Outdoor Photography I


Outdoor Photography I

Dates: 08/24/2015 - 08/28/2015
Deposit of $300 due upon application approval.
This professional studies course is past its starting date.

Outdoor photography is all about turning passion into profession. Instructor Michael DeYoung has done exactly that, and during this eye-opening course he’ll show you how equal parts technical know-how, business acumen, energy, and patience can lead to a successful career as an outdoor photographer.

Contrary to the title of the profession, being a professional outdoor photographer means significant amounts of your time will be spent indoors handling all of the non-shooting aspects of your job. This course, geared toward the aspiring professional, is no exception. Approximately one third of this class will be spent photographing on location. The other two thirds are spent in the classroom environment where Michael’s lectures will cover the current state of the outdoor photo industry, what it takes to break into the business, equipment and techniques used in landscape photography, balancing what you are passionate about with creating salable images, do’s and don’ts within this niche, editing, finding your style and more.

DeYoung breaks down the strategies for creating successful photographs and the challenges that can make or break a shoot. From his vast professional experience, he discusses how to compose images in the field for use as publication covers, spreads, and banners, as well as how to choose and place the best colors to make your images pop. You learn DeYoung’s methods for selecting locations, identifying a need for a specific market, as well as what to think about during a shoot to simplify the post-production process. He also shares valuable business nuggets on bidding for jobs, writing proposals, understanding contracts, and keeping yourself in front of buyers through well-thought-out self-marketing campaigns.

Shooting scenarios throughout the week include time with “models” from Animal Wonders, a local animal outreach group, an evening visit to Holland Falls above Holland Lake in the Swan Mountains north of Missoula, as well as quick demos at locations near the classroom. Images created at each shoot are critiqued in the classroom, which gives you a chance to hear Michael’s advice while also seeing the work of others in your group.


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Meeting Space

This class begins Monday at 9 a.m. and ends Friday at 5 p.m. Your class will meet at the following location for the workshop:

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


Missoula has numerous hotels from which to choose with varying accommodations at different price ranges and locations. There are many other hotels in Missoula to choose from; however, the two hotels listed below extend a special discounted rate to Rocky Mountain School of Photography students.

  1. Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown
    200 South Pattee Street
    Missoula, MT 59802

    Additional Information

    The Holiday Inn is a full-service hotel located just 2 blocks from RMSP. A complimentary airport shuttle service is available for those in need of transportation to and from the airport. *Discounted rate available on a limited number of rooms.

    Rates: Peak Season (July 1 – August 31) $119 per night + tax*. Off Season (September 1 – June 30) $99 per night + tax*.

    Reservations: To receive the discounted rate, contact the hotel directly at the local number above and let them know you are with Rocky Mountain School of Photography. Our Preferred Corporate Rate code is 3-RMP.

  2. Staybridge Suites Missoula
    120 Expressway
    Missoula, MT 59808
    (406) 830-3900
    (800) 315-2621

    Additional Information

    The Staybridge Suites Missoula is located approximately 5 miles from RMSP. The hotel offers a complimentary hot breakfast and suites with fully equipped kitchens. 

    Rates: September-May:  $99 per night + tax (Studio Suite), $104 per night + tax (One Bedroom Suite), $149 per night + tax (Two Bedroom Suite). 

    June-August:  $109 per night + tax (Studio Suite), $119 per night + tax (One Bedroom Suite), $209 per night + tax (Two Bedroom Suite).

    Reservations: To receive the RMSP rate, please make your reservation at the link below:

    Staybridge Suites RMSP Group Rate 


Parking downtown is metered Monday-Friday. There are two convenient parking garages located within one block of the school (www.ci.missoula.mt.us/parking). Parking downtown on Saturdays and Sundays is free.

Free parking is available at Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown for participants staying at the hotel.

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 them directly and mention that you are an RMSP student.

Dollar Rent-A-Car
1905 W. Broadway
Missoula, MT 59808
(406) 542-2311

Travel During Workshop

You are responsible for your own transportation during the workshop. For transportation to and from field shoots, we suggest that you carpool to get to know fellow students. Your final email will include a car share list of interested participants.


You are responsible for your own meals during the workshop. 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.


Any additional fees and/or supplies will be the responsibility of the participant.


Missoula Chamber of Commerce
(406) 543-6623

Missoula Downtown Association
(406) 543-4238



Michael DeYoung, a former Air Force meteorologist, has been a working professional photographer since 1992. He has broad and diverse photographic interests and successes, but he is best known as an Alaskan landscape, wildlife and adventure sports photographer. A prolific stock shooter, Michael often puts together his own stock productions that involve assembling and working with a team of assistants, other creatives and with people and/or animal talent. His images are represented by four agencies worldwide and he is one of the largest contributors to Alaska Stock, a prominent Anchorage stock photo agency. Michael’s images are widely published across a broad spectrum of magazines, calendars, cards, catalogs, brochures and advertisements. In addition to corporate clients in the outdoor gear, apparel and adventure sports industries, he’s worked for the State of Alaska Vacation Planner and other tourism industry clients. And Michael is the sole photographer for two award-winning books on fly-fishing. He spent eight years as a photojournalist for the Alaska Air National Guard, retiring in 2001. A sought-after teacher and speaker, he has given lectures and taught workshops for NANPA and for local photography organizations in Alaska.Michael and Lauri—his wife, business partner and assistant—along with their Lab-Great Dane mix dog, Kyia, divide their time between Alaska and northern New Mexico. The DeYoungs often weave photography with their other interests that include backpacking, whitewater paddling, skiing and snowshoeing, wilderness travel, birding and wildlife viewing.
View other courses taught by Michael DeYoung.


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.