Introducing … The 2012 CT Assistants!!

Well, it’s just about that time again!! The time of year when we kick off our Summer Intensive course. This year marks the 23rd consecutive year we have run this course, and we are as excited as ever about welcoming a new crop of eager, dedicated photographers to Missoula to give them the best photographic training available anywhere in the industry. It’s definitely a highlight of our year.

Prior to the arrival of the students, our Career Training staff arrives in town for training and to spend time together so they can begin the summer on the same page, as a team. Having these talented folks in our midst every day lately has increased the excitement level a few notches, so we thought we’d share the excitement and introduce them to you, our blog readers. So, here they are, the 2012 Career Training Assistants…


Moira Lennox –

Moira is a graduate of the the 2011 class of Summer Intensive. She grew up in South Africa, but currently considers Minneapolis, MN home … when she is not traveling the world. Moira “shoots anything and everything,” however she says that her true passions and love are found in fine art, documentary & underwater photography.

Currently she freelances, with a mixture of portrait and product work, and is also working on a long-term project to document a client’s ranch in Montana in order to publish a book.




Rita Pignato –

Since graduating from Career Training in 2009 in which she specialized in landscape and fine art photography, Rita has been on an upward trajectory with her photography. A native and lifelong resident of Brooklyn, NY, Rita won a SPOTLIGHT AWARD in B&W + COLOR Magazine in September 2011, which featured her portfolio on The Madonna. As Spotlight Award winner, her images were shown in a multi-page spotlight feature (included artist portrait and interview), and published online and in the magazine.

In June and July of 2010 Rita was included in a two-person show called BIG AIR at RMSP Gallery in Missoula, Montana. In this show, she exhibited body of work called Western Sky. In April 2001 five of Rita’s images of Florence and Tuscany were published in the National Geographic Traveler. Aside from her passion for photography, Rita also loves to travel and spend time with family and friends.



Ben Reed –

Hailing from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, but coming back to Missoula after an extended stay in Big Sky, MT, Ben is a graduate of the 2010 class of Career Training. Of his own decision to come to RMSP, Ben says “Like many … I dreamed of something different. I was tired of corporate America and began to search for a new beginning. I applied to RMSP, was accepted. Then, as I was saving money for my new journey, was laid off. It’s ironic how it all works out in the end.

Ben is an avid surfer, snowboarder and loves spending time outside.



Don Doran –

Coming to Missoula from Philadelphia, Dan attended Summer Intensive in 2008, and followed it up with the Editorial Portraiture course taught by then-instructor Alison Leach. A self-proclaimed people-person, Dan enjoys portrait work and constantly learning about the craft of photography. Combining his love of photography and a degree in marketing, Dan continues to build and refine his photography business.

Although growing up in the digital age and admitting to knowing Photoshop and Lightroom better than the smell of developer, stop bath, and fixer, Dan made the decision to buy an old film camera rather than a “new fancy digital camera.”



Carly Reichert –

Originally from Kansas, Carly is a 2011 graduate of the Career Training program. She enjoys editorial, fashion and fine art photography. But that’s not all … Carly also is deeply committed to wearing Chuck Taylor’s, likes tea, hates coffee, thinks a good glass of wine can save the day, loves quality cheese and artisan bread and prefers to be in the mountains.

Carly was recently highlighted in the June 2012 issue of PDN Magazine for being a winner in the Student Work category of the Photo Annual 2012 contest. Fantastically enough, the series of images that won her this distinction were photographed for her final project in Summer Intensive.

I’d say she’s in the right spot if she likes the mountains, and has her priorities straight when it comes to her tastes for a good meal (except for not liking coffee!).

Website: or


Michelle Gustafson –

Michelle is a graduate of the the 2011 class of Summer and Advanced Intensive and Editorial Portraiture. She is originally from New Mexico, but has called Missoula home since completing the Career Training program. Prior to landing the gig as an assistant in CT this year, Michelle spent some quality time behind the lens while working for the Missoula Independent. She also volunteered her time and talents to document the local goings-on of the 2012 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in February, of which RMSP was a proud sponsor.


Jimmy White –

Although Jimmy White now finds himself in the mountains of Montana for his third extended visit (he first came as a student in 2009, then came back as an assistant in 2011), he has spent most of his life a lot closer to sea level. He was born and raised in Bradenton, Florida (on the Gulf Coast), where he recently resigned from practicing law. Since graduating from RMSP, Jimmy has transformed his day job from lawyer to freelance writer and photographer specializing in underwater, nature and wildlife imagery. A lover of water, Jimmy uses his photography to support environmental conservation initiatives and even serves on the board of directors of Sea to Shore Alliance, Inc., a marine conservation organization working globally to find solutions to reduce threats to manatees, northern right whales and sea turtles – He also enjoys surfing, scuba diving, fishing and traveling in pursuit of these activities.