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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Aleysia + Alex | Philadelphia Wedding
April 27, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

Alysia & AlexPhiladelphia, PA

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Mini Series 1 – Serge +Nica – Life Style Session
April 17, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

As I get ready to share some of the stuff I’m working on this spring, I thought it’ll be a good idea to share some of the gold from last year which never made it on the blog. Serge and Veronica have been friends of mine for quite a while. I still remember the days at the car dealership, where Serge and I worked together.He was the car guy and I was the car detailer/photographer.I remember the Hot summer days when multiple things would go wrong and we would start fighting. Then Veronica would bring lunch and peace would be made in an instant. I was honored to be his groomsman and now many years later whenever I have a car issue or concern, his number is on speed dial (not sure how he feels about that but oh well, what are friends for?). It was an honor doing a lifestyle session with you guys and thanks for being such incredible friends 🙂 Serge & NicaPhiladelphia, PA

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Farewell Winter
March 23, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

Nowadays it’s close to impossible to ignore the noise. About every social media platform is flooded with highlights of everyones lives. Everyone seems to be happy and making progress, getting a new job, getting engaged or having a baby. But in all honesty, I’ll speak for myself, it doesn’t always feel that way. Sometimes it feels like you’ve been running around in circles or stagnant, endlessly anticipating the next “thing”. Brings to mind the weather this week, the first days of a colorful spring ended up being a record-setting snowfall in certain areas of Pennsylvania. Friend one thing I’ve learned is that; good things take time. We’re all in different seasons and though I’ll sound like a broken record, life is a PROCESS. I think it helps to look back at where you’ve come from, look at how far you’ve grown and how much you’ve accomplished. And in terms of a solution to these blue feelings, I read biographies, Pinterest some inspiration or go for a walk/run (I prefer a walk). Feelings are feelings not reality. Finally, to bid farewell to winter I decided to share these snow photos from my shoot with Alysia and Alex. Though I was freezing, […]

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5 Tips on creating stunning smoke bomb wedding images
March 13, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

With the wedding season on the horizon, I decided to compile a short list of some of the things I learned last year from shooting with smoke bombs. Last summer for the first time a couple asked me if I was on board with using smoke bombs for their day-after shoot, initially, I felt a bit intimidated but the beautiful thing about the tech age is that you can literally find everything online. So here are some of the things I learned at my smoke bomb wedding photoshoots; HAVE A CONCEPT OR THEME Sometimes the beautiful wedding images I get happen by accident but I think planning sets up the stage for these things to happen. A core part of planning is having a concept or idea for your shoot, what do you want the images to portray? What mood are you going for? And what vision do you have?these things inform the colors, lighting, and location of your shoot. For the images below, my goal was to capture the magical hearts of Kat and Serge (my wedding couple), so I knew the light had to be a key component. We used soft pink for their tender love and went […]

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Be still & Love | Wedding | Serge+Zaryana
February 16, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

One thing I’ve learned on this journey of documenting love stories is that time flies. Isn’t interesting how we spend so much effort and time preparing for the big day but then in a few hours, it’s all done. Think of all that’s required beforehand; hiring a wedding team, paying for a grand venue, importing flowers, purchasing beautiful dresses and jewelry. But in a moment of time, the day is over. And that’s why the importance of RELISHING every single moment on your wedding day, cannot be overemphasized. Beautifully that was exactly what Zaryana and Serge did on their wedding day. I met Sergey for the first time in years the morning of his wedding, traditionally, I like meeting the couple ahead of time so I was a bit nervous that they wouldn’t feel very comfortable. But that morning after our portrait session, I was convinced their wedding would be a blast. Serge had the best jokes, a goofy personality, and a very light-hearted person. Likewise, Zaryana was very calm and nothing seemed to faze her. It was one of the coldest days in January but they carried their own atmosphere of love.They both enjoyed every single moment and I’m […]

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In the mood for Love | Ilona + Yuriy | Couple Shoot
February 5, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Engagement, Stories 0 Comments

As I sit here reminiscing about my friendship with Yuriy and Ilona, I can hardly find the words to express my thoughts towards them. Normally when your best friend gets married, you might as well start looking for a replacement but oddly I think since their wedding in October, my love for them has grown much deeper. Often times they invite me for home cooked dinner, movie nights and long night chats. I think I’m becoming such a regular visitor that even their bunny, Olive now knows my smell, and runs up to me whenever he’s let out to play. So this blog post is just a celebration of friendship. There are lots of really incredible people around us, and the more we recognize the best in others, the more our eyes are opened to see the gold in them. Thank you, Yuriy and Ilona for letting me document and photograph your love story. I’m looking forward to the many years ahead, the anniversaries, children birthday parties, graduations and all of such. Yuriy & IlonaBuffalo New York

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My love for you | Nick+Nataliya
January 25, 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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The Lavender Moment | Alex + Natalya | Wedding
January 16, 2018 by Afrik Armando in People, Stories 0 Comments

It’s the day Natalya’s most anticipated and words don’t even come close to express the euphoria she feels inside. However, this joy she’s experiencing has a sharp unpleasant side to it. It’s a bittersweet hour. Though she’ll be forever united with the love of her life, her friends and family will have to kiss her goodbye. It’s time for the bird to leave the nest to a new home many miles away. It’s the brides lavender moment, femininity all grown up. Her bridesmaids help put on her wedding dress and mother fits in the pearl white veil. Her father takes a look at her for the first time and can barely hold in his tears. Never had he seen his little girl so well refined, graced and elegant. Every couple’s story is so different and so beautiful. Though the wedding day usually flies by, it’s these moments which last forever. This is the reason I truly value every single couple who bestows on me the great responsibility to document and save these memories for generations to come. Natalya and Alex were so kind to me, not only did they give me creative freedom to explore the different ideas we had, […]

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