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.  

Read More
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

Read More
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

Read More
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.  

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

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

Alysia & AlexPhiladelphia, PA

Read More
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

Read More
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, […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
Back to Top