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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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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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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Wish upon the heart | David + Anna | Wedding Photos
October 4, 2017 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 2 Comments

“When you wish upon a star, it doesn’t matter who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you” Sometimes it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the grandness of our dreams which lay deep within the chambers of our hearts but I think the quote above epitomizes in words how our beautiful universe works, it all starts with a desire. As dream chasers with bountiful visions & endless passions, we’ve got the responsibility to nurture & strengthen our ambitions. This is what David and Anna did as they tied the knot on that warm summer day in the month of July. As we walked the street of Skaneateles, cheers, & applauds floated everywhere, pedestrians made way for the newlyweds and the golden sun rays light them up for perfect wedding portraits. I’m beyond blessed to be honored with the task of documenting the start of their ambitions and I’m thrilled considering the fact that generations to come will not only see pretty wedding photos but a story, a story of two dream chasers who took their wish upon a heart and made it a reality. Thank you, David and Anna. Second Shooter // Anita Savich Hair // Julia Shelestovsky Photoshoot […]

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