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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Red& Bold | Nadiya+David | Lifestyle Photoshoot
January 3, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Family, Stories 0 Comments

From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to begin this year by thanking every one of you. 2017 was a remarkable year of growth but none of it would’ve been possible without you. Your incredible personalities and jolly spirits made the year. I’m truly honored that you’ve graced me with this opportunity of documenting and telling your stories. Words cannot describe the thrill I feel in my soul when I see eyes light up and hear words like “you mean I look that good in real life?” 2018 is just starting off and this year we’re going to be BOLDER THAN WE’VE EVER BEEN BEFORE. We’ll be bold about our dreams, bold about our love and bold about how beautiful we are. For true beauty is passion, heart, and kindness. We’ll write our story and make it unforgettable. We’ll live out loud and spend our days with absolutely no regrets. Thank you, David and Nadiya, for the incredible time we spent in New York, thank you for having such an adventurous, red and bold love. David and NadiyaNew York

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Love which stills | Kate + Bryant | Engagement Photoshoot
December 5, 2017 by Afrik Armando in City, Engagement, Stories 0 Comments

                        Busy streets with fast-paced cars and rushing pedestrians, everyone making haste to their next destination but suddenly, in a moment of time the storm is stilled, the love of two has caused a great calm. My morning was fogged with activities and to make matters worse I overslept, causing a chaotic pile of undone tasks. Prior to my photoshoot with Kate and Bryant, I’d made an action plan with sketches, image inspirations, and favorable locations. However, going into the session I wasn’t sure what to expect especially since the morning hadn’t quite unfolded as planned. We decided to start out our shoot next to a cafe called United by Blue in old city and it was then that the fog cleared up. A spontaneous joy and chemistry, so unique and desirable. And I think this is exactly what makes Kate and Bryant so different, two very spontaneous souls who relish every moment spent together. Carefree, childlike hearts and full of an unspeakable amount of joy. They’re never afraid to try new things or explore uncharted territory. Thank you for letting me into your world and I look forward […]

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Cageless Birds 2 | Kat + Serge | After wedding Shoot
October 17, 2017 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 1 Comment

The best phrase I can use to describe this shoot is ” Lost in Loveland”. Firstly, I can’t thank Kat & Serge enough, not only did they agree to do a second-day shoot, they also agreed to wake up at 5 am in the morning to catch the golden hour. And I tell you magic happened that morning. Isn’t this a lot like life, when you do crazy things and take bold steps the universe always beautifully responds in your favor. When I took a second look at these photos after our shoot, I was lost in Loveland, it’s one thing to see them on your camera screen and another thing to see them on a large computer screen. And a little tip for using smoke bombs; try waiting for angular lighting (usually in the morning or towards the evening) this creates a very dramatic scene especially if you use it in a woodsy area, you actually get to see the rays of light going through the smoke. Thanks a million for reading this far and please comment below so I can know you stopped by :). You’re amazing Kat & SergeCore Creek Park

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