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!

Happy last week of April folks. Sheesh. Heading into the fifth month of 2015, can you believe it?! Is it just me, or the older you get, the quicker time goes by? I’m sure I may have posed this question to everyone before, but with the passage of time, your brain cells also pass, pass away! Just kidding, hope not! It just feels that way.

As my title implies, when I’m not photographing, I’m STILL photographing. It’s what every artist HAS to do. You get inspired, try things out, fail, succeed, try, and try again. It’s what makes you better at your craft. Plus, it’s fun. Downright fun!

Always looking for inspiration, I find myself following a lot of pages, and photographers on FB and other sources. The other week, I came across a blog entry from Sue Bryce, an uber talented photographer I’ve been following for quite sometime since first sitting in on a class of hers during a WPPI event/workshop. She’s a great inspiration overall, not only with her photo work, but as a person as well. She posted a story about her latest lighting set-ups, and how she achieved her particular lighting for a specific shoot. (You can view the post here). In her post, she talked about how she set up her lights, what equipment she used, and then, some examples from her shoot. I’ve been doing the same every so often, so it was nice to see another photog’s work, and then try and apply it to my own work.

Inspiration in hand from Sue, and I was off to try her set-up. Not duplicate it, as no one can ever really duplicate someone else’s work, but definitely try it and see what type of images I can get.

Here’s my set-up:

2015, lighting diagram, lighting set-up, m palma photography, einstein


In Sue’s set-up (see photos in link above), her set isn’t as “cluttered” as mine, plus she was using a deep Octobox, similar to this set-up below:



2015, lighting diagram, lighting set-up, m palma photography, einstein


I’m using a large Octobox camera left, skimming my cousin Johanna from the front, and then filling her left side with the silver reflector camera right. In the set-up above, with my lovely assistant Jully, you’ll see that I went with a magnum reflector instead of the octobox cause I wanted more contrast in the light for her shoot.

Check out Sue’s work with this similar set-up, and then see how my images fared.


2015, lighting diagram, lighting set-up, m palma photography, einstein


This above image was done using the octobox with my Einstein 640WS. Jully is rimmed with a Lumopro from the back, camera right. The silver fill fills in her left side. (Processed with LR, Exposure 7)


2015, lighting diagram, lighting set-up, m palma photography, einstein


Here’s one done without the octobox, but with the bare, reflector. Note the more contrast in the shadow to highlight detail; not as “soft” as the previous photo.




2015, lighting diagram, lighting set-up, m palma photography, einstein, exposure 7


Here’s what it looks like, straight out of the camera (SOOC). No editing done whatsoever. You can see the higher contrast in the shadows, and the slight fill from the strobe behind her, with that highlight on her left shoulder. (Hope Jully doesn’t mind!)


2015, m palma photography, fuji x100s, dogs, family

Here’s a screen shot of some of the other images we made during this session.

Side note: I still “freak” out that these photos are taken in my small studio. You’d never know it unless you saw it (as you have been with my behind the scenes posts). See? You can make beautiful photos anywhere!

And there you have it! You look around, find something that inspires you, you try it, and you get what you YOU get! I’d like to thank Sue Bryce for her post and for inspiring myself and other photographers. Thanks Sue! A huge thank you to my cousin Johanna T. for the use of her hats (awesome hats!), and for my muse Jully for slaving away with me in my quest for the perfect light! Thanks Jully.

Finally, for no reason at all, here’s a photo of our dog Baxter:




2015, m palma photography, fuji x100s, dogs, family



Thanks for stopping by everyone. See you in MAY!