Sunset Lover – Kristina + Paul
September 17, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

Song to listen to while reading = PETIT BISCUIT – Sunset Lover This summer was incredible for several reasons but I think one of the things I enjoyed most was photographing some dear friends of mine, meet Kristina and Paul. I remember how thrilled I was many years ago when I worked at a car dealership and heard Paul was joining me, he was a fast learner and in little time he was detailing cars better than I could. Nah, I didn’t get jealous, I had more time to slack off and do nothing. The lunch breaks, long bible talks, and occasional fights. We went from Co-workers to brothers, he told me all his heart and raved endlessly about Kristina. I didn’t mind listening to him talk about her after all she’s also extremely dear to my heart. All these years, she’s been a die-hard fan of about everything I’ve ventured into, from my career as a youtube animation artist to photographer, restlessly cheering me on and giving me shout outs. That one view on youtube, a review on google and the one like on my website, Kristina’s always got my back. I had an incredible time shooting these two […]

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Window Loving | New York Engagement Photoshoot | Villy+Esfir
August 27, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Engagement, Stories 0 Comments

When in pursuit of one's dreams and aspirations, set backs, roadblocks and dead ends are to be expected. These are the necessary catalysts to awaken the ingenious that lies within. Like someone rightly said; Success is often disguised as seeming failure.

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Ain’t no mountain high | Wedding Session | Benjamin & Vita
August 1, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

I still remember that chick fila gift card she gave me on my 20th birthday, the long inspirational conversations we’d have on Sunday evenings after youth group and our missions trip to Mexico, Vita has been a dear friend of mine for a few years now and it was an incredible honor to be her wedding photographer. After their wedding, she moved to Atlanta to start a family, it was sad to see her go but like Marvin Gaye’s song, there’s no mountain high enough to keep her from loving Benjamin.

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La Vie avec toi | In home session
July 18, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

In this age of social media where we present curated versions of our lives, it’s getting more difficult to be authentic, but I love in home sessions because you really see what’s behind closed doors. And to be honest, I’m honored when people get vulnerable, I know we don’t always feel like smiling, we fight, we cry and we sometimes feel sad. But that’s ok because life is not about being perfect, it’s about the process, it’s about the journey and the stories we’ll be able to tell from our experiences. I’m truly grateful for these two, for opening their door and sharing a piece of their life with me. The laughs, the love, the boredom, and the berries, thanks friends.      

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Stand by me | Philadelphia wedding | Victoria + Josef
July 11, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

When it comes to telling love stories in the city of Philadelphia, photography can get a little monotonous. Brick walls, city hall, and the art museum. All incredible places but as I walked around with Viktoria and Josef through the city, I wasn’t looking for just a stand and smile photo. I was looking for a unique way to tell their story. Viktoria and Josef are actually missionaries in Vienna, passionate about bringing more love into the world. After their wedding, Viktoria was to move permanently as a missionary. My mind could hardly fathom why someone would take such a leap into the unknown, but their hearts were set to leave their footprint on the sands of time. When the image below happened, to me it spoke volumes, all I could see was in spite of any frenzy they’ll always have each other. Josef to stand by her and Viktoria to stand by him. Thanks again friends for letting me tell your story.  

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Engagement session | Andrew + Tayessa | Washington DC
June 6, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

It’s a beautiful sunny day and we’re halfway through the engagement session, I’m about to miss my train for the second time but I insist on a second set of photos.. We’ve been shooting for about an hour but our backgrounds have been either white or grey buildings. Though we’ve gotten some incredible images, I was still looking for something that would fully convey the story of their quirky & magical love. As Tayessa and Andrew start heading to the restroom for their outfit change, I spot an unusual tree, with curvy branches and pink leaves. And that was how we got the whimsical photo you see below. Isn’t fascinating how sometimes the best things happen when we least expect? Thank you Tayessa and Andrew for embarking on that 8 hour journey to DC just so we could create memories together. Andrew & Tayeesa

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Philadelphia Distilling Wedding | Maddy + Simon
May 25, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

Crouched next to the alter I wait with my camera at the ready.  You can sense the anticipation in the room. Everyone’s eyes are glued to the aisle, their phones are ready to Snap and Gram.  Mother dabs at a solitary teardrop in her eye. As the bride walks down the aisle, she’s a tremulous sight to behold.  It’s so silent you can hear the old men grasping for air. The groom’s eyes sparkle as he sees his future floating towards him like a vision in a dream.  All his life he’s waited for the approaching moment. Father can’t believe whats happening.  He tries to slow down time with his eyes.  His little girl is all grown up.  When did it happen and why so suddenly, he wonders in wistful amazement.  He watches with awe as she spreads her gossamer wings. Maddy and Simon’s wedding, at Philadelphia Distilling, was a symphony of magical elation. The music, the merriment, and the delicious cuisine all made for the perfect celebration of love. Thank you Maddy and Simon, for being so hospitable to me and for letting me document the beginning of your flight together. Maddy + SimonPhiladelphia Distilling Wedding

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The depth of a Portrait
May 22, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

Her eyes lit up with wonder, like a child reunited with a long lost favorite toy, her expression was overwhelming, you should’ve seen her face. I mean all I did was press the shutter, so I was puzzled as to why she kept thanking me. “You mean I look this beautiful,” she said with tears in her eyes. At that point history made sense to me, I could see why the elite in ancient days sought to have portraits painted of themselves, why nobles had bust cast and why royals would commission the best artist to paint royal family portraits. Portraits go beyond a mediums representation of a person’s physical appearance, be it a painting, a photograph or sculpture. It isn’t just about creating a pleasant aesthetic or making a pretty thing. Portraits carry heart, they tell of a legacy and symbolize significance. For this reason, as I improve my skills and grow, I’m honored that I get to use my photography to create work that’ll not only outlive me but preserve many legacies.  

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Cherry Blossom Engagement Session | Victoria + Alex |
May 12, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

Beautiful things sometimes happen when we least expect. Earlier this year, Victoria had expressed her desire to go to DC for cherry blossom engagement photos. Now cherry blossoms are sort of a hit or miss, it’s about a two-week window and if you live far from DC as we do, you can either get there too early when nothings sprouted yet or too late when all the petals are on the ground. After a severe snowstorm in March, a few failed predictions, and horrific traffic, there we were seated under a blush tree having a picnic. Turns out we hit jackpot, unanticipated we got to DC on the day when the cherry blossoms were at their peak bloom. The tender petals, soft blush, and spring sprouts all conveyed the perfect love story between Victoria and Alex. Thank for an incredible experience and the delicious sushi we had later :). How we tracked the blossoms; Instagram stories ( Tidal Basin Washington) www.cherryblossomwatch.com Lessons for next time;  Get there early, parking was a pain in the rear. We almost had to desperately pay someone to vacate their parking spot but everything eventually worked out. Also, the place was littered with tourist and […]

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3 reasons you’re photogenic

I’ve been on this journey of telling stories with my camera for a little bit of time now. One of the most common phrases I hear is “Oh Afrik I’m not photogenic”. But here are three things I think you should understand before you make your conclusion; 1) You are unique When I was much younger, I didn’t like my curly hair or brown skin. I thought my nose was too wide and I wasn’t good enough. My self-esteem was at the bottom of the barrel and these perceptions of myself rubbed off on everything I did. But as I matured I realized that beauty goes beyond the surface. Beauty is whatever u want it to be. And yes I know this idea is very cliche but truly there is no one like you, there has never been someone like you and there’ll never be another you. This isn’t a call to narcism, but I think it’s important that no matter who you are, you feel good in your own skin and about urself. So with my camera, I seek to tell the story of everyone I meet, and not only take pictures but show them how incredible they are […]

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