Portrait Photography


Portrait Photography

Dates: 09/08/2014 - 09/12/2014
Deposit of $300 due upon application approval.
This professional studies course is past its starting date.

Being a portrait photographer is about building trust with your subjects, delivering an experience rather than a product, and setting yourself apart in your market. This week with Heather Anne Thomas is an immersive, shooting-intensive experience that can help you make portrait work a valuable part of your photography business.

You conduct practice shoots with individuals, families, business professionals, and even babies. In group critiques, Thomas offers valuable feedback on how you worked with your subjects and the communication techniques you used to make the shoot flow. Whether talking to a client on the phone, posing a model on location, or wrangling a large group for a family shoot, your success begins with great communication. Thomas discusses effective methods of marketing—websites, direct mail, email, source books, working with reps—and how each can drive customers to you. A team advocate, she discusses the value of digital techs, printing companies, accountants, and lawyers. Feeling confident in your team allows you to focus on turning customers into relationships, from consultation to delivery.


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Meeting Space

This course begins Monday, September 8 at 9:00 a.m. and ends Friday, September 12 by 5:00 p.m. Your class will be held at Rocky Mountain School of Photography.

Rocky Mountain School of Photography
216 N. Higgins Ave
Missoula, MT 59802


Visit our local hotels page for lodging options and special rates.


Parking downtown is metered Monday-Friday. There is a convenient parking garage, Central Park, located less than one block west of the school at 128 West Main Street (www.ci.missoula.mt.us/parking). Parking downtown on Saturdays and Sundays is free.

Air Transportation

Missoula International Airport
5225 Hwy 10 West
Missoula, MT 59808
(406) 728-4381

Car Rental

Most major car rental companies are available in Missoula and have counters at Missoula International Airport. Please visit the airport website for more details: www.flymissoula.com/Ground_Transportation.

Missoula’s locally-owned Dollar Rent A Car franchise offers a special discounted rate to Rocky Mountain School of Photography students. To take advantage of this rate, contact General Manager Ethan Ranger directly:

Dollar Rent-A-Car
1905 W. Broadway
Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 542-2311

Travel During Workshop

You are responsible for your own transportation during the course. For transportation to and from field shoots, we suggest that you carpool to get to know fellow students. You will have an opportunity to set up carpooling for the week in your first class meeting.


You are responsible for your own meals during the course. Your instructor will allow plenty of breaks in the schedule. There are many convenient and affordable options for breakfast, lunch and dinner within walking distance of RMSP.


Missoula Chamber of Commerce
(406) 543-6623

Missoula Downtown Association
(406) 543-4238



At age five, Heather Anne Thomas was handed a camera by her father who was an avid and accomplished photographer. She hasn’t put it down since.  After studying painting and art history at The University of Texas, Heather Anne continued to hone her technical skills while assisting some of the best photographers in Houston and New York City. In 2006, Heather Anne made the move from The Big Apple to Knoxville, Tennessee to partner with Kreis Beall to start beall + thomas photography.  No job is too small or too big for the beall + thomas team.  Heather Anne is known for capturing the subtle character of people, food, events and interiors.  She has photographed multiple cookbooks and James Beard award-winning chefs.  beall + thomas strives to create a positive experience for clients from beginning to end by anticipating each and every need that may arise. There is a full-time imaging specialist on staff, and images can be delivered on the spot in any form. Clients of beall + thomas photography can expect an upbeat and collaborative atmosphere, with an open curiosity and keen attention to detail, down to every yummy snack. Heather Anne loves sharing her passion for photography. She met her husband, Dan, at RMSP as well as her business partner, Kreis Beall.  Heather Anne is at home in Maryville, Tennessee with her husband Dan and two daughters.

View other courses taught by Heather Anne Thomas.

Andrea Harrell New Mexico

I continued to take photos in my free time and began to become more and more interested in knowing how to transform scenes I saw with my eyes into great photos. Then, I found an RMSP catalog. I hung onto it for a year. A photography school located in one of my favorite places, where I also happen to have ties, intrigued me. Then another catalog came and I started a collection. I continued to take photos thinking about wanting to know more. Two years later I took a Photo Weekend with RMSP. That was in the fall of 2012, and that is all it took. A brief two months later I was signed up for Summer Intensive.


Who should attend Professional Studies courses?
These courses are designed for skilled photographers who want a concentrated education in a particular field of photography, and an opportunity to learn from nationally recognized professional photographers in that area of interest.
What are the entrance requirements for Professional Studies?
Professional Studies courses are taught on an advanced level and will not cover basic photographic techniques. For this reason, you must be able to confidently operate your camera in manual mode. You must be competent in the areas of digital capture, image processing and management, and working with artificial lighting. SI graduates are accepted into any Professional Studies course upon submission of an application.
Should I take more than one Professional Studies course?
Any Professional Studies course can stand alone, but most students take multiple Pro Studies courses. We’ve structured the courses to allow students to design his or her own individual curriculum from a variety of offerings. Four weeks of Professional Studies courses give students flexibility in setting up a personalized line-up. Please keep in mind that enrollment in all classes is strictly limited. Classes are filled on a first come, first served basis and typically fill early.
Do I need to be a Summer Intensive graduate to attend Professional Studies?
Most Professional Studies students have graduated from Summer Intensive, while others have photographic training and experience that allows them to meet our entrance requirements. For applicants wanting to take Pro Studies courses without having completed SI, it is necessary to go through an additional application process. This process begins by an interested student applying for classes on our website.  Please contact our office for more information.
How does Professional Studies differ from your workshops?
Professional Studies courses are a totally different animal than our workshops. The course content, student population, and expectations differ tremendously from one to the other. The Professional Studies classes are designed for the professional level photography student who wants to make at least a part time income photographing. The content is directed toward giving the student as much information as possible in a short amount of time about how to operate professionally in a particular field. Students are on a more advanced level and they come with the expectation of strengthening their professional style and techniques. Critiques are more directed and focused on marketability.
What is the cutoff date for enrollment?
We accept applications on a first come, first served basis until a course is full. We recommend that students enroll early due to the enrollment limit. Although classes typically fill very quickly, we will accept enrollment up to the start of class if space is available.
How many students are in the Professional Studies courses?
In order to provide an excellent educational experience, we limit our enrollment to 16 students in each class.    

Cancellation Policy

All courses have a limited number of seats available.  Enrollment, along with payment of appropriate deposit(s), reserves a seat in a course.  Demand for course placement is high, due to limited enrollment. Withdrawal from a Career Training course is a serious matter. When a student accepts a position in a course, other students are denied that position. If a student withdraws after a course begins, another person cannot take his or her place.   Payment of the deposit(s) for Pro Studies courses is due at the time of enrollment. Tuition balances are due 60 days before the course start date. Applications occurring after this date require full payment at the time of enrollment. If payment has not been paid by the deadline, the student will be dropped from that course for non-payment and the first student on the waitlist will be offered the spot. A student who has been dropped due to non-payment may apply again for the course if there is an available seat or he/she may ask to be placed on the waitlist. A student on a waitlist will be contacted via email or phone when an available seat opens up. The student will have until the close of the next business day to inform the RMSP office if he/she would like to take the spot. If the student does not respond in that timeframe, the spot will be offered to the next person on the waitlist.
  1. A full refund of all money paid will be made to any applicant that cancels the Enrollment Agreement within 72 hours (until midnight of the third day, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays) after the Enrollment Agreement is accepted by the applicant.
  2. A full refund of all money paid will be made to any applicant who is not accepted by the school.
  3. A full refund of all money paid will be made to any applicant in the event that educational services are discontinued by RMSP.
  4. For cancellations received in our office at least 60 days prior to the start of the course, RMSP refunds any tuition paid, less a $50 processing fee.
  5. For cancellations received in our office 30 to 60 days prior to the start of the course, RMSP refunds any tuition paid, less the $300 tuition deposit.
  6. For cancellations received in our office within 30 days prior to the start of the course, no tuition refund is due to the student.
Note: RMSP reserves the right to cancel any course that does not meet minimum participant requirements, in which case participants will be informed as soon as possible and all money will be refunded. RMSP is not responsible for any losses incurred as a result of a course cancellation. We encourage participants to purchase refundable airline tickets and consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance.