I was certainly on the fence whether to go to RMSP or college to study photography. I honestly didn’t believe them when they said they’d fit four years of college into one year at RMSP, and, “Was I really going to be able to pay my bills with this later?”.
However, I knew at a liberal arts school I would be taking classes that didn’t even apply to photography at all. If I did go through business classes in college I would have to retain all that knowledge and apply it to photography months later. My brain doesn’t work like that. So I took the plunge and applied to RMSP.
Looking back, I’d do again in a heartbeat. Turns out, they actually weren’t kidding about fitting four years of college into one year. They meant it when 40% of classes at RMSP covered business. I really did leave there knowing what to do to become a full time photographer, and most importantly having the confidence to do it.
I am 22, and technically onto my third year in business in photography. Halfway through last year I switched to photography full time. It is currently paying all of my bills, my student loan is paid off, and I’m doing this in rural Montana.
Being a professional photographer is not a pipe dream with RMSP, but you have to want it. During school, they will stuff your days so full that you will be living on coffee and your computer battery life. You will be exhausted, but for months you will be surrounded by people who are passionate about the same thing you are. You will be able to understand just about every aspect of photography and learn about things you didn’t expect like how your camera sensor works, how certain paper types react differently to printer ink, photo history, and photo ethics.
You will never feel like you’ve been thrown to the wolves. If you can pass a high school class you can pass RMSP. That’s not to say it isn’t advanced, but you always have extra help if you need it.
The best part of it all is that if you’re really passionate about photography, all of these classes were interesting. It wasn’t like sitting through a boring lesson in high school.
Even after graduation, I felt comfortable enough to reach out and ask some questions about my bookkeeping. Sarah took time to meet with me and get me on the right track again. I felt like the school as a whole genuinely cared about my success.
I paid what felt like a lot of money to go to school at RMSP, but I would do it again and again without hesitation and with zero regret. I’m proud of that school and all it lives up to, and I’m quite sure I am only one of hundreds who feel the same way.