Welcome to the M Palma Photo Blog

Hi, my name is Mike, a professional wedding and portrait photographer born, raised, and based here in beautiful, Silverlake, Los Angeles, California.

On this blog, you'll find the daily inspirations, images and musings of my life.

I love photographing people, places, and anything else that catches my eye. I describe my style of photography as modern, fun, and energetic. So stay a while, check out my work, and get to know me better through my images and entries.

If you'd like to visit my main wedding and portrait site, click on this link, or click on the "connect" button up top to drop me a line via e-mail.

Like I said, stay awhile, and enjoy the entries. And please, do leave a comment. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter (via the icons above this paragraph) for even more up-to-date happenings (don't worry, I won't put up meager posts like "I'm standing in line at Starbucks" (my favorite coffee spot!). Only the really cool and important stuff!)

Thanks for stopping by!

Archive for 'Business'

Happy second week of the Sochi Winter Olympics! Anyone watching? Anyone?! Regardless of what you’re watching, I hope it’s good!

This past weekend, I had the distinct honor of updating our good friends’ daughter Dyllen’s headshot photos. Dyllen first had her headshots taken with me two years ago, and even back then I was really impressed with her poise and her confidence (comes from great parenting!) This time through, now at the ripe old age of 12 years, once again, that same confidence with a little added sassiness came through, which made for another successful shoot. Not only did we create her standard headshot photos, but, because of her uber-stylist mom Cindera, we added some fashion-flair to some of the other photos, which of course, Dyllen rocked like a pro! Seriously, can you say “Gap” ad? She can!

My sincerest thanks to Cindera, (and Ryan) and Dyllen for giving me this chance to update Dyllen’s portfolio. I’m grateful for the chance, and am so happy to see how awesome a young lady Dyllen is turning into with each new photo session. Thanks you guys! Now go book ‘em Dyllen!

Enjoy our photos :)


2014, February, M Palma Photography, headshots, kids, fashion, los angeles photographer, modern, fun, energetic, d700, vsco




Dyllen N_2-16-14_MPalma Photography-218




Dyllen N_2-16-14_MPalma Photography-260




Dyllen N_2-16-14_MPalma Photography-326




Dyllen N_2-16-14_MPalma Photography-350




Dyllen N_2-16-14_MPalma Photography-632


Happy Thursday everyone :) It’s the day before Valentine’s day. Just saying.

Flashback to this past weekend, when I was given the awesome opportunity to cover the Japanese American Nat’l Museum’s Target Family Days, featuring the good folks from KoAloha Ukulele, based in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Whoa, that was a mouthful!).

Basically, “Target Family Days” at the museum are events where families can attend to experience some fun and exciting activities. This past weekend, everyone in attendance was treated to Hawaiian inspired crafts for the kids, and everything Ukulele, you know, those small-ish looking guitars that are associated with the Hawaiian islands? I learned that they didn’t originate there, but somehow, throughout the years, they have become synonymous with Hawaii. In the Hawaiian language, “Uku” means “flea”, and “lele” translates to “jumping”, hence, “jumping flea”, as the picking/strumming motions mimick. Now you know :)

What really made the day for me was how cool and friendly the KoAloha folks are. All of them, from the company owners, Allan and Paul, to their uber-talented artists and instructs, all exemplified that wonderful Hawaiian sensibility of “Ohana” or family, making for a really enjoyable day for everyone. Really nice folks. Plus, taking in their talent and expertise on how to play the ukulele was simply inspiring! I’m DEFINITELY taking it up! Definitely!

If you’re interested in their ukuleles, check out their site here. I spoke to a lot of people taking classes that day with them, and everyone wholeheartedly suggested getting a KoAloha! With folks like the ones I met on Saturday, I completely agree!

Here’s a glimpse of my day with them. Enjoy!



2014, M Palma Photography, KoAloha Ukulele, Ukulele, Koaloha, JANM, Japanese American National Museum, Target Days, families, family, hawaii, aloha, Los Angeles photographer, silverlake photographer, filipino photographer, ukulele lessons




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-3




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-5




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-7




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-9




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-14




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-16




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-17




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-18




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-20




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-22




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-23




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-24 KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-25 KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-26




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-27




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-28




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-30




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-31




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-33




KoAloha Ukulele_JANM_Target Family Days_MPalma Photography_2014-34




A huge, special thanks goes out to Tracy L., for giving me this great opportunity :) Mahalo Tracy! Great times with great people :) Aloha!

December 19, 2013 in Business, Portraits

Back when I was teenager, in the age when we had cable boxes that had cords attached to them, with actual buttons to change channels, I remember having a movie station called the “Z” channel. It was your run of the mill movie channel, akin to what we called “Home Box Office”  back then. (It WAS HBO, but we called it by its full name. Silly 80’s people! ). On many a weekend nights, I watched everything from “The Breakfast Club”, “Weird Science”, “War Games”, “Beetlejuice”, “E.T.”, you name it! And on one occasion, I came across a Michael Keaton movie called “Gung Ho”, a story about a Japanese car manufacturer who decides to come to America to open up a car factory, run by no other than Michael Keaton himself. It was typical Keaton of the  80’s, starring in a quirky, funny, everyday- guy- does- good movie, and in this movie, dealing with the Japanese way of building cars in an American factory. I probably watched it because 1) it was a comedy and I liked Michael Keaton (remember his other 80’s flick “Night Shift” with Henry Winkler?), and 2) it had Asians in it! Whoa! ASIANS in film in the 80’s?! Heck yeah I’m going to watch it.

Basically, it was a story about how Michael Keaton’s character, Hunt Stevenson, helps to open up said Japanese car factory and tries to help his new boss and staff fit into the American way of manufacturing, only to have it back- slap them in the process, trying to fit the american way into the Japanese way of car making, and vice-versa.  In it, the main asian cast was a who’s who of asian-american actors of the day, including Sab Shimono, Gedde Watanabe (of “Sixteen Candles” fame), So Yamamura (the big cheese boss!), and a certain Rodney Kageyama, who played a lovable little worker bee who would do anything for the car company even if it meant missing the birth of his on-screen son! It was a funny movie, great for a boring Friday or Saturday night way back in 1986. But what I most remember about it was Rodney’s big scene, where his character, Ito, was dancing on the factory floor with his tie up on his head like a headband, grooving to the song “Jump” by the Pointer Sisters. Of all the scenes, I always thought that was the funniest, and it stuck with me over the years.



Rodney Kageyama, Natsukashi.wordpress.com, Gung Ho, Ito


That’s Rodney as “Ito” in Gung Ho.

Photo courtesy of Natsukashi.wordpress.com website.

Fast forward about 15 or so years, and I eventually became good friends with Rodney, and upon our first meeting, memories of that old cable box and the “Z” channel sprang up from my teens and I was face to face with “Ito” himself, of Gung Ho fame. Wow. (On a side note, this also happened to me and Tamlyn Tomita, but that’s another story for another time. It’s just weird where life takes you, and who you become friends with. Only in L.A.!)

Fast forward a few more years, to a few days ago when Rodney asked me to photograph him for a big award he’s getting in January for his outstanding community service! Totally deserved :) He gives so much of his time, efforts, and heart, that it’s not hard  to throw accolade after accolade upon him. It truly is an honor to be his friend, and an even greater honor for me to create some portraits for him for that big award he’s getting. We decided on photographing him at the East West Players theater in Little Tokyo, as Rodney is part of the original core of Asian-American actors to have founded the space. What a fitting backdrop for this fun session!

For a few glorious hours, we created these wonderful “Rodney” photos, of which I  feel capture the true loving essence of Rodney. Such a joy to photograph, and easily, one of my favorite sessions of all time :)

Enjoy our efforts, and if you have the time, please look up Rodney Kageyama on the internets and see how diverse his acting career is. You’ve seen him in a lot of projects over the years, trust me :)


Rodney Kageyama, M Palma Photography, portrait, Einstein, East West Players, Gung Ho, Asian American Actor, actor, Japanese American Artist, Los Angeles




Rodney Kageyama, M Palma Photography, portrait, Einstein, East West Players, Gung Ho, Asian American Actor, actor, Japanese American Artist, Los Angeles




Rodney Kageyama, M Palma Photography, portrait, Einstein, East West Players, Gung Ho, Asian American Actor, actor, Japanese American Artist, Los Angeles




Rodney Kageyama, M Palma Photography, portrait, Einstein, East West Players, Gung Ho, Asian American Actor, actor, Japanese American Artist, Los Angeles




Rodney Kageyama, M Palma Photography, portrait, Einstein, East West Players, Gung Ho, Asian American Actor, actor, Japanese American Artist, Los Angeles





A huge thanks goes out to East West Players for allowing us to use the theater for these photos, to Andy L., Kat C., Tim D. and the rest of the staff as well :)

Happy holidays everyone! Due to the holidays, I’ll be taking a break till the new year. May your holidays be filled with laughter and joy, and the new year brings you happiness and success :) Till then, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!






Happy Thursday everyone! Last week at this time, it was approximately 90 frickin’ degrees! Today, showers throughout the greater L.A. area. What the heck Mother Nature?!!! Hope you’re all keeping dry out there, wherever you are, and be careful when you drive as well :)

I know, I’ve been out for about a week now. I got sick one of those weeks, had a few shoots, and just LIFE got in the way. Ah well. I’m back now, and happy to be sharing with you my headshot session with my good buddy Dennis Yen. Dennis and I have known  each other for some time now, ever since we both took part in a play years ago (I think 10 years ago! Whoa, how time flies!). Dennis is an uber talented sound designer, multi-ethnic dialect impersonator, a realtor, and an overall cool-dude guy! If you need his services for any of the aforementioned skills, please look him up!

Yesterday, he came in to have some commercial headshots taken, as he is interested in throwing his hat into the commercial acting ring. Finally! I was honored to have been asked, and as always, when he came in, we had such a great time, mostly laughing our @$$’es off, but getting some terrific photos as well.

Here are our results, and as usual, a guest appearance by a certain four-legged “talent”. Oh, and as for the “Pitbull” reference? He looks like the musical, rap artist Pitbull. Then again, most bald guys do. ;p




2013, M Palma Photography, headshots, actor, los angeles, natural light, Nikon d700




2013, M Palma Photography, headshots, actor, los angeles, natural light, Nikon d700





2013, M Palma Photography, headshots, actor, los angeles, natural light, Nikon d700





2013, M Palma Photography, headshots, actor, los angeles, natural light, Nikon d700





2013, M Palma Photography, headshots, actor, los angeles, natural light, Nikon d700





2013, M Palma Photography, headshots, actor, los angeles, natural light, Nikon d700




There you have it. Dennis Yen. Go out and HIRE him will you?!

A huge thanks to Dennis for allowing me to photograph him. Thanks dude!

Have a great week everyone!


September 26, 2013 in Business, Weddings

Howdy folks! Just wanted to let everyone know that I’m going to be out of the office for a week! Photographing a destination wedding in an exotic locale! Woo hoo!!! I’ll be back in two weeks with photos and stories :) Till then…

Aloha Carlton



Yup, you guessed it – I’m Hawaii bound :) Aloha everyone, and see you real soon!