Sam D’Amico 202-559-7981
Born in New Jersey in 1961, Sam D’Amico recalls always being interested in photography. Some of his earliest memories are of his family gathering to view home movies, slide shows or albums filled with photographs held in place by photo corners. He can recall his family being connected through the memories and emotions that the images evoked.
When he was a young teen, after expressing an interest in photography, his parents gave him a 35mm SLR. “I wanted to photograph the people, places and things that I saw but I lacked the patience to teach myself the technical skills needed to work the camera. Sometimes my pictures would come out the way I imagined and sometimes they wouldn’t. I found photography difficult and frustrating and sold the equipment a few years later.”
In the mid-1980’s, approximately a decade after selling his camera, Sam was given a used 35mm SLR which was found while helping family members to move. According to Sam, “That gift reconnected me to my interest in photography and I’ve been examining that interest since.”
In 1986, after studying two photography courses at a community college, Sam left his job as a telephone operator and began working as a free-lance photojournalist.
From 1987 through 1991 he worked as a staff photographer for two newspapers. After being laid off from a staff photographer position in 1991, D’Amico continued to free-lance until 1997.
From 1992-1997 he photographed over 500 assignments for the New York Times as a free-lance Photojournalist.
Sam left photography again in 1997 due to what he viewed as “intolerable working terms”. Frustrated and disappointed, he worked at a variety of non-photography related jobs. During this time he began attending meetings of The New Jersey Photography Forum. Some of the members of the group encouraged D’Amico to begin to exhibit his work. “If it wasn’t for some of the members of the New Jersey Photography Forum, I probably would have given up on photography completely”.
In 2002 he moved to Washington, DC and began to work as an instructor at the Washington School of Photography in Bethesda, MD. Sam enjoyed working as a photography instructor and as a result, in 2003, he began developing curriculum for his own series of workshops. His first workshop was held at ‘Teaism Restaurant at Penn Quarter”, a Tea House in Washington DC.
Currently Sam continues to free-lance with clients who “treat photographers fairly” and continues his work as a photography instructor in the Washington DC area.
Sam’s visual sense and approach to making pictures have been influenced by his life experiences, his teachers and other photographers such as Andre Kertesz, Helen Levitt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mary Ellen Mark, Lee Friedlander and Nan Goldin just to name a few. “I seem to be most influenced by Photographers whose approach seems to be just simply observing and recording with minimal influence on whatever is being photographed. Observing and waiting for the moment when things come together in the viewfinder to make an interesting form then instinctually making an exposure, not only showing the viewer what the photographer saw, but also showing the viewer the photographer. These photographers seem to have transcended the craft of photography by evoking emotion and thought in the viewer”. Please visit samdamico.com to learn more and to view Sam’s Photographs.