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 'Events'

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

 

 

 

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

Happy beginning of summer everyone! Just kidding – kind of. What with 90+ degree weather we’re experiencing, why not call it summer?! So long as it doesn’t stay this way for too long, I won’t mind it at all (kind of). Now that we’re past Labor Day, summer is truly over. Kids are back in school, and we’re in the 9th month of the year, with just three more months to go till Christmas. Wow.

 As for me, Labor Day weekend always marks one of my favorite events of the year, the Disneyland Half marathon. 13.1 miles of pain, suffering, hard breathing, smiles, and a lot of perspiration! All of which are totally worth it! It was my 7th time doing the race, and each time, I enjoy it more and more, even though my body is telling me otherwise. It’s such a well organized race through the “happiest place on earth”. I just can’t get enough of it. Plus, I know that afterwards, we’d head to the parks and enjoy more of the Disney magic we have all come to know and enjoy, and grow up with! This year was no exception. Although I came short of my projected goal due to a lingering injury, I was still able to complete the race with a solid time and a huge medal!

This time through we spent it with my cousins and nephews, all of whom stayed with us at the Disney Grand Californian hotel, courtesy of my cousin Rondee :) (Thanks Rondee!). It’s a great hotel, with some EXCELLENT air conditioning! (What with near 80+ humidity and HEAT, that A/C sure did feel amazing!). The accommodations were awesome, needless to say. Plus, they had a nice pool – super important ;p Despite the super warm and humid temps, we had a great time walking the parks, riding our favorite rides, and just hanging out. Big thanks goes out to Angela and Will for their generosity! They ran the race too (congrats!), and beat me to the line (then again, they are 10 years younger than I am! Besides, they’re quickies!). And to my sister Sarah and her friends for also coming down to spend some time – hope you had fun!

We also decided to take more “fun” photos this trip. Although you’ll only see my photos of Helen here, as all of her are on still on her phone :( Oh well. Included in that phone is a photo I got to take with Joey Fatone, who also ran the race. If you follow my Facebook page you might just find it there.

So here it is, a selection of photos from our 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. Thanks to everyone who made it special and fun! Now go somewhere where there’s air conditioning will ya?!

 

 

 

2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, M Palma Photography, California Adventure, Disneyland, Black and White, VSCO, Ironman, Fuji x100s, x100s, modern, fun, energetic, street photography, portraits, silverlake photographer, los angeles photographer

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Happy September everyone! Thanks for stopping, and in the spirit of my Disney weekend, have a magical day :)

Mike

Happy Wednesday everyone! We’re almost done with August, and onto the final stretch before Labor Day next weekend. Time sure does fly!

If you tuned into last week’s post, you were (re)introduced to our dog, Gunther (the communal dog – long story). He’s over at our place so often enough that he might as well be our dog (again, long story). Last week, Gunther took part in the annual Nisei Week parade, held every August to commemorate the crowning of the new NW queen and court, and to celebrate the Japanese American culture. As noted, Cold Tofu, the improv group I belong to, was honored as Parade Marshal for the day, and we walked the route, complete with said dog wearing a white “Cold Tofu” shirt on. He made many friends that day.

Fast forward a week, and sadly, Nisei Week had to come to an end, and Gunther was there at the closing ceremonies, this time wearing a somewhat traditional looking Japanese yukata “jacket”. It wasn’t really the REAL thing, but would definitely pass for one. Helen had bought him the outfit so that he’d look more festive, which he did. It also made him very popular again amongst all those in attendance. ESPECIALLY kids. Because of his demeanor, everyone loves Gunther, and vice-versa. And when kids saw him that day, the couldn’t resist petting and playing with him for a while. So much so that at times, the kids and Gunther, created these small play circles in the middle of wherever they were standing, mostly in the street (closed off of course).

In addition, he made a whole slew of new friends, both two and four-legged, and got to experience one of L.A.’s most festive and culturally rich events. Plus, he got to take photos with this year’s NW court, and a couple of other celebs as well. He sure does ham it up in front of the camera!

Enjoy the photos of Gunther’s closing weekend experience, as well as some of the other sights I saw during the event. Hopefully, you too will get to meet and take a photo with  him as well :)

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

2013, M Palma Photography, Nisei Week, Gunther, street photography, closing ceremonies, Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Fuji x100s, x100s, VSCO, dogs, kids, street fair, queen, celebs, Silverlake photographer

 

 

 

Have a great week everyone and thanks for stopping by :) Gunther says “thanks” too :)

Happy Wednesday everyone! Hope the start of May brings everyone prosperous news and generous gifts! Wow, May already?! What the?!!!

As my title reads, I had one heck of a week! It sounds a bit misleading, but each of those titles are one actual occurrence. Although wouldn’t it be cool if they all did happen all at once?! Why not?! Sadly, it didn’t but each one was fun  nonetheless.

The week started with the “Look Fabulous” Tour, a seminar geared towards portrait/fashion studio lighting, with two of the best instructors in the fashion/commercial industry – Lindsay Adler and Lou Freeman. Each brought their lighting set-ups and gave us the opportunity to shoot on them, including the cool “Playboy” magazine lighting set-up! Wow!!!

 

Look Fabulous Tour, Lou Freeman, Playboy lighting

 

Ever wonder how Playboy does it? Here it is – ten, yes TEN light set up for starters…

Freeman, M Palma Photography, studio lighting, Playboy lighting, female model, seminar, tours, workshops, studio, profoto

Here’s the finished product – straight out of the camera, no processing. Incredible lighting!

 

 

 

Look Fabulous Tour, Lindsay Adler, Lou Freeman, fashion instructors

 

Here I am with the two instructors (L-R) Lou Freeman, and Lindsay Adler. Exceptional people and amazing instructors!

Thanks you guys :)

 

Monday brought about the 47th annual East West Players dinner gala honoring Asian-americans in film/tv/theater. Low and behold, the improv group I belong to, Cold Tofu, received a visionary award! Needless to say, we were thrilled to be honored :)

 

 

EWP, East West Players, 47th dinner gala, Kev Jumba, John Chu, Helen Ota, John Cho, M Palma Photography, events, actors, directors

My better half with John Cho, who presented Cold Tofu with our award.

EWP, East West Players, 47th dinner gala, Kev Jumba, John Chu, Helen Ota, John Cho, M Palma Photography, events, actors, directors

(L-R) Kev Jumba, Helen Ota (Cold Tofu), John Chu (Director), and John Cho

EWP, East West Players, 47th dinner gala, Kev Jumba, John Chu, Helen Ota, John Cho, M Palma Photography, events, actors, directors

The Cold Tofu gang with our award. I’m taking the photo, hence, not in it :( Yay to us!

Friday came along and I was able to finally get my good friend Kennedy K. in the studio to do some portraits of him. Kennedy is an amazing trapeeze/aerialist, and it was so cool to have him in studio finally! More to come with this awesome artist!

 

Kennedy Kabasares, Aerialist, Trapeeze artist, actor, performer, studio lighting, m Palma Photography, male, model

THE Kennedy Kabasares…

 

 

 

Kennedy Kabasares, Aerialist, Trapeeze artist, actor, performer, studio lighting, m Palma Photography, male, model

 

Kennedy with his aerial bar. This dude’s amazing! Trust me!

And finally, my yearly silly splurge happened for me this past weekend, the annual Renaissance  Fair out in Irwindale, Calif. I’ve always had a liking towards the medieval times, and going to this fair just makes me feel happy. Plus, this was the first year I decided to rent a Renaissance costume – a knight! It was fun being in the midst of all the people and pretending to speak Elizabethan/Shakespearean. Hilarious!!! Good times indeed. Call me a big kid, but afterwards, I was a bit sad to have it all end, but there’s always next year!

 

renassiance fair irwindale, ren faire, portraits, fuji x100s, strobe, costume, pirate, m palma photography, daylight, natural light, x100s

 

 

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So there you have it! What a busy week! Couple all this with the arrival of my new “toy”/tool, the Fuji X100s, and it makes for a great week.

 

Thanks for stopping by everyone! Happy May to all of you!

Mike

February 26, 2013 in Anytime, Events, Personal

Happy Tuesday everyone! Can you believe we’re actually at the end of February already?! Two months done for 2013!

Here I am writing this entry the day after the Oscars, the “superbowl” of the entertainment industry.  A night where people LITERALLY put their best face on (store/doctor bought or otherwise!) and show themselves off to the world. Besides watching who and what wins, I think I like watching it for whomever is hosting. Seth Macfarlane (aka Bobby Brady) did a good job.

Before the big show, Santa Anita had their annual Photo Day over at the track this past Friday. A day when photographers, amateur and pros alike, get an almost free reign of the grounds to make and create the best photos they can of anything they want. It was my first time at this event, and I have to give it up to organizers for putting together a great event! Not only did we get great access to the grounds, stables, races, but we were also FED! Yup, food is always good don’t you think?

If you’ve been following my blog lately, some of the last few entries have involved shooting horses, particularly at Santa Anita. As you know, I don’t usually photograph animals, but going outside my usual “comfort” zone is such a thrill. Plus, to photograph thoroughbreds is an amazing endeavor. These athletes are incredible at what they do, and encompass all the great qualities their human counterparts possess. They’re elegant, strong, agile, fast, smooth, and above all incredible at what they do. Sure, there’s a little guy riding them up top, but if you ask me, it’s the engine (or should I say, “horsepower”) that wins races!

Once again I’d like to share with you some of the images I captured over at Santa Anita. It’s such a cool feeling to “look” at something so new and interesting, and find and create something so outside your normal shooting subjects. I had such a great time, that I’m looking forward to the next outing soon.

If you want more info about the next Santa Anita Photo Day, clink on this link here for details. Till next time, saddle up, and hit the range, partner!!!

 

Running horse, santa anita race track.

Morning workouts at Santa Anita.

 

santa anita textures, celeste color, baldwin terrace

Santa Anita textures

 

Santa Anita marquee and chairs

The colors of Santa Anita. Chairs and marquee.

 

Santa Anita foothills and mountains.

Santa Anita foothills and mountains. What a backdrop.

 

Santa Anita stables

Daily life in the stables.

 

walking horses

Besides racing, the horses are walked, walked, and then walked some more each day to build up stamina.

 

Post morning horse bath

Post morning horse bath

 

Horse bath

Keeping the horses clean.

 

Stable area textures

Textures of the stable areas.

 

horse handlers

Mid-morning break time for the horse handlers

 

cool down lap for race horse

Cool down lap.

 

schooling non-race horses

Schooling non-racing horses – getting them used to the pre-race viewing area

 

Horse racing viewing stalls

Pre-race viewing stalls. This is where betters can view their picks for the upcoming race.

 

Jockey club

Jockey club. Where the “passengers” await their steeds.

 

Ethnic jockey.

Good to see ethnic diversity in the jockey ranks.

 

final bend at Santa Anita

The final bend before the final stretch.

 

Final stretch run!

Final stretch run!

 

Saddle details

Details

 

horse and rider details

Horse and rider.

 

horse eye close up

This guy was so friendly and stayed close to me while I was photographing him. If you look closely, you can see me in his eye!

 

horse highlight

Santa Anita Race Track

Santa Anita Race Track.

 

There are a lot of things to do at Santa Anita other than horse racing, so check out their website for more info.

If you ever want to photograph some of the most beautiful and fastest horses in the world, make a day of it there. It’s fun and worth it! Plus, try their turkey sandwich! (See last blog post).

Have a great week everyone! Thanks for stopping by.

 

BTW, I’m still tweaking the post layouts, so forgive the different photo formatting! Trying out different layouts :) Thanks!