2013 Career Training Assistant Robert Allison

Last week we introduced you to Career Training assistant Michelle Gustafson here on the blog. Today it’s Robert Allison’s turn to step into the spotlight. Robert is a graduate of the 2012 Career Training class. This will be his first year working as an assistant. In his own words, here is what he has to say about photography, and specifically the before and after story as it relates to his own Career Training experience.

AllisonRobert_headshot_0001I found myself at a point in life where I felt I was at a standstill.  A feeling I was able to ignore for many years until the fall of 2011 when I unexpectedly lost my father.  Losing my father brought to the forefront how short life can be.  Photography has always been a part of my life, but I always allowed it take a backseat to everything else.

I have always thought about applying to Rocky Mountain School of Photography (RMSP) when I ran into a friend and a graduate of RMSP at a gathering.  I asked her a simple question, “Would you do it again? ”  She quickly answered  “yes” and a sparkle danced across her eyes.  I was not sure what all that meant, but I was sure that whatever it was….I wanted it.

I was accepted to RMSP in 2012. My goal for the summer was really simple. I wanted to be able to gather enough courage to show my work.  If I could get past that fear, then my second goal was to improve my skills enough to submit to a gallery one day.  Although, given my reluctance to let anyone see my work, the latter would take a miracle.

I graduated from RMSP Summer Intensive, 3 weeks of  Professional Studies and Advanced Intensive in 2012.  Words will always fall short of what the program means to me.  I have come to describe RMSP as a combination of a creative incubator and artist boot camp.  I now understand the sparkle that dances in the eyes of past graduates.

Since graduation, I have had the courage to finally display my artwork out in the public and was fortunate enough to have my first “Beautiful Mess” photography collection displayed within 5 months of graduation.  I still can clearly remember showing my portfolio and being asked if I could be ready in a month. Every fiber of my being screamed “no” but then I heard “yes” come out of my mouth.  This showing and experience could never have happened nor would I have allowed myself to take on this project, if it had not been for the confidence and skills RMSP instilled in me.  While I continue in my journey of learning, refining and expressing my creative images, I look forward to my next show entitled, “Portals and Pathways.”

I believe we all need family, friends and a community to help us wake our internal mind, inspire our creativity and find our way home. I found these things here at RMSP and I am grateful for the opportunity to be part the RMSP staff.