Artist's Statement


Sam D'Amico 202-531-2344


My first exposure, no pun intended, to photography was as a young child. Some of my earliest memories of recorded images are of my family gathering to view home movies, slide shows or albums filled with photographs held in place by photo corners. The images were straightforward, documentary type, recordings of people, places and events.

I can recall my family being connected through the memories and emotions that the images evoked.

Today I make photographs to either truthfully record events (photojournalism/documentary photography) or as a means of personal expression.

I strive to use elements of composition to either create impartial, truthful photographs that are graphically strong and interesting or, in terms of my personal work, to visually communicate my personal take on whatever I’m photographing.

My photojournalism/documentary photographs are impartial, truthful recordings of events. By working within the ethical guidelines of photojournalism I do not manipulate images in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects and I avoid influencing whatever is being photographed. I simply observe and wait for the moment when things come together in the viewfinder to make an interesting form then I instinctively make an exposure.

In terms of my personal work, my approach is much the same as a photojournalist except, since I’m not bound by the ethical standards of photojournalism, I'll manipulate the image in some way that will communicate my personal view of whatever I'm seeing. Since I avoid spending more time on a computer than I need to, all manipulations are done in camera.

Since the content of my photographs are random and unplanned, I use a camera that is portable and as inconspicuous as possible. The portability of these cameras allow me to have a camera with me all of the time. I'm not "looking" for specific photographs. My impetus to create a photograph arises spontaneously as something I'm seeing affects me in some manner.

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