniques and equipment
  • Zone System of Exposure
  • How to achieve more creative compositions
  • How to design great images vs. simply capturing a scene

Tony’s humorous and easygoing nature makes for a comfortable learning environment. He leads group critiques that further your growth by offering a window into the thought process and keen eye of a professional photographer. Seeing the images created by your classmates, and hearing their input on the strengths and weaknesses of your photographs also helps to embed the lessons learned throughout the week.

Who? You have an understanding of the basic principles of photography and are able to operate your DSLR on manual mode confidently, or have taken RMSP’s Basic Photography workshop. If you’re not sure if this is the right course for you because you feel less confident than you would like, here are a couple of blog posts to review. These may help you decide if either Basic or Intermediate Photography is the right choice for you:

Should I Take Basic or Intermediate

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.


Where We Go: Photographing in Death Valley National Park takes you and your photography to new extremes. While the area is usually talked about in terms of record heat (136 degrees), or as North America’s lowest elevation (282 feet below sea level), it’s also a playground for landscape photographers. Within its three million acres, infinite spectacular possibilities exist for capturing the interplay between otherworldly landscapes and dramatic morning and evening light. During this weeklong feeding frenzy of amazing light, photograph at Mesquite Sand Dunes, Golden Canyon, Ubehebe Crater and Cow Creek. Venture to the Rhyolite Ghost Town to capture creative night images of the town's dilapidated structures amidst the ever-changing hues of Death Valley.

What You Learn: Learning to photograph in an environment as dynamic as Death Valley requires an instructor just as dynamic – someone like Doug Johnson. From a comfortable classroom, Johnson provides insightful lectures that cover a wide range of topics:

  • Composition
  • Hyperfocal focusing
  • Techniques for creative night photography
  • Developing a workflow for creating realistic HDR images

During location shoots—held when both the light and the temperature are enjoyable—Johnson provides:

  • One-on-one assistance
  • Tips as you practice the techniques discussed in the classroom

Constructive, post-shoot critique sessions allow you to benefit from having a nice glass of ice water while your images are studied and discussed by Doug and other participants in an effort to help you improve.

Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera. Be prepared to hike up to three miles on moderate trails and steep sand dunes.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this workshop.