6-week Summer Intensive

It's the ultimate photo workshop

Master your camera,  become a better photographer, and learn alongside like-minded creatives in Montana this summer!
June 16 - July 25, 2025
Apply Now
Finally take your camera off "AUTO" and

Grow Your confidence

Exhilarating 6-Week Program
It can take years to master your camera and become a proficient photographer. Summer Intensive gives you every skill you need to grow through hands-on, immersive learning and creativity over 6 action-packed weeks!
An “A-Z” Approach to Becoming a Better Photographer
The best way to become a better photographer is an A-Z, linear approach. Instead of jumping around (or jumping too far ahead), we take your progression one step at a time, so you can learn and digest information easily.
Learn With Like-Minded Creatives
Learning alongside others (instead of on your own) can have a profound effect on skill growth. With Summer Intensive, you can become a better photographer faster while building deep relationships with other creatives.
Spend Your Summer in Missoula, Montana
Learn in-person from our home city of Missoula, Montana, situated in the northern Rocky Mountains. You’ll be minutes away from some of the best trails and rivers in the United States, enjoy access to coveted photoshoot locations, an abundance of public lands, delicious local eateries, and the friendly atmosphere of a western college town.
Designed Specifically For Enthusiasts
Unlike Professional Intensive, Summer Intensive is designed for enthusiast photographers like you who want to indulge their creativity and improve their craft. And you get to do it while spending 6 weeks in one of the most beautiful locations in the United States!
Space Limited, Next Program Runs June 17 - July 26, 2024
Tuition for the 2024 Summer Intensive program is $4950. Spaces for Summer Intensive fill up fast and class size is limited to 54 students. Once our Summer 2024 class is filled, you’ll have to wait until 2025 class for a chance to join.
Summer Intensive

The only program of its kind.

Summer Intensive Curriculum
Composition & Color
Digital Capture
Shooting Action
Advanced Exposure
F-stops, ISO, & Shutter Speeds
Zone System
Night Photography
Landscape, Wildlife, & Macro
Outsource Printing
Storytelling with Visuals
Understanding Light
Augmenting Natural Lighting
Image Storage & Editing
Retouching Techniques
HDR & Panoramas
Hands-On Digital Lab Sessions
Basic Portfolio Websites
Visual Language
An opportunity for real growth

six full weeks of photography

Individualized Support
You're never just a number at RMSP. Our goal with "SI" is for each student to leave with all their specific photo questions answered. Period.
Technical Foundation
The way we teach photography is by starting at square one and ensuring each student has the right information about camera operation and technique.
Thorough Instructors
Our instructors are photographers who are passionate about not just photography, but effectively translating complex information.
Training in Many Genres
One of the best parts of Summer Intensive is the exposure to multiple genres of photography: landscape, wildlife, people, storytelling, night photography, macro, and more!
Hands-On Experience
Learning at RMSP means that you practice important photo concepts during real shoots, with instructors and teaching assistants readily available.
Emphasis on Image Workflows
Our program walks students through Adobe Lightroom OR Adobe Lightroom Classic in great detail, giving recommendations on image storage, editing, and usage.
"I loved being surrounded by like-minded students who were asking the same questions I was asking and had similar curiosity and drive to be a better photographer."
Kelly Sedgwick
2021 "SI" student
An experience like no other

indulge your
creativity & improve
your technique

See what it's like!
Two photography students taking a break on a wooden bench in a Montana ghost town.A photography college student taking a photo at the Garden of 1000 Buddhas in Arlee, Montana.RMSP photography student photographing the Clark Fork River in downtown Missoula, Montana.A photography teacher leading a group of students in downtown Missoula, Montana.A group of photography students taking photos with their cameras on tripods.a photography student laying on the ground taking a picture with his camera.3 students in a park looking at the back of a camera on a tripod.An instructor teaching a student how to use an outdoor light modifier in bright sunlight.
All the nitty gritty

Learn all the details

Who is Summer Intensive for?

Summer Intensive is a program specifically crafted for enthusiast photographers who want to spend a summer indulging their love of photography. 

If you've found yourself struggling to piece together your own photo education–through online classes, YouTube, books, etc.–and the idea of a carefully crafted curriculum sounds appealing, "SI" is for you.

If you love the idea of meeting other photographers from all age groups, experience levels, and locations in the U.S., then "SI" is for you.

If you are looking to learn more than you thought possible in just six weeks, then "SI" is for you.

Application & Enrollment

Scheduled dates for the upcoming Summer Intensive program:
June 17 - July 26, 2024


To apply for Summer Intensive (SI) click Apply Now and follow the online instructions. We accept applications for our Summer Intensive program up to the start of the program if space is available. However, due to limited enrollment, we suggest you apply early. In the event that the program is full, you will be notified and your name will be placed on a waiting list. There is no application fee.

During the application process you will be asked to:

  • Give us some information about yourself.
  • Write a short essay about your photographic goals


Once your application is reviewed, RMSP will send an email to you indicating acceptance or denial. If you are accepted into the program, you will be asked to return to this website to enroll. To complete the enrollment process, you must read and agree to the Enrollment Agreement. If you are younger than 18 years old at the time of enrollment, a parent or guardian must read and agree to the Enrollment Agreement.

Entrance Requirements

No prior photographic experience is necessary for enrollment in Summer Intensive. You must be a U.S. or Canadian citizen, and you must be a high school graduate or have a General Educational Development (GED) certificate by the time of our program orientation. Exceptions to the high school graduation requirement are made at the sole discretion of the School Directors.

Program Tuition

Tuition for the 2024 Summer Intensive program is $4950.

A $500 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is due upon enrollment. This deposit amount ($500) is applied to the tuition for the program. The balance of tuition ($4450) may be paid in two installments. A minimum first payment of $2500 is due to RMSP 90 days before the start of the program. The remaining balance is due to RMSP 45 days before the start of the program.

Don't miss the Early Registration discounts! If you register by January 31st of the year the program begins, you'll receive $500 off your tuition. If you register before March 31st of the year the program begins, you'll receive $250 off your tuition!

Save money by paying with a check! Due to the large tuition amount of Summer Intensive, credit card processing fees can really add up. We always prefer students to pay by check when possible, but we understand that can make things difficult. That’s why we’re offering $50 off of your tuition if you make your first and second payment with a check. And yes, this can be combined with the other SI discounts that we offer.

Here's how it works when paying by check: Apply and Register online by paying your $500 deposit with a credit card (or call). When the first payment is due (90 days prior to the start date), make a check out to RMSP for $2,500. When second payment is due (45 days prior to the start date), make a check out to RMSP for your remaining balance. That’s all there is to it. You save $50!

Program Schedule
  • Classes generally run between 9 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays.
  • There are some evening field shoots (summer evening light is gorgeous in Montana) and some optional classes.
  • There may be optional field shoots or classes over the weekend, but no required classes are scheduled on Saturdays or Sundays (one exception: there could be make-up classes from any unforeseen circumstances but this is incredibly rare).
  • There are no classes on June 19th, July 4th, or July 5th.

A detailed schedule will be provided on Day 1 during Orientation, but here's an overview of what you'll be learning each week:

Week 1: Getting to know the school, your camera, Lightroom, and how to take correct exposures; we start with the technical and build from there.

Week 2: More exposure and technical concepts, more Lightroom, creativity and composition, color management, and your first critiques (we promise they're not scary!).

Week 3: More creativity and composition, more Lightroom, Zone System, and an intro to output -- plus some genres to start exploring.

Week 4: You've learned all the basics, now it's time to advance your technical, compositional, and editing skills!

Week 5: This week is your chance to focus on more specific genres that pique your interest, plus you'll get more critiques (you'll love them by now!).

Week 6: During the last week you'll get 1-on-1 critiques on your final project and have a chance to explore some additional genres and topics. There are definitely some other fun surprises that week, too.


In addition,
click here to see a list of the many skills students will have acquired upon completion of the Summer Intensive program.

Our Campus & Missoula
The bright and spacious lobby of Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula, Montana.

OUr campus

See the RMSP space and why it's a great place to learn

Show me RMSP
A close-up of the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana.

why Missoula?

A great place to live, recreate, and photograph

Missoula Specifics
Housing, Equipment, Financing
An interior window with plants and several miniature houses sitting on the window sill.

Where to live in Missoula

Housing recommendations for RMSP students

See Recommendations
Several neatly arranged camera lenses.

Equipment Requirements

Learn which equipment is required for our program and why

See Equipment List

Financing & Scholarships

Detailed loan information & tips for alternate funding

See Financing Suggestions
Cancellation Policy
  • A full refund of all money paid will be made to any applicant who cancels his or her enrollment within 72 hours (until midnight of the third day, excluding weekends and legal holidays) of enrolling in the SI program, provided that the program has not yet begun.
  • A full refund of all money paid, less the tuition deposit, will be made to any applicant who cancels enrollment before May 20, 2024, at 9:00 a.m. MDT.
  • For cancellations received after May 20, 2024, at 9:00 a.m. MDT, RMSP retains full tuition and no refunds are issued.
  • For no-shows: RMSP retains full tuition.
  • Refunds will be processed within 30 days after our office receives notice of cancellation.
Hear it from our graduates

What our students say

Learning at RMSP is unlike anything else. Here are some thoughts from those who have attended Summer Intensive.
Read More Testimonials
Troy Schlimgen
SI 2018
The instructors were top notch and always available, the hands-on aspect was exactly what I needed, and I was challenged in ways I didn’t think were possible.  You will hear everyone say it’s not called “intensive” for no reason.  It was intense for all the best reasons and photography was all that was on my brain for a month and a half.  And I loved it!
Headshot of Rai Gonzalez
Rai Gonzalez
SI 2018
There are no boring classes, no meaningless assignments, it is a very interactive, hands-on learning experience with industry professionals that make sure you are getting the most of each class. I also happen to have amazing, like-minded classmates that became friends!
Headshot of Robin Wilkes
Robin Wilkes
SI 2021
I have gained knowledge and friendships that will last for the rest of my life. Take a ride on the wild side; you will eat, drink, and sleep photography for 6 weeks and you will love each moment.
Headshot of Cynthia Herndon
Cynthia Herndon
SI 2019
What an amazing value! Instead of continuing to monkey around attempting to teach myself photography through YouTube videos, books, etc. I made the right decision to spend six weeks in Missoula for RMSP's Summer Intensive learning photographic theory then applying that theory through field shoots that further deepened our understanding.

Is Summer Intensive Right for Me?

Heck yeah!
(As long as one — or multiple — of these are true):
  • You’re a beginner who’s ready to accelerate your learning.
  • You’re an intermediate photographer with knowledge gaps, and you want to “fill in the blanks.”
  • You’re open-minded and simply want to indulge your photography passion for 6 full weeks in a beautiful place with like-minded photographers from around the country.
  • You’re a creative and passionate photographer, and you want to finally master the technical and compositional aspects of photography.
  • You’re open and ready to learn about many genres of photography, and would love to see if specific styles pique your interest throughout the program. 
  • You’re ready to learn through a wide variety of exciting formats (sit-down classes, workshops, labs, instructor-led shoots, shoots on your own, and more).
  • You’re a team player, and you’re open to group learning and collaborating with fellow students.
  • You want to see if photography is your true calling, so you can decide if you should continue your education. (SI is a great first step in this process!) 
Maybe not
("SI" might not be for you if any of the below are true):
  • You’re looking for something more like a strict art school, where you can develop your eye and spend very little time on the technical side of photography.
  • You’re an experienced photographer who is looking to focus on learning only one skill.
  • You want to become a professional photographer and learn business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. 
  • You only want to learn X, Y, or Z genre/skill and you aren’t interested in broadening your knowledge on other topics or concepts.
  • Summer Intensive is, ultimately, best for students who want to accelerate their photography skills from a technical perspective. If that’s not you, that’s okay! If you’re looking for  comprehensive education about developing and sustaining a photography business, our Professional Intensive program may be a better choice.

Countdown to "SI" 2024

Is "SI" right for you?

Reach out for more information

Our friendly team is ready and willing to answer any questions you may have.
Request information
Photography school student taking portraits in an alley in downtown Missoula, Montana.