Introduction To Photography Testimonials

“I really enjoyed this workshop. It greatly exceeded my expectations. I can use my camera in a whole new way. Sam was a great teacher, which lead to a class atmosphere that was very comfortable. He is obviously very knowledgable and could explain things in a way that was easy to understand. I especially liked the philosophy that the best critique of your photos is done by yourself – I didn’t want to go to a class where the teacher was more concerned with composition and style than the technical aspects. I would like to practice what I learn and take another class in the future.” Lauren Russell

“Fantastic class! Sam really is a great teacher. He encouraged us to seek out and find our own unique visual voice while at the same time providing us with a solid foundation of photography skills to work from. Thanks again!” Alyssa Edwards

“I enjoyed meeting and working with my fellow students. I think Sam is a natural-born teacher with an engaging conversational style that makes his workshops both interesting and fun. I learned a great deal, and I look forward to putting it all to practice. Thanks again for helping me understand the basics of the craft. I’m pretty stoked on it.” Andrew Brown

“Sam facilitated open communication amongst all the participants, which was a great way to find out what people thought of my work and learn from their ideas and photos. I definately received a good understnading of how my camera works- and that was why I joined the class. But Sam went beyond that and encouraged us to experiment and be creative.” Sara Doran

“Sam was a great instructor. His passion for photography came through which sucks the class in. He had patience for me to wrap my mind around the new concept. Was non-judgemental and very easygoing which is key. Also always wanted to answer a question. The most important impression is I had fun.” Philip Rouse

“The workshop was an ideal way to learn the basics of manual photography. Sam has an excellent disposition and made me feel competely comfortable with my own artistic judgement — no small feat!” John Alexander

“The course was a lot of fun and got me re examining areas I had once learned and either forgotten or got lazy on. I liked Sam’s style, he was both informative and easy going. The class sessions were very collaborative, the exercises simple, but essential. I intend to take a fllow on course.” James Finch

“Loved the Intro to Photography class. I just went on a trip to Hawaii and have been trying out what I learned. I definitely feel like I am taking better pictures. Can’t wait for the next one!” Candice Chan

“Great! Warm, personal, patient. I was impressed with Sam’s tenacity in figuring out people’s questions in the moment — he never said “ok, let’s talk about this after class” or “try reading your manual.” He would work on a problem with an individual until it was solved, and, invariably, everyone in the class would learn something from the experience. I thought this was emblematic of his highly personal, individualized approach to teaching.” Neel Master

“At first I was a bit intimidated by using a manual SLR camera. Through Sam’s class, I now have more options and control in taking pictures and have fewer “failed” shots. I can now anticipate how the camera will perform and can manipulate the exposure to capture what I want to capture. Sam’s gentle, reassuring teaching style made it easy and fun to learn about photography. I especially appreciate Sam’s flexibility in letting the class discussion drift to whatever was on our minds. I appreciate that Sam didn’t force harsh judgmental rules on our work. All of my questions were clearly answered. I got exactly what I wanted to get out of this class.” Pete Weissman

“The workshop was excellent. Sam has a great teaching style which put students at ease and made them feel good about their work at the same time as imparting good technical information without overloading us with technical detail and the science of photography.” Toni Harmer

“The class size was perfect and the environment extremely condusive for free and focused discussion. Sam, you did a wonderful job going where we, the students, felt we had several questions.” Maureen Amos

“Wow, what can I say? I felt like I knew Sam for years. Almost like a big brother. I definitely plan on taking another class with Sam and I feel like I will definitely know him for some time to come. I just loved his overall approach to the class, real laid back and understanding. More of a facilitator than an instructor, providing you with all the needed tools and it was your job to read the supplemental. It was truly adult-learning in it’s purest form. Thanks Sam!!!! ;)” Akins Lawal

“I enjoyed coming in and participating. The open forum, exchange of ideas, question and answer periods were very relaxing and helpful. It (the workshop) took an organic approach to the technical side of photography, as opposed to a highly scientific one, I appreciated that.” Jason Silerto

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Lighting With Portable Flash Testimonials

“Sam took “the mystery” out of how to use today’s complicated flash units. By focusing on basic flash concepts demonstrated by the use of classic flash hardware and simple light modifiers, Sam showed us how to create better flash results.” Frank McPartland

“Good class where I learned a lot of thing about using flash. Nicely surprised about his inexpensive techniques (soya box as snoot…) which are very useful. He is a good instructor easy to speak with and clear in his explanations.” Patrick Chatelain

“I was uncomfortable using my on-camera flash unit, and I wanted to learn how to utilize and control my portable flash. I’d eventually like to photograph social events where it will be necessary to feel comfortable using flash. I took a couple of courses with Sam as part of my professional program at the Washington School of Photography. Sam was one of the instructors that made the strongest impression on me and how I feel about photography – he taught our class to shoot subjects we enjoy in the style that pleases US most (rather than trying to please someone else), which was a refreshing perspective. Sam allowed me to make my photos my own, which in turn has increased my appreciation for other photographer’s work as well. Sam’s enthusiasm and passion for photography is contagious. I find myself refreshed and inspired after each of his classes. He has a way of making all of his students feel comfortable to ask any question – whether fundamental, hypothetical or technical. Sam engages all of the students in the class, allowing us to learn from him but also from each other. Thanks so much for the great class! I started off completely mystified by my flash, and now I definitely feel comfortable (and excited!) to use it and to experiment/practice with it. I really enjoyed the lessons and discussions, and the information was all extremely helpful. My poor flash has been sitting in my gear bag for a few years, barely used, and now I know I’ll be able to get some use out of the thing.” Susan Solo

Quoted from correspondence to the Academic Dean at The Washington School of Photography: “I just wanted to drop you a quick note re: Sam’s Off Camera Flash Class/Elective. It was probably one of the most effective and enlightening classes I have had to date at WSP. Sam delved deep into a subject that I have been curious and unsure about for a long time (and have not been able to “get” in other WSP offerings.)” John Wilson

“The flash class we took with Sam was extremely informative and eye opening. Sam left us wanting more!” Marisa Goffe

“I like Sam as an instructor because he has the technical skills and knowledge to share with his class on the subject at hand but he also encourages students to experiment, think and go beyond the skills being taught. Too many of the instructors come in to teach a particular technique or skill with minimal hands on opportunities for the student and then end the class. Sam encourages students to think about the technique and how to use it outside of the class in various situations, and then reviews the results at the next class. Sam also encourages students to think of how “bad” results may not always be “bad”, or that unexpected results can actually be artistically more interesting.” John Clarke, Esq

“I decided to take the “On Camera Flash” with Sam D’Amico to improve my working with flash in my photography. Sam is “original” and fun. He’s meticulous in his deliberate manner of handling photographic equipment. He “knows” his ware. He is a very experienced photographer and an excellent instructor. His demonstration of technique is exceptional. His patience with the class is greatly appreciated.” Kim McClellan

“I want to learn everything there is about photography, it is my passion and a big part of my life. The workshop was great, I learned so much about my flash and how to use it to it’s fullest. Sam is a great instructor, he has a certain way of teaching that might seem a bit complicated to some but to me it’s like a light bulb keeps popping up and it’s easy to understand and follow. I also love the fact that he doesn’t sugarcoat anything and he tells it like it is, he is very firm with what he believes in and makes you see things in another way. Thank you for the learning experience.” Jenny Gorena

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Photojournalism Testimonials

“I was very happy with the workshop as it helped me understand the business of photojournalism. It was very obvious that Sam has enormous experience in this area and it made discussions with him particularly interesting and informative. Also, Sam has a very supportive demeanor which is nice because you definitely get the feeling that he actually cares.” Chris Gale

“I highly recommend Sam’s instruction. He is very knowledgeable and encouraging. He helped me to concentrate on what I most needed to learn, and taught me techniques I hadn’t learned in college-level photography classes. Sam was very generous with his time and and energy. I feel fortunate to have had a workshop with Sam, and look forward to working with him more.” Andrea Scharnau

“The workshop was very useful in terms of both the ethical and business side of photography. It was also a good idea to keep the photo assignment(s) very loose and vague. I found Sam to be very friendly, helpful and informative as an instructor. I found his practical experience invaluable.” R. Mark Buenaflor

“I think Sam D’Amico puts to rest any stereotype that photography professors are pushy, arrogant and critical. He is a helpful instructor. He gives his students a voice in the class-letting THEM VOICE THIER OPINIONS about each other’s work and their own work. This is probably the most stress-free workshop I’ve ever been in. I like his honesty and his organization. I did not know a lot about Photojournalism before this course. Sam has given me insight about this aspect of photography. He has shared his knowledge, pictures, experience and thoughts.” Dean Gordon, Sales Associate, Ritz Camera

“I think the personal experience you brought to the class helped me gauge a few things- at work, that we need to get our act together with our photographers; personally, it’s helped me organize myself when I photograph an event.” Adrian Loucks, Director of Communication, ANERA

“I really liked the class and learned a tremendous amount. Sam was a very interesting, personable, and approachable teacher.” Allison Nugent

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Photographing People Testimonials

“I really enjoyed this class. I think that I was able to overcome a weakness, which was feeling afraid to photograph strangers up close. By going on excursions with the class, I was able to practice street photography and become more comfortable taking both candids and approaching people to take their photos. I now feel more comfortable approaching strangers to take their photos and I have some ideas for some projects I’d like to try, so this class was definitely worthwhile.” Robin Baron

“I really believe that I have more confidence in taking pictures of people and have got over the feeling that I can only take pictures from afar with a telephoto lens. In addition I now have enough information to go on and improve other aspects of my photography”. Monroe Novell

“Sam’s approach to photography was perfect for me, as a student who was feeling overwhelmed with all of the technical limitations I brought. He brought it back to the basics and made photography fun and exciting again.” Tori Tyree

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Understanding Your Camera /Getting To Know Your Camera Testimonials

“Very Good. Hands on. All my questions answered. Good reasons/explanations on the how’s and why’s of camera operation.” Curtis Goffe

“Class was very informative and useful. Sam is very understanding and patient which, for me, is key to learning. He understands the subject and can explain it to novices.” Nicole Dial

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Metering And Exposure Testimonials

“Having been in education for the last 15 years I am truly impressed with Mr. D’Amico’s teaching style. So many instructors seem as though they are there to talk about themselves or impress you with how much they know and you leave more confused than informed. This was not the case today. The examples and hands on explanations allowed me to experience metering concepts and for my individual learning style that was critical. I appreciated the patience exhibited and the non-judgmental approach. I can’t wait for the next workshop/class. I am looking forward to it because after today I KNOW I will actually learn whatever the topic is.” Mike Seymour

“I wanted to take “better” photos — I know that I see the world (places, people, objects) in a positive light and most often see details or perspectives unnoticed by others. That is, I want to take photos that are the image of my eyes. I’m not a good stager so I want to be able to take photos to represent what I see when I see it.”I took “Understanding your Camera” and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my camera; but, I felt I needed more explanation. The “Metering and Exposure” class was perfect in providing a little more detail. I enjoy the laid back aspects of the classes and the discussion about the topics. Overall impression – laid back, very easy to ask questions (any questions), comfortable and instructor is very knowledgeable.” Ella Mulford

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Flash Photography Primer Testimonials

“The hands-on aspect is the most useful part; also, seeing Sam’s photos freezing action but encompassing blur opened up a world of possibilities. This workshop gave me a good foundation in the use of flash; I’m ready now to practice techniques we learned. I look forward to a more in-depth class on flash.” Amy Dawson

“Very useful workshop, especially the hands-on part. Small groups allow for instruction adapted to everybody’s particular level and needs. I acquired enough basic knowledge to go ahead and practice to get more experience with flash.” Friederike Moinard

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Intermediate Photography Testimonials

“Sam D’Amico’s teaching style gently balances his experience and technical expertise with his ability to draw out a student’s own initiatives and interest. He leads without pulling and yet he pushes his students to try new approaches both technically and visually within their photography just for the sake of doing so. Sam shares the love of his own work while being open to learning from his students. All this and he’s just plain fun too.” Karen Elliott Greisdorf, Professional Photographer

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Photographic Composition Workshop Testimonials

“Sam was refreshing in his love for the art of photography. He was very patient, open minded and easygoing which made me want to experiment more and be bolder with my work.” Jessica L. Doerrer

“The workshop was excellent. It’s one thing to read books, but it’s another to interact in a workshop. Sam’s teaching style is great: patient, easygoing, passionate and thorough. If you’re bitten by the photography bug, Sam will only grow your interest.” Jan Morales

“I loved the fact that he gives you creative freedom and the fact that he takes into consideration your own personal input to the pictures. I would like to recommend that every student will first go through the introduction class or maybe have a quick lesson on intro. to your camera”. Natalie Ben Simon

“Size of the class was great. Encouraging and fun, as I’d hoped. Got some great tips that I’ll actually use.” Susan Powell

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Personal Photographic Expression Testimonials

“Last summer I attended a conference for artists with my husband. I felt a deep connection with the people I met there but also felt a little jealous because as a child I was never really encouraged to develop an “art” or a way of expressing myself. I told my husband that day I wanted to find my art. Several months past and my husband found an old minolta SLR passed down from his dad. He told me I should take it and learn how to use it. That’s how I started to look for photography classes and I’m so glad I came upon Sam’s class. I really enjoyed learning how to use my camera in the Intro class. But it was the Personal Photographic Expression class where I finally felt an emotional connection with my photos. I was no longer asking myself “how can I take a cool picture” but rather “what’s interesting about the scene? what am I drawn to? what am I noticing? what I am connecting with?” I am really hooked. I can’t stop taking pictures! Thanks Sam for your gentle teaching style, your encouragement and for believing in each and everyone of us.” Candice Chan

“I’d like to explain why it (the Workshop) exceeded my expectations. It exceeded them because I am having fun taking pictures again. It exceeded them because I am beginning to see things more creatively. It exceeded them because I am no longer fretting so much when something is not sharply focused. The class has enabled me to play again. Once I realized a photo doesn’t need to be sharply focused to be good or to evoke a response in people, it was like a weight had been lifted. I feel like I’m seeing more creatively now then I did when we started. This has been wonderfully freeing!” Tina M.Harris

“Sam brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to this class. I particularly enjoyed learning from his photojournalistic pictures.” Juanita Thompson

“I wanted to see the art in everyday life. I think it is overlooked, and I wanted to learn how to tune back in to what is around me… instead of creating a false environment or a “perfect” picture. I was hoping I could tap into what makes a photograph interesting to look at. I was very pleased with this course. I wish more of my course experience was like this one. I liked the small number of people. The more intimate environment created great, creative, dare I say inspiring, conversation. The epiphany factor was huge for me. After enrolling in one of his earlier classes, I was thrilled that my abiltiies would be challenged and that I was also being asked to think about who I wanted to be as an artist. I understand that in school, often you have to break skills down to the the lowest level and then rebuild yourself with that knowledge. It was in Sam’s class that that truly began to come together. It has been very challenging as an “adult learner” to have to start from scratch and figure out your muse, and Sam was very helpful in talking through the lows and highs of rediscovering my inner artist. Thank you.” S. DeSio

“I really liked the assignments and critique. Choosing one word to describe our pictures forced us to think about the meaning of the images. I enjoyed the handouts provided and the information provided in the mini-lectures. Sam makes you think and question what you are doing.” Karen H. Willoughby

“Sam lets people be creative and lets you learn without “reprimanding mistakes”. Instead he encourages and keeps an open mind to peoples way of thinking, all while staying true to his opinions and beliefs. He lets you know what he thinks but he also lets you know that what you think isn’t necessarily wrong. Sam does nothing but distribute knowledge to his students and encourages them to be who they are and do what they love. Sam is an excellent photographer and instructor.” Justin Durner

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Miscellaneous Testimonials

“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!!! Thank you again for your remarkable lessons!” Galina Rachkovskaya/ Washington School of Photography Student

“Out of all the classes at WSP, Sam and his classes have definitely had the biggest impact on my photography.” Justin Durner/ Washington School of Photography Student.

“In my experience as a student, I am most impressed with Sam D’Amico as an instructor. I respect his knowledge of photography and the career he has made with that talent. I found that I learned more in some of Sam’s classes than I did with any other instructor I’ve had in the program.” S. DeSio/ Washington School of Photography Student.

“I know I’ll be a better photographer from your instruction and insight.” Deitra L. Jackson, Professional Photographer/Washington School of Photography Student

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More Recent Testimonials

You can see more recent testimonials in the  Student Comments About Photography Classes area of the website.
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