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 'Equipment'

Happy first week of June everyone! We’re half way through 2015, and I hope you are all doing well :)

I wanted to share with you a recent experience I had with a rather EXPENSIVE piece of camera gear, a medium format, $30,000.00 Phase One,  50+ Megapixel (MP)camera! Yes, $30,000.00, the price of a decent car, like a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. $30,000.00!!!

In my ongoing effort to better my lighting and photography skills, I signed up for a day long fashion photography class with Jodi Jones, a renowned fashion photographer based out of New York.  Jodi is such a cool person and her work rocks as well! Definitely check out her website. During the workshop, we went over various lighting examples, and her approach to fashion photography which made for a fun day of learning. But the piece de resistance, was the opportunity to work with the Phase One camera with two models hired for the workshop.

Now, for those of you who know me, I am totally against Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.), but the chance to work with a true high end, uber-pro level camera is something that I didn’t want to pass up.

The difference between a medium format camera and a full frame camera is essentially the sensor size. “Full frame” DSLRs have sensors that are the exact dimensions of a single 35mm roll film photo (36mm x 24mm), whereas a medium-format sensor (or equivalent film size) is 6 x 4.5 cm, which is roughly DOUBLE the size of 35mm/full frame cameras. Along with that extra sensor real estate, you can get so much more pixel depth and information, thus, are able to crop in super tight, and/or enlarge to billboard size without any problems. In short, you get GORGEOUS files – well, gorgeous if properly made that is.


MF vs 35





Sure, a 50+ MP will also take up a lot of hard drive space, but if you need the quality and depth, and are shooting huge campaigns (and already have a nice car), then hey,  buy the Phase One. (Disclaimer – I’m not sponsored by them, but I WISH!)

So, couple a great camera system, an awesome fashion photographer instructor (with an equally cool assistant by the name of Adam), throw in two gorgeous models, and voila, you can’t take a bad photo! Okay, you CAN take a bad photo, but why?!!!

Here are some behind the scenes looks of the day, including a photo I took with the Phase One. Enjoy!


2015, M Palma Photography, Jodi Jones Studio, fashion photography, BTS, phase one, quixote studios, iphone5


Jodi (with camera) and assistant Adam with one of the models we worked with that day.






2015, M Palma Photography, Jodi Jones Studio, fashion photography, BTS, phase one, quixote studios, iphone5


Jodi again with another model and additional lighting set-up





2015, M Palma Photography, Jodi Jones Studio, fashion photography, BTS, phase one, quixote studios, iphone5


One of our lighting set-ups. It looks more complicated than it really is.





2015, M Palma Photography, Jodi Jones Studio, fashion photography, BTS, phase one, quixote studios, iphone5


Here it is, the photo I was able to take using the Phase One. I downscaled it just so you can see it without having to wait too long for it to download (50 MP can take a LONG time to download. If you’re truly interested, I can share it with you via FTP)

This is straight out of the camera, using just one beauty dish, and a profoto light. BTS up above.

There you have it. My day with a $30K camera. Did I mention that it was a THIRTY THOUSAND dollar camera?! Needless to say, I don’t need a Phase One, nor will I ever consider buying it, but as with a lot of things in life, there are some jobs that require special “tools” and the Phase One is one awesome tool to play with.

Thanks to Jodi Jones, Adam, Quixote Studios, and the two models for a great day!

Thanks for stopping by!










It’s not all that often that I geek out over something. I think the last time I felt so strongly about a new product was with my Fuji X100s, which I STILL love! If I were stranded on a deserted island and could only take two photo related items with me, I would take that Fuji and my new bag “lust”, the Ona Berlin II.

If any of you know me, I’m not one for the latest and greatest tech. I can make do and still create using the stuff that I already own, and I don’t need the latest bells and whistles product that pop up every month or so. But once in a while, a new product catches my eye, and after careful research and consideration, I lust for it, usually for how well it’s made, and how long it will last. With the new Ona Berlin II, I know that I will own this bag till the last photo I ever make [tear rolls down my face…].

I originally wanted the first iteration of the Berlin, the Berlin I, but when I finally decided on springing the dough for it, low and behold (and not surprisingly) it sold out! Originally created in conjunction with Leica camera’s 100th anniversary, the Leica aficionados swept them up in a hurry (then again, most Leica owners tend to have a LOT of dough! – Doh!). I liked the bag solely for its size, material (leather) and quality (I own another one of Ona’s bags, the Bowery).

The first batch was said to be a limited run, but when Ona announced that a second batch would be made, I started saving my pennies! After a long(-ish) wait, my “dream” bag finally arrived, and I’m more than happy to say that this is indeed, IT! I don’t need another camera bag!!!

The quality and workmanship is impeccable. And the design is timeless. Nice roomy interior, with a zippered front pocket for cards, wallet, phone, etc., and a rear pocket large enough to hold an iPad, or perhaps maps to whatever city you’re exploring (this bag would do well in Europe!). Although I’m not a Leica owner (I don’t need to buy a camera that would cost more than my car!), I am using it with my trusty old Fuji X100s, which in form and function, is similar to the Leica, of which this bag was created.

The Berlin II is the type of bag that will age really well. Scuff marks and discoloration will only make it look better. Heck, I can’t wait to break it in cause  it’s a little too nice looking.

There you have it. My simply review of the last camera bag I’ll ever buy. Once in a while, you find something that fits and works, and then, that’s it. Done. Finito.

Thanks Ona Bags! All hail the Berlin II!


Now here are my photos of the unboxing of my new Berlin II. I know. Geek stuff, but fun to do and share! Enjoy!




2014, m palma photography, ona bags, ona berlin II, vsco, los angeles photographer, camera bags




Ona Berlin II_2014_M Palma Photography-4




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Ona Berlin II_2014_M Palma Photography-9




Ona Berlin II_2014_M Palma Photography-11