Frequently Asked Questions – F.A.Q.- FAQ

Below, You’ll find answers to some frequently asked questions. 

If you have a question that isn’t addressed below, please ask it in the “Leave a Comment” area at the bottom of the page.


Class location, class size, and class cost

Where are the classes that Sam offers in Washington DC held?

Use the following link to learn everything you need to know about where we’ll be meeting.

Learn more about getting to the Sam D’Amico Photography classes.

How many people are in the class?

To ensure all participants receive adequate attention, each class is limited to eight participants. At the most.

In addition, the class size limits are mentioned in the class registration pages.

Class cost

The cost of each class is indicated on the class registration page.


How do I pay for a class?

Payment is made online using a secure payment system.

Paying online confirms your space in the class

Experience and Equipment Needed

What experience or equipment do I need?

Most classes require nothing more than your interest in how to create better photographs. Regardless of your level of experience, whether your choice of camera is a point-and-shoot or a fully manual SLR, chances are that there are workshops that you’ll find helpful. Film or digital capture is acceptable for all workshops. Please check the course descriptions for further details or contact Sam if you have questions.

Can you recommend a camera?

There’s a lot to consider when buying a camera or any other equipment, and many of these considerations are unique to each photographer.

While it’s good to ask for recommendations, nothing beats learning all we can about cameras or any other equipment that we’re looking to purchase and researching our purchase options based on our own criteria.  Use this link to help you —->

The only recommendation I’m comfortable making is that if you want to get the most out of your photography, get a camera that offers aperture and shutter priority exposure modes and a fully manual exposure mode option. Raw and JPG file types are nice, as well as a variety of metering patterns/modes, including spot metering. A camera that can work with interchangeable lenses and has a ‘pop-up flash” on the camera, as well as a hot shoe for an external flash, offers the most flexibility in terms of additional equipment.

Other things to consider are:

  1. Your budget.
  2. Portability.
  3. Ergonomics.
  4. Versatility.
  5. Reputation of the manufacturer.
  6. How the camera feels in your hands.
  7. Does the camera offer aperture and shutter priority exposure options?
  8. Does the camera offer a fully manual exposure option? (Can you set your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO separately manually?)
  9. Ensure the camera has a FULL version of the owner’s manual.
  10. Sensor size.
  11. Megapixels
  12. Make sure you buy from a reputable dealer. (Locally In Washington DC I like:
    1. District Camera And Imaging—
    2. Pro Photo—

Some extras that you should consider purchasing:

  1. A UV  filter to protect your lens. (Don’t let the sales people try to sell you anything more than that as a necessary filter).
  2. An extra set of batteries.
  3. An extra charger.
  4. Memory cards.

After you’ve narrowed down your choices, bring a list of your selections into a camera store, find a patient salesperson, and ask the salesperson to let you see how the camera/equipment operates. Ask them to show you how to change the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO in manual exposure mode, and after they show you, you try it.

Whatever you feel most comfortable to operate and understand is what you should get.

If you’d like some help in purchasing a camera, Sam is available for consultation. (Private lesson fees apply

I didn’t see any classes specifically for digital photography or film photography. Do you have any available?

To answer this question, please read the following two blog posts:

Do I Teach A Digital Photography Class?  (opens in new window)

Are You Ready For The Darkroom? (opens in new window)

Missing Classes Or Meetings

What if I miss a class meeting during a multi-week class?

If you miss a meeting during a multi-week class, you can make up that meeting free of charge. Only one meeting can be made up for free. If more than one meeting is missed, there is a charge for making up the additional missed meetings. Making up missed meetings are contingent upon there being space in the class and if the class is still being offered. There are no guarantees that missed meetings can be made up, and there are no refunds for missed meetings. Please schedule your missed meeting at least two weeks in advance. Read More—>

What if I miss a single meeting class or my private lesson, can I reschedule?.

Please read this—>

Purchasing A Class Or Private Lessons As a Gift

Can I purchase group classes or private photography lessons for someone other than myself?

You can, but I would discourage you from doing that for a number of reasons.

The biggest reasons I discourage this is because of scheduling concerns and that I would like to speak to the person who’ll be participating in the class directly before they register for a class or private lessons so we can determine what course of study would be the most effective based on their skill level as a photographer.

Instead of purchasing a specific class or private lessons, please consider purchasing a gift certificate so that the person you give the gift certificate to can choose the course of study that will be the most effective for them.

Get a gift certificate here. —>

Can I buy a gift certificate?

Yes, you can. Gift certificates are paid for and generated via The Gift Card Cafe. You’ll receive the gift certificate immediately. Please allow up to forty-eight hours for the gift certificate code to become activated.

Here’s the link —>

Can I speak With Sam Directly?

Yes-contact Sam

If you have a question that  wasn’t answered here

Contact Sam.

14 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions – F.A.Q.- FAQ”

  1. Hi Sam,

    I am looking for introduction to photography classes on Saturday. Do you still have availability for February classes ?

  2. My 16 year-old son would like to take your intro class. Could I attend with him and sit in on the class? (We only have 1 camera.) Thanks!

    1. Hi Lorie,

      Thank you for your interest in my photography classes. If you’d like to have a seat in the class then you must register for both you and your son. There is a main area were you could wait for your son if you do not want to sit in on the class or you can walk around the neighborhood where the classes are held. There are plenty of stores, restaurants and art galleries in the area.

  3. Michael Fischetti

    Hi Sam,
    I wotk with innovation team at the Marriott Corporate HQ in Bethesda. I am interested in becoming the photographer for our team. The needs would be to capture images at meetings and workshops as well as iomages as we travel to other hotes, resaurants etc.. I would also need to learn to take photos of props we use for design guides and other printed materials. I have little to no knowlege of camersas but I enjoy taking pictures and have always had an interest in developing the skill. I am a very creative person and have had 2 years of commercial are school so there is some understanding there of the framing of the shot. I would be interested in knowing which class would be the best to get me started as well as next steps for classes so that I can request permission and have it possibly put intop the budget. Thank you.

  4. I would like to purchase a class for my wife. I have no idea if she will actually want to “go” to four classes so am testing it out for your one class on 4-Jan. If I gift her the one class but she says she’d love the four, would I be allowed to “trade-up” at that time?


    1. J,

      Thank you for your interest in my photography class.

      Considering the uncertainty, I’d suggest purchasing a gift certificate.

      If she’d like to take the three hour class (one class/meeting), she could apply the gift ceertificate to the three hour class.

      If she’d like to take the 12 hour class (four classes/meetings), she could apply the gift certificate to the four week class and the balance could be paid as the “trade up”.

      Please contact me at 202-559-7981 if you have any further questions.

      Thank you again for you consdieration, J.

  5. Hello,

    I am inquiring about a one-on-one session. I’ve always shot film, but I just recently switched from an SLR with a meter to an meterless rangefinder. I understand the Sunny 16 rule for daylight, but am looking for one or two sessions that would cover getting accurate film exposure without using a meter.

    Basically, I want to be able to shoot slide film on the fly without having to pull out a meter and take a reading first.

    I’m not looking for instruction on composition or mechanics or any of that. Really, I’m just going to be looking for something about metering by eye when shooting film.

    Let me know if you can help.


    1. Hi Justin,

      Thank you for your interest in one-on-one classes.

      I’ve never counted on “rules” or determining an “acurate” exposure without relying on a meter.

      It appears that, in this case, I wouldn’t be of much help.

  6. My wife is interested in signing up for another one of your classes since she enjoyed your Introduction to Photography class several years ago. She is interested in taking another class and wasn’t sure which one she should sign-up for either the Intermediate Photography class or the Lighting With Portable Flash class. She just got a Speedlite for her Canon SLR camera.

    In the Intermediate class, do you go over any basics on how to use a portable flash or do you think the lighting discussions using the pop-up flash will be sufficient for her to be able to use the portable flash on her SLR camera?

    Thanks for your assistance.

    1. Hello,

      Thank you for your interest in my photography classes.

      While we do go over flash photography basics in the Intermediate class by using the pop-up flash on the camera, the three week Lighting With Portable Flash Class is geared toward photographers who own a separate speedlite. The Lighting With Portable Flash Class is a comprehensive class designed to help photographers learn how to use their separate flash units most effectively.

      Would it be possible for your wife to call me at 202-559-7981?

      Before I could wholeheardetly recommend a class, It would be best to have a conversation with her to help her to evaluate the best course to take.


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