A Lesson from Beyonce’s Homecoming film | Bridal Inspo

Last night while selecting photos from a recent shoot I did, I had Beyonce’s movie Homecoming playing in the background, and guys let’s just pause for a moment because it was nothing short of PERFECTION. Not only was I inspired by the level of excellence a human could put into their craft, but I also realized multitasking is a myth cause after two hours of culling, I had only selected 3 photos LOL. “You can’t be what you can’t see” As I spent 90% of the time watching and 10% working, this was one of the quotes from the movie which made such a deep impression on me. If you watched her film on Netflix or her 2018 Coachella performance, it becomes evidently clear that a core theme she seeks to convey in her art is REPRESENTATION. And I know I’ll sound like a broken record but I think this is very important. Personally, as I progress in my photo journey, I’d like to create work that’s more inclusive. I’d like to get to that stage where people feel SEEN in my work and where no one thinks they’re “Not enough”. Because no matter your race, size, age or status, […]

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6 tips to slaying in pictures
April 15, 2019 by Afrik Armando in Stories 0 Comments

The tricky thing about creating a guide to looking your best in photos is that everyone’s unique and what works for one person might not for another, nevertheless here are a few fundamentals which I believe everyone could find essential. More to this I created this guide specifically for guys but again, I think these basic principles apply to everyone. Side note, don’t worry ladies, I’ve got something in the works for you. Compilation of posing videos CONFIDENCE is everything * I often hear people say things like “I’m not photogenic” but I believe that what makes you photogenic is your uniqueness. Do you realize that there is not you, there has never been another you and there will NEVER be another YOU. SMIZE like Tyra * I got this one from America’s next top model, Tyra Banks always says “smile with your eyes” Show some CHIN * The underlining idea here is emphasizing your jawline, but this works differently for everyone. For some a slight 45 degree angle and for others chin forward and down. Work that POSTURE * No slouching friends Gotta get them angles * Standing at a slight angle to the camera always looks more flattering […]

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Fun Fishtown family Photoshoot | Philadelphia
April 6, 2019 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

I’ll never think of myself as a “self-made person” and this family is the reason why. I still remember that warm summer drive on Roosevelt Boulevard, I was done work and Tanya was driving me home. At that time, I was 19 years old going through one of the roughest periods of my life, that’s a story for another day but let’s just say, forces beyond my control had sent me skidding off the rails. Burdened by some heavy family & emotional issues, I sat in the passenger’s seat speechless. In all honesty, I was at my wit’s end but then randomly, Tanya looked at me and said “ Everything will be ok”, a river of tears came rushing down my cheeks and I felt a lot better. This is just one of the millions of heart-lifting experiences I’ve had with them, in all honesty, time would not permit to tell of all the good they’ve done. If you go to their church community, about every person sings their praises and like beacons of light, they illuminate the paths of many. When we went to Fishtown my goal was to tell their story in a way which represented them. Vincent […]

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Colors, Pizza & Bubbly personalities | Philly Lifestyle session
April 3, 2019 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

I’ll never forget the first day I met Ilya, I was at his parent’s house visiting his brother when he brought out a stack of kid books and asked me if I was interested in reading. That was strike one, after being bullied in high school, I knew for certain what the costs of hanging out with nerds were, so no “thank u, next.”. But it’s funny coz a few years later, I ended up traveling across the world with this little dweeb who’s now more than a brother to me. But I must say, the greatest perk of being close friends with Ilya came when he met Victoria, he was like a mosquito buzzing on a hot summer night. If it wasn’t Victoria this, it was Victoria that. He became a poet and she was the subject of all his poems. So when we went out to do this shoot, I was aiming for something that would fit their colorful friendship and bubbly personalities. I’m indeed beyond excited to be documenting the next chapter of their lives in June.

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The beautiful simplicity of now | Home Lifestyle session | Rick + Paola
March 11, 2019 by Afrik Armando in Stories 2 Comments

Song to listen to while reading; Agnes Abel – September song We live in one of the most beautiful time periods in human history. Now, with a single finger tap, a world of possibilities is opened up, however, this rose also has its thorns, more and more we tend to live very curated lives which miss the whole essence of existence. Emphasis is placed on appearance rather than functionality. It’s all about the “instagramable” photo. And of course, it’ll be remiss of me to preach against this, for I specialize in making your memories look great but at the same time, what’s important is that I capture the soul of your day. When we started talking about our pre-wedding/lifestyle shoot with Rick & Paola, they didn’t just want “pretty photos” they wanted photos which told their story. Two young friends who fell deeply in love while working at Rouge Restaurant, currently in pursuit of their grande life dreams and love spending time cooking and watching Friends at their fun downtown space with a killer of the city. I must also tell you about the specialty snack Rick made which left an impression on my taste buds, they called it Chippies, […]

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3 Benefits to good posture
February 27, 2019 by Afrik Armando in Stories 0 Comments

One of the most memorable things about my childhood was growing up with a benevolent dictator in the house. My mom gave us no breathing room, “ Don’t eat with your mouth open, don’t chew gum, don’t talk when adults are talking, flush after yourself, Wash your hands “ etc. Like an annoying prophet, she established the never-ending commandments and if you dared disobey, not only would you get a good spanking, she’d nag your ears off. The main thing her and I always had issues with was posture, I can’t even remember how many times she told me to stop slouching, and sit up. As annoying as those reminders were, they’ve served me well through the years. I recently read an article which went into depth on this topic, but here are three of my favorite benefits which I’ve personally experienced; * Improved Mood * Improved memory and learning * Makes you look more confident and powerful And a bonus when it comes to taking pictures is it makes you look taller & slimmer, “Some poor posture positions cause your belly to protrude, giving you a “beer belly” profile. And slumping over makes you appear shorter than you are. […]

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Love & Wild Flowers – New York Wedding – Liliya + Joseph
February 26, 2019 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

I stood there puzzled behind the lens of my camera, wasn’t sure why but I couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down, more to this, it seemed as though with every teardrop, a burden was lifted. That specific week had been a really difficult one but what I thought would be another long wedding day, turned into one of the most memorable moments of my life. When I signed up for Liliya & Joseph’s wedding, I was excited for the opportunity to document yet another incredible love story. When we talked over the phone, they sounded genuine and kind. But that summer had been packed with weddings and events of all sorts, I’d had encounters with people of different characters, some kind and some very challenging to work with. So when their wedding came around, in all honesty, though grateful I was feeling a little exhausted. In all the beautiful chaos I’d lost focus. There’s only so much I can tell you about Liliya & Joseph considering I’ve only known them for so long but at their wedding, one thing was evidently clear, these two knew how to express divine love. From the best man & maid of honor to […]

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New York Shoot | Second day shoot | Tayeesa + Andrew

When I asked Tayeesa if she had any advice to future brides, she was so excited to share lots of the things she’d learned while planning her own wedding. Here are some of the insightful tips she gave me; DIY’s take longer than you think I didn’t expect all our DIY’s to take so long. I’d highly recommend starting all your DIY projects early so the week before your wedding isn’t chaos. There are lots of little details that make a DIY project work and that’s why a year before the wedding is NOT too early to start your projects. Invest in your photographer and videographer. The wedding day goes by in a flash, so you’ll want to Invest in someone that’ll capture all the little moments and emotions of the day. Don’t settle for a good deal, look for heart, passion, and style. Think about your photos years from now. It’s not about trendy edits but preserving memories. Go for something classic and timeless. Don’t go in debt for your wedding day. I guarantee you your guests will not remember or even notice if your centerpieces are the most expensive garden roses or filled in with carnations. Life goes […]

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Old City Philadelphia | Engagement Session | Dan + Sam
January 23, 2019 by Afrik Armando in Engagement, Stories 0 Comments

The BIG day for the Eagles (Philadelphia’s football team) was right around the corner and the city was buzzing with high anticipation for their Super Bowl 52 game. With all of that going on, Samantha had no inclination that Dan was getting ready to pop the question. They had made plans to meet his sister, Leah, out for drinks. But as they walked to Race Street Cafe, they got a phone call from her and apparently, she needed help with a flat tire (wink wink). Dan led the way past the bar, down 2nd street and wanted to cut down Elfreth’s Alley (the nations oldest street) to get to the car quicker. While Samantha, not knowing what was next to come, wanted to read the signs offering information about the street, Dan eagerly pulled her to keep on walking. But as they walked down, she noticed a person walking towards them who looked a lot like Leah. And as the question “Dan, is that your sister” was coming out of her mouth, Dan stopped, pulled her arm around and got down on one knee with the ring in his hand asking her to marry him. Of course, she said Yes! […]

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one tip to dealing with Low self esteem
January 16, 2019 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

It won’t be a hyperbole if I dubbed my high school days “The weird ages”, being in an almost all white Canadian high school, not only did I feel ugly, for some odd reason I thought straightening my dark curly hair would make me look better but it didn’t. I was the scorekeeper for the basketball games, the bench warmer for volleyball and I bet if we had a football team I would’ve been the water boy. In retrospect, there’re many things I could identify as key causes for those stinking thoughts but nevertheless, I’d like to think of myself now as “ugly duckling turned handsome swan” 😀 I’m no advocate for excessive narcism or becoming an imposter but you can’t truly love someone else, till you’ve learned how to love and appreciate yourself. More to this, how you perceive yourself tends to be how you perceive others, and our image of self is often reflected back to us, so with this in mind the importance of having a proper self-image becomes imperative. I’d be lying if I said this was an overnight process for me, far from that, it took years of learning and understanding my value as a […]

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