Alumni Friday – Pam Voth

Pam Voth graduated from RMSP’s Summer Intensive in 2004 and hasn’t had a real job since. Sure, she’s been working hard, but not at a job, rather, at what she loves – capturing still and moving images with her camera.

A Missoula resident and world-traveler, she came to RMSP after leaving a 20 year career as an advertising and marketing executive. Pam likes to say she “jumped off the corporate ladder” in a moment of lucid clarity. She had looked at the world through a viewfinder for as long as she could remember and wanted to finally turn a passion for photography into a career. From the very start, she focused her photography business on working with commercial and editorial clients. Her experience in the world of major advertising agencies in Chicago and San Francisco proved to be invaluable when negotiating with clients and being able to understand and deliver what they need in terms of images that entice, delight and communicate ideas.

Pam specializes in making images of animals, food and travel and our relationship to them.

Her client list includes: New York Times, Whole Foods, Le Monde (Paris), Black Star Beer, USA Today, Fast Forward Weekly (Calgary), West Paw Design, National Geographic Channel, Montana Magazine, College Board Review, AAA Living Magazine and Missoula’s own Good Food Store.


In her own words:”The light makes my heart race. It’s is the reason I photograph. I have a favorite quote that I learned in SI and it always plays in my mind when I’m photographing. Sadly, I can’t remember who it is attributed to, but the gist of it is that the strongest images take the fewest words to describe. I strive to make images that are about one thing. Not one thousand things.

In 2006, Pam and her husband, Rob Whitehair, founded Tree & Sky Media Arts, a documentary filmmaking and commercial photography company. Pam handles all the photography projects and she produces and shoots for film projects. Pam finds that the principals of lighting and composition she learned in SI translate to her work with HD cinematography.

In 2008, their company produced and distributed the award-winning feature documentary film, “The Little Red Truck” to theaters in 50 major cities across the US.

“True Wolf,” the latest documentary feature film from Tree & Sky Media Arts, has been picked up by a national distributor and will world premiere on May 31 and June 1 at the Seattle International Film Festival, then open at the Seattle Landmark Varsity Theater on June 22, 2012 and roll out across the country from there. View the trailer and read more about this film directed by Rob and produced by Pam on the official website:

Recent Career Highlights and Favorite Moments:

  • She spent 6 weeks photographing in India last year (2011). Half her time was spent teaching a private photography workshop and shooting for a non-profit organization in the Himalayas. The other half was spent on a solo personal journey to photograph the wildlife of India including tigers, monkeys, jackals and birds.
  • Popular Photography invited her to join their team of portfolio review experts (2012)
  • Her photos of Working Dogs for Conservation were published in a children’s book about dog heroes. (2011)
  • She’s also taught several week-long horse-back photography workshops on a beautiful property at the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Western Montana through her association with a local ranch and women’s equestrian club.

In September of 2011, she re-connected with her all-time favorite teacher from 7th grade whom she had not been in contact with him in over 30 years and finally was able to send him a long over-due thank you for being the first person to introduce her to black and white darkroom photography. She wanted him to know that photography had become one of her favorite things in life.  At age 70, he had just purchased his first digital camera after shooting medium format film his entire life. In a case of student turned teacher, they spent 2 days in Yellowstone National Park where she was able to teach him step by step how to use his new Nikon D7000 by relating each menu item and dial to the world of film which they both knew well. By the end of their time together, he was beginning to see the camera as an increasingly familiar tool for visual expression and less as a digital monster set on this planet to baffle and frustrate. That she was able to translate the fundamentals of photography she learned in SI into such a meaningful exchange with her long-ago teacher turned student is perhaps the best gift she ever received from RMSP.

With such a distinguished and diverse career and life experience, Pam has succeeded in learning to utilize her past education and professional skills toward her passion for photography. We call that a winning combo!

To see more of Pam’s work, take a look at some of her recent images in the gallery below and visit her website at