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!

Hiya folks! Happy first week of February! How’s it goin’? Now that we’re officially out of the first month of the new year, it’s time to get going and keep up with all those goals we set for ourselves on Jan. 1st. Remember those?

As of late, I’ve been working on a lot of personal projects – trying out new lighting set-ups in studio, practicing new techniques for my weddings, etc., and as an added bonus, I have been posting my in-studio set-ups on this blog in the hope that it inspires people to maybe try them out, or perhaps get inspired and go out and photograph. For the longest time, I always searched the internet for sites that posted/diagramed their lighting set-ups, so that perhaps I could try and learn from them, and I’m finally doing it myself for those out there who are trying to do the same!

I know that some of you are also thinking “Hey, it’s Jully again in all his photos”. Yes, but, when you’re working with someone collaboratively who is totally onboard to help you out and contribute to your “vision”, why not continually work with that person. Besides, she’s a joy to work with and easy on the eyes (I know you feel the same, as my web stats seem to confirm that!). So if you’re tired of seeing Jully in my posts, I won’t feel bad at all if you stop reading and click on to another site. Seriously. I understand. (Kinda).

If you’re still here, then you’re in for another treat!

As mentioned in prior posts, I’ve been inspired lately by fashion photographer Clay Cook, of Clay Cook Photography. Clay posts “point of view” Youtube videos online to show you what it’s like photographing on a small set with models. What’s cool about the videos is that you get to see him working in a relatively small space, and get to see his lighting set-ups first hand. Plus, you see the kinds of results he’s getting with said set-up.

With that said, I once again tried out Clay’s lighting using my own minimal equipment and got to shooting! It’s really fun to do this kind of stuff and see what you’ll get. It’s like a recipe, but you get to put your own “magic” touches to it to make it your own.

With the help of my lovely assistant/model/muse Jully, here is the diagram and set-up, followed by our results.





I first diagramed the set-up via my trusty little lighting book and then set it up:


2015, m palma photography. lighting diagram, lighting set up, clay cook lighting, fashion, los angeles, einstein, studio, v flats


¬†Originally, I used my beauty dish without the sock diffuser connected, but I felt that the light quality I was getting was a bit too crisp and contrasty. I decided to add the diffusion to soften the light a little and decrease the contrast in the shadows. In retrospect, I could have lifted the reflector on the floor for a bit more fill, but I’m still okay with the results.

As you can see, I have very little space to work with, but you can’t tell by the results.



2015, M Palma Photography, fashion, lighting diagram, los angeles photographer, einstein strobe, model, asian, female, clay cook inspired, On One




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What I love most about these photos, and please pardon my geekiness, is that the rim light coming from camera left is faint enough to not notice it, but strong enough to add impact and separation to the photo! Without it, I think the photos would lose a bit of definition and contrast from the background.

There you have it! Another installment of my behind the scenes, lighting set-ups and diagrams. I’ll be doing more of these in the future, so do drop by and check them out. Also, if you have any questions about the lights and set-ups I’m using, feel free to drop me a line!

Lastly, if you live in the L.A. area, and are interested in modeling or collaborating on a photo project with me, also drop me a line so we can meet up and discuss. It would be fun!

Thanks everyone, and have a great first week of February. See you next time!