Master Your Camera, Become a Better Photographer, and Learn Alongside Like-Minded Creatives Over 6 Weeks in Montana This Summer! 👇

The best photographers know this:

Mastering your camera (and becoming “technically” proficient) may be THE most important step in becoming a better photographer.

… It’s also the most challenging.

But now — with this exhilarating 6-week “Summer Intensive” workshop built for passionate enthusiast photographers — you can learn every skill you need to master your camera, right alongside other like-minded creators!

Even if you don’t feel confident in your skills. Even if you’ve tried (and failed) to piece together your own education. And yes, even if you still shoot on AUTO!

👉 If you want to master your camera so you can create stunning images — and you want to do it alongside other like-minded creatives — then you’ve just stumbled upon what may be the most immersive, transformational experience in the entire photography industry! 

Here's why ...

If You’re Ready to Become a More Confident Photographer, “Summer Intensive” May be the Best Way to Spend Your Summer: 

Exhilarating 6-Week Program: It can take years to master your camera and become a proficient photographer. Summer Intensive gives you every skill you need to grow through hands-on, immersive learning and creativity over 6 action-packed weeks!

An “A-Z” Approach to Becoming a Better Photographer: The best way to become a better photographer is an A-Z, linear approach. Instead of jumping around (or jumping too far ahead), we take your progression one step at a time, so you can learn and digest information easily.

Learn With Like-Minded Creatives: Learning alongside others (instead of on your own) can have a profound effect on skill growth. With Summer Intensive, you can become a better photographer faster while building deep relationships with other creatives. 

Spend Your Summer in Missoula, Montana: Learn in-person from our home city of Missoula, Montana, situated in the northern Rocky Mountains. You’ll be minutes away from some of the best trails and rivers in the United States, enjoy access to coveted photoshoot locations, an abundance of public lands, delicious local eateries, and the friendly atmosphere of a western college town.

Designed Specifically For Enthusiasts: Unlike Professional Intensive, Summer Intensive is designed for enthusiast photographers like you who want to indulge their creativity and improve their craft. And you get to do it while spending 6 weeks in one of the most beautiful locations in the United States!

Space Limited, Next Program Runs June 17 - July 26, 2024:  Tuition for the 2024 Summer Intensive program is $4950. Spaces for Summer Intensive fill up fast and class size is limited to 54 students. Once our Summer 2024 class is filled, you’ll have to wait until 2025 class for a chance to join. 

Our Educational Partners:

😬 Bit of a Good News/Bad News Situation … 

Good News: The better you get at photography, the more fun you tend to have when you go out to take photos.

Exhibit A: 

See? Also, this photo is definitely NOT edited. Promise. 😉

Bad News: There are 3 MAJOR problems that are probably keeping you from growing into the photographer you know you can be: 

1️⃣ Not knowing what skills to focus on (and what order to learn them in) to improve

2️⃣ Not having expert guidance from real, experienced photographers

3️⃣ Not having an environment or community that’s conducive to growth 

These three problems create a “perfect storm,” preventing you from being able to grow your skills, confidence, and enjoyment behind the lens. 

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Problem #1: You Don’t Know What Skills to Focus on (or in What Order) to Become a Better Photographer 🤔

Learning photography on your own can feel a bit like throwing a dart over your right shoulder with your left hand, blindfolded, while balancing on a medicine ball during a 5.7 magnitude earthquake. 

Not. Easy. 

Similar to the actions in this photo, we do not recommend it. 😜

Sure, there’s a ton of information available online that promises to teach you to become a better photographer. YouTube videos. Books. Courses. 

But it all shares one fatal flaw … 

The training from these sources can often be disjointed, and usually, it fails to teach you a linear system for becoming a better photographer. 

You end up having to build your own “curriculum” by piecing together your skills from a ton of different sources. How do you know what you’re missing?

More on this in a sec.

Problem #2: You Don’t Have Access to Expert Guidance From Experienced Photography Educators 👨🏻‍🏫

Most online photography courses simply don’t deliver. That goes double for all those online classes you see ads for on Instagram and Facebook … 

It’s not that you can’t learn how to be a better photographer from these courses — you can. It’s just that oftentimes, online courses tend to have a narrow focus with limited information.

She gets it. It's downright depressing! 

Instead of buying another online course, you need hands-on experience and guidance from  experienced photography educators who can help foster your creativity. 

By having guidance from experienced photographers, you can learn faster (and retain more information) than if you were to just “DIY” the process. 

Problem #3: You Don’t Have a Community That’s Conducive to Growth 🤝

Learning alongside others opens up an entirely new world of possibilities. In the process, you often find additional ways you can improve your own craft.

The problem is that finding genuinely supportive photography communities can be difficult!

But with Summer Intensive, community is built-in from day one. Many of our students say that they’ve made lasting, impactful friendships throughout the 6 weeks of education.

If you’ve dealt with any of these problems, then we have just the thing for you … 

"Summer Intensive" from Rocky Mountain School of Photography 😯

Summer Intensive is a hands-on summer photography program for passionate enthusiast photographers. It’s perfect for you if you want to master your camera, get better at your craft, and indulge your creativity.

Not only will you learn a complete, “A-Z” system to help you finally move past AUTO mode … you’ll also get numerous chances to simply create incredible photographs! 

It all happens over 6 action-packed summer weeks alongside other like minded creatives in beautiful Missoula, Montana.

Think of Summer Intensive like a rocketship, but for your photography skills. 🚀

When you attend Summer Intensive, you’ll learn everything from composition and color to f-stops and ISOs to storytelling with visuals … and so much more!

The course covers countless in-depth topics taught by 9 incredible instructors, both on-location and at our facility. We’ve been running this program for 34 years now, and it continues to be one of the most successful (and fun) programs we run. 

Here’s the full list … 

Summer Intensive Curriculum 2024 📝

Composition & Color
Digital Capture
Shooting Action
Advanced Exposure
F-stops, ISO, & Shutter Speeds
Zone System
Night Photography
Landscape, Wildlife, & Macro
Outsource Printing
Visual Language

Understanding Light
Storytelling with Visuals
Augmenting Natural Lighting
Retouching Techniques
Image Storage & Editing
Using External Flashes
Hands-On Digital Lab Sessions
Basic Portfolio Websites

It’s literally everything you need to become a more creative photographer.

Plus, you'll learn how to ...

Grow Your Confidence & Finally Take Your Camera off AUTO 💪 

One of the hardest things in any photographer’s journey is moving from ‘AUTO’ to ‘Manual’ mode … and doing it well. 

Camera settings are almost intentionally confusing, and wrangling out a good image without the camera’s help can feel like trying to solve a theoretical trigonometry problem. 

Simple, right?

Even if you do know a few things here and there, chances are you have gaps in your knowledge.

Summer Intensive helps you close those gaps once and for all through something we like to call “Layered Learning.” 

Gain an A-Z, Linear Approach Using “Layered Learning” 🔡

“Layered Learning” might sound weird, but it’s one of the most effective methods of learning photography we’ve found. 

With Layered Learning, we start at the very beginning — with foundational knowledge first — and build up from there.

Unlike other methods of teaching, Layered Learning helps you build a real photographic skill set, with each skill building seamlessly upon the last.

So many delicious layers. Kinda like these mountains. 😋

For example: You may learn B&W editing right after how to shoot in B&W … or how to mask in Lightroom right before a portraiture class focused on editing eyes and teeth. 

Everything we teach is woven together from different “topic groups” in an intentional, structured way that maximizes your brain’s ability to absorb knowledge. 

Plus, if you need extra help on a specific topic, you’ll be able to get it almost instantly. 

Indulge Your Creativity Alongside a Like-Minded, Creative Community 🧠

It’s no secret that learning alongside others can help you maximize your ability to retain and apply information. 

But that’s not the only reason Summer Intensive is so impactful for so many students. 

By far, the #1 piece of feedback we get every year from our students is how much fun they have just “being creative” alongside others in a no-judgment, all-collaboration community. 

Friendship: Fueling sunset silhouettes since the creation of photography. Duh.

Here’s what our past SI graduates have to say: 

Annie Koch

"Before I came to RMSP I was so lost in my photography and I was struggling to produce quality work I was proud of.

Living in a fully immersed photography community for six weeks has opened up my world to so many other types, genres, and perspectives to explore.

Being at this school has allowed me to gain the confidence I needed as a photographer and It has allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone. And the instructors are all amazing at what they do. There wasn’t one class that I was not excited to go to and was so inspired by all of them. My time at RMSP was exciting, challenging, and exhausting, but it was a summer I will never forget."

Jim Peaslee

"I have been taking photographs for 50 years on and off as a sideline to a busy professional career. When I retired at the beginning of 2018, I was looking for a photography program that would give me a more solid grounding in basics and also exposure (so to speak) to aspects of photography I knew little about (e.g., off-camera flash and night photography).

SI did that very well in a reasonable period of time, in a nice setting with a group of welcoming and enthusiastic people (instructors and students). SI also included critical reviews of photographs from an artistic point of view that went beyond technical photography and gear.

For me, that was a new experience and quite useful. I'm from New York City and was not able to find a comparable program there. It was worth the trip."

Robin Wilkes

"Have you ever picked up a book and from the introduction you were hooked? You wondered how the author could pull you in so quickly, or how you were immediately in the story and you were able to clearly see the characters?

You are so involved that you are startled by a sound or something or someone that needs your  attention, it’s amazing how we can get so involved in a story, that we are blind to our surrounds. I absolutely love being captured by a good book.

This is SI, people, capturing you from the first moment, from your introduction online, through a friend, or however you came about the information on this wonderful world of photography.

This is YOUR story, this is you becoming so involved that you forget about everything else. You are making a life changing decision. It does not matter where you are in your journey in photography. This is the place to open your new-camera box or expand on knowledge you already have. Take a leap of faith, go forth with your decision, it will not be one of regret."

Rob Burstein

“My deepest appreciation and thanks to the entire RMSP family for having provided me a uniquely terrific photographic summer learning experience! As a pedagogue with decades of classroom experience, I think I know good teaching when I see it, and RMSP's instructors and teaching assistants are top notch! They are experts in the areas that they are covering, and lessons are well organized and proceed logically with current learning building on past lessons. Crucially, there is frequent checking to make certain that everyone understands the concepts being taught before moving on to new material.  

Perhaps of equal importance, and what makes RMSP unique is the culture of friendliness and genuine caring that permeates throughout it. For someone like myself who came in with very little photographic knowledge base, this was tremendously appreciated.

From the first phone contact I had with a front office staff member until the very last day of the program, I always felt cared about and that staff would do whatever they reasonably could to make sure that I had a fulfilling and enjoyable time learning. This culture of caring then filters down to the students, and thus there is a wonderful level of cooperative learning that naturally occurs.  

As a result, I had a phenomenal summer in Missoula with RMSP and my fellow SI students, some of whom I keep in touch with and now call friends! Thank you all so much for making that happen for me!!"

Susan Tangeman

“I am a 2019 graduate of RMSP Summer Intensive. I am a small animal veterinarian in California and up until taking SI was a self taught photographer. I wanted to be able to improve the skills I had and learn much more.

SI provided the help I needed to move forward in photography. It was a well organized program presented by knowledgeable easy to understand instructors. It is also fun to spend 6 weeks immersed in a topic with many other like minded classmates."

Rai Gonzalez

Attending RMSP Summer Intensive has been one of the best experiences and best decisions of my life.  I was blown away by the professionalism, care and dedication by all the instructors and staff that helped me develop my technical skills, creativity and inspiration.  There are no boring classes, no meaningless assignments, it is a very interactive, hands-on learning experience with industry professionals that make sure you are getting the most of each class. I also happen to have amazing, like-minded classmates that became friends!

In addition, RMSP is located in a city that shattered all my expectations, close to National Parks, surrounded by nature and home to some of the friendliest humans I've ever met (and great ice cream shops), Missoula has a special place in my heart.  

If you have a passion for photography and are wondering if RMSP is for you I would encourage you reach out to the school, I did, and it turned out to be a summer I will never forget."

Cynthia Herndon

What an amazing value! Instead of continuing to monkey around attempting to teach myself photography through YouTube videos, books, etc.

I made the right decision to spend six weeks in Missoula for RMSP's Summer Intensive learning photographic theory then applying that theory through field shoots that further deepened our understanding. Each concept was strategically built up and reiterated in different ways throughout the various classes so that traditional homework and cramming for tests was not required (Thank God) to learn effectively.

I highly recommend the Summer Intensive and if I didn't have family obligations - would jump at the chance to further my education with the Professional Intensive."

Spend Your Summer in Beautiful Missoula, Montana 🌄

Are we partial to Missoula? Sure. We love it here. But we also genuinely believe it’s one of the best places to spend your summer. 

Here’s why:

It’s nature's playground: Nestled amidst the stunning northern Rocky Mountains, Missoula is a nature lover's paradise. From hiking the lush trails of the Rattlesnake Wilderness to kayaking on the Clark Fork River, you can revel in the unmatched beauty of the outdoors (and take full advantage of it for photo shoots!) 

It’s an arts and culture haven built for creatives: Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and culture scene that thrives in Missoula. With numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues, our city is a hub for creative expression. You’ll feel right at home.

It’s a craft beer paradise: Seriously — it’s THAT good. Local breweries here craft some of the finest beverages in the region. Embark on a beer trail, tasting innovative brews while enjoying the friendly and laid-back atmosphere that defines Missoula.

Missoula is truly breathtaking.

It has undeniable community charm: Missoula boasts a friendly, college-town community that welcomes visitors with open arms. Whether you're exploring the bustling downtown or just grabbing lunch at a delicious local eatery, you'll experience genuine hospitality that leaves a lasting impression.

It has a great culinary scene: Indulge in a culinary journey that reflects the rich tapestry of Missoula's Western heritage. From hearty ranch-to-table meals to innovative farm-to-fork creations, the city's locally-owned restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops showcase the best of Montana's local produce and traditions. Plus, there’s plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, too!

It’s where the world’s largest gold nugget was mined: Okay, okay … that’s not really something YOU can enjoy, but it’s still pretty cool. Plus, if you really want to, you can pan for gold here! No promises on striking it rich, though.

2024 Spaces Are Filling Quickly — Act Soon ⏳

Tuition for the 2024 Summer Intensive program is $4,950.

Summer Intensive runs from June 17th through July 26th. With just a 54-person class size, remaining spaces are filling up rapidly.

Once our class of 2024 is filled, you’ll have to wait until the 2025 calendar year to join this exclusive experience.

For a limited time, save $250 if you register by March 31st, 2024.

It’s time to finally become the photographer you know you can be!

How to Apply:

1. Click the button below and enter your email address. Open the email we send you and click the link that says “My RMSP Login.” 

2. IMPORTANT: There are a few short pieces to your application, including telling us about your experience level (no experience is necessary, however), the camera gear you use, and a short essay on what you are hoping to get out of Summer Intensive. We do not accept everyone into the program, and this application will determine whether or not you are approved.

3. We will notify you within 1-2 business days if you are accepted into Summer Intensive.

👉 By the way: Tuition does NOT need to be paid in full when registering. Only a deposit of $500 (non-refundable) is required. See FAQ "What's the cost of the program?" below for more information. 



Who is Summer Intensive for?

Summer Intensive is a program specifically crafted for enthusiast photographers who want to spend a summer indulging their love of photography. 

If you've found yourself struggling to piece together your own photo education–through online classes, YouTube, books, etc.–and the idea of a carefully crafted curriculum sounds appealing, "SI" is for you.

If you love the idea of meeting other photographers from all age groups, experience levels, and locations in the U.S., then "SI" is for you.

If you are looking to learn more than you thought possible in just six weeks, then "SI" is for you.

Application & Enrollment

Scheduled dates for the upcoming Summer Intensive program:
June 17 - July 26, 2024


To apply for Summer Intensive (SI) click Apply Now and follow the online instructions. We accept applications for our Summer Intensive program up to the start of the program if space is available. However, due to limited enrollment, we suggest you apply early. In the event that the program is full, you will be notified and your name will be placed on a waiting list. There is no application fee.

During the application process you will be asked to:

  • Give us some information about yourself.
  • Write a short essay about your photographic goals


Once your application is reviewed, RMSP will send an email to you indicating acceptance or denial. If you are accepted into the program, you will be asked to return to this website to enroll. To complete the enrollment process, you must read and agree to the Enrollment Agreement. If you are younger than 18 years old at the time of enrollment, a parent or guardian must read and agree to the Enrollment Agreement.

Entrance Requirements

No prior photographic experience is necessary for enrollment in Summer Intensive. You must be a U.S. or Canadian citizen, and you must be a high school graduate or have a General Educational Development (GED) certificate by the time of our program orientation. Exceptions to the high school graduation requirement are made at the sole discretion of the School Directors.

What's the cost of the program?

Tuition for the 2024 Summer Intensive program is $4950.

A $500 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is due upon enrollment. This deposit amount ($500) is applied to the tuition for the program. The balance of tuition ($4450) may be paid in two installments. A minimum first payment of $2500 is due to RMSP 90 days before the start of the program. The remaining balance is due to RMSP 45 days before the start of the program.

‍Don't miss the Early Registration discounts! If you register by December 31, 2023, you'll receive $500 off your tuition. If you register before March 31st of the year the program begins, you'll receive $250 off your tuition!

Save money by paying with a check! Due to the large tuition amount of Summer Intensive, credit card processing fees can really add up. We always prefer students to pay by check when possible, but we understand that can make things difficult. That’s why we’re offering $50 off of your tuition if you make your first and second payment with a check. And yes, this can be combined with the other SI discounts that we offer.

Here's how it works when paying by check: Apply and Register online by paying your $500 deposit with a credit card (or call). When the first payment is due (90 days prior to the start date), make a check out to RMSP for $2,500. When second payment is due (45 days prior to the start date), make a check out to RMSP for your remaining balance. That’s all there is to it. You save $50!

What does the program calendar look like?
  • Classes generally run between 9 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays.
  • There are some evening field shoots (summer evening light is gorgeous in Montana) and some optional classes.
  • There may be optional field shoots or classes over the weekend, but no required classes are scheduled on Saturdays or Sundays (one exception: there could be make-up classes from any unforeseen circumstances but this is incredibly rare).
  • There are no classes on June 19th, July 4th, or July 5th.

A detailed schedule will be provided on Day 1 during Orientation, but here's an overview of what you'll be learning each week:‍

Week 1: Getting to know the school, your camera, Lightroom, and how to take correct exposures; we start with the technical and build from there.

‍Week 2: More exposure and technical concepts, more Lightroom, creativity and composition, color management, and your first critiques (we promise they're not scary!).

‍Week 3: More creativity and composition, more Lightroom, Zone System, and an intro to output -- plus some genres to start exploring.

‍Week 4: You've learned all the basics, now it's time to advance your technical, compositional, and editing skills!

‍Week 5: This week is your chance to focus on more specific genres that pique your interest, plus you'll get more critiques (you'll love them by now!).

‍Week 6: During the last week you'll get 1-on-1 critiques on your final project and have a chance to explore some additional genres and topics. There are definitely some other fun surprises that week, too.


In addition, click here to see a list of the many skills students will have acquired upon completion of the Summer Intensive program.

Who are the teachers?

You'll work with 9 different educators and subject matter experts on a variety of projects. You can find the full list of teachers you'll learn from here

Why Missoula?

Learn in-person from our home city of Missoula, Montana, situated in the northern Rocky Mountains. You’ll be minutes away from some of the best trails and rivers in the United States, enjoy access to coveted photoshoot locations, an abundance of public lands, delicious local eateries, and the friendly atmosphere of a western college town. Learn more about Missoula here

Interested in our facilities? Learn more about our state-of-the-art, 16,000 square foot campus here

Where do I live during Summer Intensive?

While we do not have on-campus dorms, we always do our best to offer recommendations to our students by posting potential rentals on our private class forums and answering student housing questions as best we can.

Each student is responsible for locating their own housing in or around the Missoula area, but housing in Missoula is generally easy to find. In our 30+ years offering long-term programs, we have never had a student not find housing!

You can find detailed information on housing in Missoula here.

What's your cancellation policy?
  • A full refund of all money paid will be made to any applicant who cancels his or her enrollment within 72 hours (until midnight of the third day, excluding weekends and legal holidays) of enrolling in the SI program, provided that the program has not yet begun.
  • A full refund of all money paid, less the tuition deposit, will be made to any applicant who cancels enrollment before May 20, 2024, at 9:00 a.m. MDT.
  • For cancellations received after May 20, 2024, at 9:00 a.m. MDT, RMSP retains full tuition and no refunds are issued.
  • For no-shows: RMSP retains full tuition.
  • Refunds will be processed within 30 days after our office receives notice of cancellation.

Countdown to "SI" 2024

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