Michael Walters Montana
Career Training 2012
For well over a decade I have been enthusiastically pursing the art and craft of photography. I would photograph anything and everything I could think of, often emulating the work of other photographers I admired. I would attend small workshops here and there to try and hone my skills. I had even enrolled in a graduate photography program in hopes of pushing myself to the next level. During this time period I had collected enough photography equipment to outfit a small store, also in hopes of discovering the one thing I felt was lacking in my photography. Yet, whatever it was still eluded me.
I soon began to recognize what it was that was missing for me. It wasn’t technical mastery of craft and it certainly wasn’t a lack of equipment. I simply didn’t have a vision. I had never been able to zero in on what my unique voice, my style, in photography was and I didn’t know how to find it.
For seven years I had been well aware of the Career Training program at RMSP. I often dreamed of attending but due to the nature of my own career, taking an entire summer off just wasn’t possible. Then, through pure luck, I was able to attend a Photo Weekend in San Diego. After speaking with the instructors at the end of the weekend, one of them assured me that the simple act of complete immersion in photography during the Career Training program makes it nearly impossible to NOT discover my own way of expression through photography.
Five months later I left a successful 20-year career and enrolled in the RMSP Career Training program.
IT WORKED! Not only did it work, it wasn’t even subtle. Within the first few weeks of Summer Intensive I could clearly see the shift in my own creative process. Equally as important, the instructors could see it as well. They pushed and pulled, encouraged, and provided much needed feedback of where I was in my photography and how I needed to move forward. They were keenly aware of my specific individual needs and how to get me to the level I wanted to be at.
Living, eating, and breathing photography during every waking hour set off a lightning bolt in me that I had needed for years. Yes, I certainly still have a lifetime of learning photography to look forward to, but thanks to the amazing staff and instructors at RMSP I now have a voice and a direction. The experience I had during the summer of 2012 is perhaps one of the most unique and rewarding things I have ever been through.