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 'Family'

One of the best things about being a professional photographer is that you get to work with a lot of people. Actors, company heads, doctors, lawyers, entertainers, artists, etc., all of whom are interesting. You get to learn new things about their respective professions, learn about them as people, and most importantly, you get to meet someone new, someone interesting, and you get to take their photograph. When you add all these qualities up and wrap them up in a family, especially your own family, it makes for an even more special session! As was the case this past weekend, as I was asked to take the family photos of my own cousins and uncle, in beautiful San Diego, a place that I hold dear to my heart, as I spent a lot of time there growing up back BEFORE the internet! (Yes, those days DID exist!).

Now, if you ask any of my cousins, they’ll all tell you that I rarely get to see them. Or that we only see one another (sadly and as of late) at funerals. So I was definitely DUE to go back down and visit everyone.  I was there a month ago for the funeral of my Uncle Ben, and for only one day, so getting to go down for a weekend for a “happy” occasion made for a great time.

I got there Saturday afternoon around 2:00pm, after leaving L.A. at 11:00am, thinking that it would ONLY take me 2 hours (yeah right!; note to self: don’t drive to SD on Saturday at 11:00am). But once I got there, it felt good to be around everyone again. Felt like old times :) I relaxed a bit, got something to eat from an old mexican food haunt, and hung out with my new nephew Andy, affectionately nicknamed “Guppy”. Sure, I may sound like I’m being biased, BUT, Andy is one of the happiest babies I know! Seriously always smiling, laughing, and in a good mood! Sure, he got fussy here and there, but a lot less than a lot of other kids. This kid is just one happy baby! A true joy to be around!

Soon after, we packed up the entire gang, along with my other cousins Tod and Johanna (designated assistants to M Palma Photography for a day), and headed  to downtown S.D., to the New Children’s Museum. There’s this really cool play area with a chalk wall where kids and families draw pictures on. My cousin Marianne chose this location cause she wanted an urban look to the photos, and you know me, I love urban backdrops!

The cool thing about Marianne (Mae as we call her) and her family is that they’re fun people. Especially husband ‘Pen (Stephen). He fits in well with the Palmas with his wit and sense of humor. Plus, Mae’s dad, my Uncle Pete, is a fun guy too! If you ask him, he’ll beat you at every game or endeavor ever created! (Probably will too!). We always have a lot of laughs with him. He’s easy to hang out with cause he’s down with everything.

So what you’re about to see are the fruits of our labor. Some silliness, family warmth, funny faces, but most importantly, their love and closeness. I had such a great time photographing everyone, that I forgot to get into the picture! (Darn it!).

At one point, when I decided to photograph just Mae and Pen, a group of tourists (or seniors) decided that they wanted to be in the photograph as well! I think they thought I was doing an engagement session. We definitely obliged! After that, a dog happily decided to walk into the frame as well. I made sure I was going to get that photo! You’ll see Pen’s reactions and playfulness in those photos as well as in the other ones as well.

Most importantly, I like to think that in the future, when the “Guppy” grows up, he’ll see these photos and think to himself how cool Uncle Mike was for taking these photos (LOL).  If not, he’ll get to see how we all spent a beautiful afternoon in San Diego, a long, long, time ago, when he was young.

(A side moral to this story is: Get your family photos done! If not by me (LOL- darn it!), then find someone to do them for you! And when you do, PRINT THEM!!! Make canvases, acrylics, enlargements, keychains, coffee cups, t-shirts, blankets, etc., you name it! Cause you can’t experience or relive the memories of everyone, or that special day if you have to turn something “on” just to view them! Just do it! (Okay, forgive my soap-box moment there, I just want you all to have some amazing photo memories all over you homes).)

A huge thanks to my cousins, Mae, Pen, Andy, Allie, and Uncle Pete; and to Tod and Johanna to helping out as well :) Love you guys mucho!!! Let’s make this an annual thing, shall we?

 

2015, m palma photography, family portraits, family, portrait session, san diego, new children's museum san diego, filipino family, los angeles photographer, nikon d810, strobes, vsco, alien skin exposure, kids

 

 

 

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See Pen in the background? He’s really shy.

2015, m palma photography, family portraits, family, portrait session, san diego, new children's museum san diego, filipino family, los angeles photographer, nikon d810, strobes, vsco, alien skin exposure, kids

I’d say the entire clan are introverts. It was tough. LOL!

2015, m palma photography, family portraits, family, portrait session, san diego, new children's museum san diego, filipino family, los angeles photographer, nikon d810, strobes, vsco, alien skin exposure, kids

Allie :)

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The “Guppy” himself, Andrew (Andy).

2015, m palma photography, family portraits, family, portrait session, san diego, new children's museum san diego, filipino family, los angeles photographer, nikon d810, strobes, vsco, alien skin exposure, kids

I guess that makes Pen “the Big Fish.”

2015, m palma photography, family portraits, family, portrait session, san diego, new children's museum san diego, filipino family, los angeles photographer, nikon d810, strobes, vsco, alien skin exposure, kids

2015, m palma photography, family portraits, family, portrait session, san diego, new children's museum san diego, filipino family, los angeles photographer, nikon d810, strobes, vsco, alien skin exposure, kids

We had that sign especially made for this portrait session.

2015, m palma photography, family portraits, family, portrait session, san diego, new children's museum san diego, filipino family, los angeles photographer, nikon d810, strobes, vsco, alien skin exposure, kids

From these two…

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… came these two!

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But not before this guy (and my late aunt, Tita Becky :) )

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Tourists.

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Hey! Who let that dog into the picture?!!!!

2015, m palma photography, family portraits, family, portrait session, san diego, new children's museum san diego, filipino family, los angeles photographer, nikon d810, strobes, vsco, alien skin exposure, kids

In the end, this is what it’s all about :)

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Or is it this?

Thanks again guys :) Glad I was there to do this for you. Till next time!

Kuya Michael

 

 

 

 

Technical info: Nikon D810, SB900 strobe in umbrella, controlled via Nikon CLS. Available light; reflector where applicable. Thanks Thaddo for the extra hands (you too Johanna!)

February 26, 2015 in Family, Personal

This past week, I attended the funeral of my Uncle Ben, my dad’s brother, in San Diego – Mira Mesa to be exact. I spent half my life there during my summers and weekends, going to the beach, hanging out with my cousins, and generally having the type of fun that any teen-ager and young adult would have. We’re talking about long days of surfing, looking for parties at night, and the occasional jaunt down to Tijuana just for the heck of it. You name it, and we probably did it. Those were my young, joyous, and carefree years, times I look back to ever so fondly. All of which helped me become who I am today.

Wherever and whatever we did back then, we always had to go back “home” somewhere, and for those times in San Diego, it was on Summerdale Road, at my cousin Alex’s house. There he lived with my younger cousin Jennifer (his sister), his mom Auntie Fe,  and his dad, Uncle Ben.

We were your typical teen-agers, only thinking about what fun we can have at any given moment; seeing what was going on with our friends, or what the surf was going to be like. Simpler times. But the one person who always kept us in check at Al’s house was Uncle Ben.

Uncle Ben was the spitting image of my own dad, just a tad older and taller. He was always pretty jovial and inviting, just living life in his humble home in suburban San Diego. I always saw him as a traditional, old school, filipino man, a true immigrant who made his way to the USA along with his own siblings, making a life for himself, and doing whatever was needed to make it work. He wasn’t flashy, or outspoken, or the life of the party. He didn’t seem to value expensive things, just whatever he could afford. He was usually reserved, and carried himself with an air of ease and calm, and when he talked he used his deep voice to let you know what was on his mind. He was well liked and loved by many, spending a lot of time with his siblings and friends. I think nothing mattered more to him than family and friends.

For Alex and I, whenever he would call out for either of us, it was in that same deep voice that made you think “Oh $h!t, we better go see what your dad wants!”. And for rambunctious teens, it was usually because we needed to do some house chores  we forgot about. Looking back on it, we definitely didn’t want to do any of it, but thank goodness Uncle Ben made sure we did. Because I was technically a “guest”, I never really got in trouble or expected to do the stuff Alex had to, but I always made sure I did my own share so as to not get on his bad side! Besides, like everyone else, if you did something wrong at a relative’s house, the rest of the family heard about it, and you were blackballed or labeled! Lovingly of course :)

Aside from his occasional tongue lashings (the deserved kind!), Uncle Ben kept to himself. He loved to cook, work on stuff at the house, sit back and relax watching “Nat’l Geographic”, or as mentioned during his funeral mass, hang out in his open garage and watch the world go by. His quiet nature made you respect him and somehow fear him as well, but deep down you knew he was on your side. Anytime he would yell at you, you probably deserved it. I definitely did, albeit, due to guilt by association whenever my cousin Al was in trouble. But that’s how it was on Summerdale Rd.

Uncle Ben was always cool about me staying there. Never made me feel un-welcomed. I could walk in and out, even after a long stints away, I could walk back in and it would feel like “home” again, where time didn’t pass. At one point he garnered the nickname the “Benster”, coined by our other cousin Joe. We laughed our @$$es off that day, and the name stuck, even at his gravesite ceremony.

I’ll miss Uncle Ben. I wasn’t able to see him during the last months of his life, but I’ll always remember him as the jovial giant that he was, and how he kept us in line, and just made growing up in San Diego ever so memorable. He truly was an icon of my youth, as all the important people in my life are, but this one stood tall and strong, like the gentle, quiet giant he was. I’ll always be grateful for his loving sternness, his perpetual hospitality, and for treating me like one of his own kids. He truly was one of the greats.

Take care Uncle Ben, rest in peace, and thanks.

MP

 

MP Grad 93

 Left to right – Uncle Ben (The “Benster”), Auntie Fe (his wife), my dad, Me, my brother J.J., and my other Uncle Ben.

Taken during my 1993 USC Graduation.

January 8, 2015 in Anytime, Baxter, Family

Happy 2015 everyone! Hope everyone had a terrific 2014 holiday season. We braved through some of the coldest temps L.A. has had in a long time; saw snow in places that never get snow; and had one of the largest storms pass through as well! Weird. Despite all that, I sincerely hope you all had a merry Christmas, and of course, having a great new year.

As for me, I got caught up in the day to day workings of self-employed life. Photographed some pretty cool people and events, and got lost in editing that I didn’t continue to blog as much :( (Bad me!) But the best thing to come out of all this was that we got ourselves a puppy. Yup, after three years of co-op’ing with my mom’s dog Gunther (who we still love and adore), Helen and I decided to get a dog. It happened kinda on a whim. You see, we subscribe to the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society Facebook page, the same place we got Gunther. And one day in December, – Wednesday, December 17th to be exact, we found a little mini-schnauzer/terrier mix, shelter named, “Draco” on their Facebook page. Low and behold, the next day, there we were, at the shelter, Gunther in tow, to meet this new prospect. Draco was a 3 mos. old puppy, filled with puppy energy, complete with a little red doggy sweater that read “Bow Wow” on it. He had braved that cold storm we had, and somehow made it to the shelter for us to “find”.

With all his puppy energy, and cute looks, it was a no brainer to adopt “Draco”, who has now been lovingly named “Baxter”. And I have to say, he’s been a blessing :) It’s so cool to have yet another heartbeat running around our place, especially one filled with love, appreciation, and playfulness. If you ever wanted a great addition to your family, I say, go to a shelter. The dogs there truly know what a gift it is for you to adopt them, and they will spend the rest of their lives letting you know it :)

So that sums up my absence from my blog this past fall. My days are currently filled with doggie duties, and catching up on stuff. No worries though, as I now have a cool little office assistant to let me know that it’s time to get up off the computer and let him out! Oh, lastly, a big shout out to Tamlyn T. for her 3 year campaign towards us getting another dog. Her playful nagging kinda helped. Kinda. LOL!

Happiest of everything the new year has to offer everyone. Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

 

2015, San Gabriel Humane Society, shelter dog, m palma photography, los angeles, silverlake, portrait photographer.

 

 

 

 

 

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May 8, 2014 in Family, Kids, Portraits

Happy first full week of May 2014 everyone! How’s it going? For those of you who don’t live here in Southern California, the second week of May has finally given us Angelenos some COOLER weather. Last week, we were well into the 90’s, and this week, we’re in the 70’s (Mother Nature sure is finicky!). I’m just glad it’s comfortable outside. Whew!

Despite the amazing heat from last week, I was given the great opportunity to photograph baby Jocelyn. The newest addition to our friends’ the Seligmans clan. Five years ago, I  photographed their oldest son Wyatt, and once Jocelyn was ready for her close-up, I was ready and ecstatic! It’s such an honor to be able to come back to a family and photograph their kids, and see how much they’ve grown. And with older brother Wyatt (who I’ve seen since our first portrait session five years ago), he’s growing up to be a cool kid. Plus, it was nice to see him back at his house, years removed from our first session. But now it was his sister’s turn, and in some of the same spots we used for Wyatt – how cool!

As with a lot of babies, Jocelyn was a real trooper during her first pro photo session. Despite having a wee bit of baby eczema, she was able to shine and give me all of her 5 months of life on planet earth :) What a cutie! Afterwards, we decided to photograph the entire Seligman clan, including a special visit from the patriarch himself, Grandpa Seligman! He’s the more distinguished gentleman in the photos with grandson Wyatt below (John, you’re distinguished too, just that your dad is a bit more distinguished!).

I love that we were able to photograph everyone this time. Got more of Wyatt in his element in his “Cars” themed room, Grandpa with two generations on the sofa, and of course, Jocelyn and the entire fam. I love days like this where I can contribute to a family’s history through photographs :) Such an honor.

Enjoy the photos of the Seligmans, with special emphasis on their latest addition, Jocelyn. Thank you guys for having me back. And thanks to Jocelyn for allowing me to photograph her! Maybe I can photograph her wedding someday?! LOL!!!

Happy May everyone! See you next week!

Mike

 

 

 

 

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Hi Everyone! I know, I’ve been M.I.A. the past few weeks. March has been fun and busy for me, and I have so much to share with you!

The first week of the month started off in Las Vegas, for the annual Wedding and Portrait Photographers Int’l (WPPI) convention that took place at the MGM. Every year, it’s an opportunity to take platform classes and learn from the best in the industry, as well as see all the new goodies from all the leading camera manufacturers. But the best thing about WPPI is meeting and making new friends, of which I made a lot this year. It’s inspiring being around like-minded individuals who share the same passion, triumphs and struggles that all of us go through. I spent five full days in Vegas (which is quite long actually), classes each day, expo as well, and hang-outs at night. Kinda felt like summer camp in a way, but everyone had nice (camera) toys!

Once I got back, I had three back to back photo sessions, which started off at the Japanese American Nat’l Museum. They opened up their “Perseverance” exhibit, all about tattoos! I had the opportunity to photograph over 40 models, with full body tattoos amidst a sea of tattoo fans and aficionados. Plus, they even had a live tattoo demonstration, the old fashioned way! No “buzzing” tattoo guns there!

After that, I had the most wonderful opportunity to photograph two amazing families. Both of which had some terrific and fun members, or all ages! Age ranged from 7 to 92 years! Oh what fun. Plus, it was such an honor to be asked to create something like that for them. That, truly makes this “job” so worth it :)

Add to all this, I also had a great first time opportunity to photograph a good friend of ours with a horse she’s been taking care of. It has only been recently that I’ve grown accustomed to  how majestic and beautiful horses are, so this too was a treat. I’d totally do it again :)

Okay, enough talk. Here are some of the images of March 2014 so far! Thanks for stopping by and enjoy!

 

 

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2014, march, m palma photography, wppi, las vegas, family photography, hermosa beach, los angeles photographer, horse photography, equine photography, palos verdes, vsco

 

 

 

 Thanks again for stopping by. See you next week!

Mike