The Williams’ | Sophisticated with a touch of playful | Philadelphia Engagement
January 27, 2020 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

With Julien & Danielle’s session, the story I sought to tell was that of two highly motivated young individuals on their journey of love and self-discovery. I remember the first time I FaceTimed Julien & Danielle, I was in the process of moving to my new place and had gone furniture shopping at Ikea. So for the day my office was the hot Ikea parking lot, we chatted briefly about the ideas they had in mind for their wedding but when they got to share their dreams and aspirations, I knew we had kindred spirits. At that point I was sold on working with them, more to this I was fascinated by their adventure stories from Jamaica to Thailand, with rigorous schedules like theirs I wondered how they had the time to travel and experience different cultures. For their session, my desire was to highlight their sophistication without ignoring their playful personalities. So we started their shoot at the Rodin Museum with formal outfits to suit the garden setting, then we moved on to Fishtown where I found the perfect playful mural by Dora Cuenca. I’m beyond excited for their wedding in October which will be designed by SaraRea Designs […]

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A closer look into the art of floral design
January 21, 2020 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

When I think about some of the songs which have had the most impact in my life, Amanda Cook’s “Wonder” is somewhere at the top of that list. Her lyrics “May we never lose our wonder…” remind me to not solely be a professional but serve with passion and soul. I’m bringing this up because today after having a conversation with Becky the owner of Ram florals, the flames of that wonder were fanned. And below are just a few excerpts from our conversation. Understanding the difference between a designer and producer I’m sure most of us know who the artist Picasso is, now, wouldn’t it be odd if you wanted him to paint something special for you but instead of giving him creative control, you gave him a brush & told him exactly how and what to paint? Therein lies the key difference between a floral designer and a floral producer. While one goes above and beyond to create something very specific to who you are as a couple, the other focuses on a replication formula. So clarity is paramount because with this in mind, you can decide who and what you want. 3 things to be mindful of; […]

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Favorite wedding photo moments of 2019
January 13, 2020 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

I’ll never forget that warm summer night in the month of August when overwhelmed with tears joy I could hardly believe that I was painting my own space. I know it wasn’t grand & perhaps to some even trivial but considering that I started from nothing I felt pretty darn GRATEFUL. 2019 was one of those years which truly exceeded my wildest expectations. Not only did we grow in leaps & bounds, but we also got to work with some of the most amazing creatives on the most spectacular projects. So for all of this I’ve got to say THANK YOU. Thank you for spreading the word, thank you for all the trust and for all the joy you brought to my life. Below are just a few of my favorite moments from 2019, but if you’re reading this and we worked together last year? I want you to know that considering we only live once and have limited time on earth I sincerely treasure the time we got to spend together. So enjoy the highlight and feel free to share with your friends. Some favorite moments from 2019 In 2019, flat lays were a big thing, a photo dedicated […]

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Fun Fishtown family Photoshoot | Philadelphia
April 6, 2019 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

I’ll never think of myself as a “self-made person” and this family is the reason why. I still remember that warm summer drive on Roosevelt Boulevard, I was done work and Tanya was driving me home. At that time, I was 19 years old going through one of the roughest periods of my life, that’s a story for another day but let’s just say, forces beyond my control had sent me skidding off the rails. Burdened by some heavy family & emotional issues, I sat in the passenger’s seat speechless. In all honesty, I was at my wit’s end but then randomly, Tanya looked at me and said “ Everything will be ok”, a river of tears came rushing down my cheeks and I felt a lot better. This is just one of the millions of heart-lifting experiences I’ve had with them, in all honesty, time would not permit to tell of all the good they’ve done. If you go to their church community, about every person sings their praises and like beacons of light, they illuminate the paths of many. When we went to Fishtown my goal was to tell their story in a way which represented them. Vincent […]

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Colors, Pizza & Bubbly personalities | Philly Lifestyle session
April 3, 2019 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

I’ll never forget the first day I met Ilya, I was at his parent’s house visiting his brother when he brought out a stack of kid books and asked me if I was interested in reading. That was strike one, after being bullied in high school, I knew for certain what the costs of hanging out with nerds were, so no “thank u, next.”. But it’s funny coz a few years later, I ended up traveling across the world with this little dweeb who’s now more than a brother to me. But I must say, the greatest perk of being close friends with Ilya came when he met Victoria, he was like a mosquito buzzing on a hot summer night. If it wasn’t Victoria this, it was Victoria that. He became a poet and she was the subject of all his poems. So when we went out to do this shoot, I was aiming for something that would fit their colorful friendship and bubbly personalities. I’m indeed beyond excited to be documenting the next chapter of their lives in June.

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Love & Wild Flowers – New York Wedding – Liliya + Joseph
February 26, 2019 by Afrik Armando in Stories, wedding 0 Comments

I stood there puzzled behind the lens of my camera, wasn’t sure why but I couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down, more to this, it seemed as though with every teardrop, a burden was lifted. That specific week had been a really difficult one but what I thought would be another long wedding day, turned into one of the most memorable moments of my life. When I signed up for Liliya & Joseph’s wedding, I was excited for the opportunity to document yet another incredible love story. When we talked over the phone, they sounded genuine and kind. But that summer had been packed with weddings and events of all sorts, I’d had encounters with people of different characters, some kind and some very challenging to work with. So when their wedding came around, in all honesty, though grateful I was feeling a little exhausted. In all the beautiful chaos I’d lost focus. There’s only so much I can tell you about Liliya & Joseph considering I’ve only known them for so long but at their wedding, one thing was evidently clear, these two knew how to express divine love. From the best man & maid of honor to […]

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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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