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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New York Wedding | David + Natalia
December 12, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

With every new day, I’m becoming more aware of the essential role friends play in my life. David is one of those friends who’ve stuck closer than a brother. When I started doing weddings in New York 3 years ago not only did he wholeheartedly offer up his room for me, he made it his duty to keep me entertained during my stay. I could go on and on about our long bro talks, sauna nights and killer breakfasts. But I’ll tell you, he’s one of the most fascinating people I know. It wasn’t long till I got to meet Nataliya afterward and was won over by her kind & genuine personality. It was truly an honor to document the start of their legacy and I’m really looking forward to growing together. David + NataliaNew York

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A walk of color | Anniversary Shoot | Kat & Serge
November 11, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

We made our way downtown and walked real slow through Fishtown. It was just the start of fall, so the only colors we could find in the area were on that wall. I’ve had many photo sessions with Kat & Serge in the past, so this anniversary shoot was just another romantic blast. Since their wedding, I feel like part of their tribe and that day I particularly enjoyed their hipster vibe. My time with them didn’t feel like work, it was more like spending time with friends and going on a walk. Thanks guys for letting document your journey. Kat + SergePhiladelphia, PA

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Alex + Victoria | Elegant Philadelphia Wedding
November 2, 2018 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

The night before Victoria and Alex’s wedding, I’d been shooting another 4 hours from Philadelphia, with only 2 hours of sleep, when I got to the Logan hotel, I have to admit I was feeling extremely tired. I wasn’t smiling and my mind kept contemplating my exhaustion. I wasn’t sure where the energy for the day would come from. Nonetheless, when I saw Victoria’s wedding ball gown, a surge of energy went through my being, I was in awe of the delectable lace and exclusive satin, it was a heavenly sight to behold. More to this, the bridal party provided more than enough energy to go around, they were on a constant high throughout the day, making jokes and funny comments at every turn. With a classic high bun, when Victoria put on her dress, she exuded a royal elegance. Her coral bridesmaid dresses, white roses, ranunculus, and hydrangea all made for a classically modern look. Their day ended at the Art Museum of Philadelphia with sparklers and a slow dance to Paul Anka’s “Put your head on my shoulder”.  I’m truly grateful that they honored me with the priceless responsibility of documenting the start of your legacy Victoria + […]

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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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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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