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 'Personal'

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 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.

Greetings everyone! As the title suggests, we’re back from our vacation (sigh). We were on a cruise in the lovely islands of the caribbean aboard the Allure of the Seas cruise ship, owned and operated by Royal Caribbean Int’l. THE largest cruise ship in the world (right now).

Vacations are always fun and relaxing. And if you’re like me, they can be a great adventure! Visiting local attractions, meeting great people, and just immersing yourself in the environment, humidity, sun, et al! Love it! Our trip took us to the Eastern caribbean, which included stops in Nassau, Bahamas, St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands), and finally, St. Maartens (or St. Martins, depending on which side of the Dutch/French island you’re on). It’s such a beautiful part of the world, complete with crystal clear turquoise waters, about the same temp as your bathwater. It had that island heat and humidity that you don’t mind cause you’re on vacation, with the fresh scents of local flowers and sea air. The people were equally as inviting and friendly, with smiles and greetings everywhere we went. Stuff like that really makes for a great time on a trip, especially in foreign countries.

Also, being on this trip with good friends helped to make it memorable as well. Time was spent on beaches, on tropical zip-line farms suspended way up above the tree lines, gourmet restaurants on the ship, “floriding” – stand up stationary wave surfing, rock-climbing, broadway shows on board the ship, and just general camaraderie. It’s just nice to be away from the day to day, hum-drum of life, and in a land where everything is more laid back, sunny, timeless, and just fun, 24/7.

Of course, I wouldn’t go anywhere, and I mean ANYWHERE without my trusty Fuji X100s camera with me. I took it to the beach, to restaurants, Zip-lining, you name it! I had to document the beauty that is the Eastern Caribbean. Sadly, there were no pirates, (well, kinda, as you’ll see below), at least no threatening, human pirates. Trust me, I had the Disney ride’s “Yo ho, Yo Ho a pirates life for me” song bustling in my head the entire time. But you can’t be in the caribbean without seeing at least one symbol of the part of the world where pirates frequented back in the day, or where they filmed the famed Disney franchise films with Johnny Depp.

We’ve been back for 3 full days now, and I’m still on east coast time. Still looking over my photos and GoPro vids. Sighing a bit, reminiscing with lots of smiles. Had a great time on this journey, and I can’t wait for the next one to happen SOON.

Thanks for stopping by, and here’s a few photos from the Caribbean. Enjoy!




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Until next time, happy sailing everyone :)







Happy Thursday everyone! How’s it goin’?

Throwback Thursday today (who invented this concept by the way?!), and I figured I’d throw my photographic “hat” into the picture! (Ha!). The last few weeks of May have been filled with so many cool events! It was Helen’s birthday the first week, then my brother Jay’s graduation, our good friends’ daughter’s 3rd birthday party, a headshot session, and of course, just the business of daily life here in good ol’ Silverlake.

As mentioned, we celebrated Helen’s birthday at no other than the happiest place on earth! Disneyland :) A nice comfortable weather day, not too crowded, and great for a birthday “hang-out”. Each time we go, we try and do something new, whether a “new” ride, or food place, or photo. So this time, we made a collage of all the different hats available at the different souvenir stores. I had my model, birthday girl Helen show off each masterpiece for you ;p



2014, mpalmaphotography.com, m palma photography, disneyland, hats, fuji x100s, vsco, los angeles photographer


She didn’t end up buying any, but it sure was fun trying them on. Not sure which I like the most.

The next big thing that happened this month was my brother J.J.’s graduation from college. Wow. As we all say, time sure does fly! It was just yesterday that… you get the picture. Couldn’t be more proud of him. He is now a degreed engineer! Hopefully, it’ll lead him to the Disney company someday so we can get discounted EVERYTHING! Nonetheless, congrats bro! Job well done!

And for that momentous occasion, I hereby present to you a throwback photo of Jay and I at my college graduation, and our recreation of that same moment:


2014, mpalmaphotography.com, m palma photography, disneyland, hats, fuji x100s, vsco, los angeles photographer


He doesn’t quite fit so snugly between me as in the first photo anymore, but it’s still cool to think that the tables have turned and that we were able to recreate these momentous feats of educational excellence!!! LOL!!!

Lastly, I just wanted to let everyone know that I’ll be out of the office until the 1st of June! We’re headed to a place where the famous “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride was modeled after – yes, the Caribbean! Ahoy Mateys!!! There’s little to no internet access, so it’ll be a cool respite from the plugged-in world, but if I get a chance, I’ll update everyone on our “plunderins”!!! (pirate speak!).

I’ll leave you with this:


2014, mpalmaphotography.com, m palma photography, disneyland, hats, fuji x100s, vsco, los angeles photographer


See you in two weeks! Thanks – Mike

Happy Thursday folks! Since today is deemed “throwback thursday” for most facebookers, I figured I’d share with you our Vegas trip that we just got back from yesterday. For the second time in two months, I was back in the city of Sin, but this time, for some R & R, no conventions, no workshops, no meetings. Just good ‘ol fun in the sun, gamble your money away, enjoy a great show, eat expensive food, stay in a nice place, kind of getaway :)

My last visit last month was for the annual WPPI Convention (Wedding and Portrait Photographers Int’l), which was fun as well, but as mentioned, this trip was purely for the fun of going. We got a great deal on a fancy-schmancy hotel with some sort of popular water show in the front, so we couldn’t turn it down. Plus, we made it a point to go see one of my all time legend’s show, “Michael Jackson ONE”, which also starred a good friend of ours who was part of the cast. One word about the show/experience – EPIC. If you’re an MJ fan, go see it! Plus outside the theater, they have MJ’s famous moonwalk loafers and Swarovski socks, as well as one of his famous sequined jackets. Long live the king!!!

Being who we are, Helen and I also made our second visit to the Madame Tousauds’ Wax Museum. Just plain fun. Posing and being silly with wax sculptures of celebs. Like we don’t see them in person here in L.A. I assure you though, when and if I do, I’d do the same thing as I did at the wax museum :p Besides, it was fun making up stories with waxed celebs. Where else could you do this?

Ah Vegas. Land of themed resorts, crushed dreams, glittery promises, smoke-filled casinos, 24-hour buffets, neon lights (well, LED lights), heat, showgirls, alcohol… It’s nice to visit and spend a few days, but not sure if I could live there. If so, I’d have to live away from the strip. Way off the strip.

Thanks for the memories again :)

A huge shout out goes out to our friend Addie for the tickets to the MJ show. You’re amazing!!! Long live the King!!!

Thanks for stopping by. Mike and Helen have left the desert.



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December 23, 2013 in Personal

Happy Christmas week everyone! Just wanted to wish everyone a terrific holiday season, and a prosperous, successful new year! Thanks for stopping by this past year, as I appreciate your patronage and interest in the workings of my business.

I wish you all the very best, and  see you here in the new year!

Many thanks and blessings for you all,



Gunther reindeer