What a year it has been. We have all seen challenges, change and had our strength tested. I truly hope that you are doing well and want to wish you a very happy new year!
Never before has our mindset been so focused on the change of a date. By simply changing a “0” to a “1” we will be shifting our perspective. 
I want to thank all of you for supporting me and my business throughout this year. I have been blessed to survive through all of this and while it was  challenging I am going to remember all of the good things. Some of the new people I’ve got to meet, the strength I’ve seen in other business owners as we all came together to support one another, and how families have grown closer simply because they had the time to do it.
I am truly looking forward to a new and better year for all of us and again thank you so much. 

Happy New Year!!! 

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The End of an Epic Year

Just had a few thoughts to share as we come to the end of an insane time in history….

Michael Straub photography
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Cheryl’s Headshots

Michael Straub photography
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So I have some tips to make your next family shoot a little less stressful! Click the link to sign up for my email list and get your hands on the tips!

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What to Wear… What to Wear…..

I get asked a lot about what to wear for a photo shoot. Families, headshots, all that jazz. Well …here is some info I found to go by.

Top tips for getting the most out of your professional photography session. 

7 Top Tips for Deciding What to Wear for a Photoshoot

  1. What is the purpose of the photoshoot? This should be your first thought when deciding what to wear. Choose an appropriate outfit for the occasion and something that suits your personality.
  2. Keep the location & season in mind. Where is the photoshoot taking place? Choose an outfit that will keep you feeling comfortable and confident. For example, if you’re on a beach, those new high heels might not be the most logical choice and you might end up looking a bit out of place.
  3. Mix and match. Don’t be afraid to wear patterns or prints for your photoshoot but keep them to a minimum and try to pair them with solid colors. If you’re having a family photoshoot for example, have two family members in printed items and two in solid colors. Play with different colors to match the mood and setting of the shoot.  
  4. Make your photos timeless. You might love that trendy top or pair of pants now but will your photos stand the test of time if you wear that item of clothing? 
  5. What to do about makeup. This would depend on the type of photos you are taking. Fashion shoots will call for more dramatic makeup but for your everyday maternity, family or portrait shoots, keep your makeup natural and to a minimum.
  6. Fit is more important that you think. If you already have an outfit in mind for your shoot, try it on before the time to make sure that it fits correctly and compliments your body type. 
  7. Try not to go brand crazy. Wearing too much clothing with prominent brand names just makes you look like a walking ad. Clothing with large graphics on it also doesn’t work well as it will end up being the focus of your photos.  

Remember to have fun on your photoshoot, be yourself and don’t hesitate to ask your photographer for guidance. 

Michael Straub photography
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Melissa’s Family

Melissa sent me an email about wanting to do a family shoot while she and her family would be getting together in the Poconos. I could tell this was going to be a relaxed fun shoot from the tone of the emails.

Guess what …. I was! I arrived at the home they were renting and was blown away by the beauty of the property! We had a million spots to use. Melissa greeted me with a huge smile and so did all of her family.

One of my favorite things about what I do is when I can capture some really nice “in between” shots. What is an “in between” shot??? It’s the images that I am able to capture while in transition from one posed photo to the next. Sometimes you may be be doing a group photo for one smaller family unit but notice something happening while other family are just waiting for their next photo. This family was so interactive and close these little moments just kept showing up.

I enjoyed using the many spots on the property and it certainly helped keep everyone relaxed and having a good time. It was so nice for them to take that little break while going from one spot to another. Moving locations can often make it easier to keep both kids and adults interested in looking at my camera.

Working with such nice people is just awesome and makes my job even more rewarding. I hope they will enjoy the photos for years!

At the end of the shoot Melissa’s parents had a very cute request. They asked if I would mind taking a “just one more photo”. Of course I said yes! They wanted to recreate a photo from years back when they gave each other a kiss. How cute is that??!! I first shot this further out and showed them if I got it right and that is when they gladly kissed again explaining to me that the original photo was a little tighter. I nailed it on the second attempt. It was a nice way to end the session!

Michael Straub photography

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Have a Great Senior Shoot

Top Tips for a Sensational Senior Photo Session

It’s completely normal to feel a little awkward when taking senior portraits. Many seniors tend to feel self-conscious about their appearance because they feel uncomfortable taking photos on their own. 

Below are our top five tips for taking on your senior portrait with grace and confidence and leaving with photos that you will love for years to come. 

1. Use your eyes.

Use your eyes to express emotion. When you smile naturally your whole face lights up and your eyes look bright and awake. Before the photo session practice smiling in the mirror and use different expressions to see what looks best. 

2. Relax.                                                                                                                           Great photos happen when the subject is relaxed and confident. Let the excitement of you photo session show through the lens as you take a moment and breathe, relax and just have fun. You may feel silly during this process but we will do everything we can to help you feel more comfortable. 

3. Breathe.

This may sound obvious but breathing is key to capturing a natural look. Take time to  practice taking a deep breath while smiling in front of the mirror.  Slowly release the air while holding the smile and notice how your face and eyes settle into a natural and relaxed expression. Allow your eyes to “smile” by focusing on the apples of your cheeks pressing upwards. When in doubt, just breathe.

4. Move.

Staying stationary can sometimes produce a very staged and cheesy look. Just because you are sitting or standing still doesn’t mean you can’t change the angle of your body to create a look that is fresh and inspired. Try leaning into the camera slightly to appear more engaged, shift your weight from left to right, or simply move your chin slightly up and down for different shots as this gives us a variety of facial expressions to work with. 

5. Beautify.

This goes for everyone. Ladies, spend some extra time getting your hair blown out, get your makeup done and choose an outfit that makes you look and feel your best. As for the men, take a shower and shave. When you look your best, you feel your best and when you feel your best, you are naturally more confident. Go the extra mile to walk into your senior session feeling confident, attractive, prepared, and inspired. 

I am ready to book seniors this fall when the colors start to burst!

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Does Your Child Show Any Interest In Photography??

Last week I was on a shoot when this really nice young man started asking questions about my camera. I love that!! He wanted to know why do I have 2 cameras?? Why doe that flash shine the bright light?? He was really excited to learn and see all my gear. Then just last evening a little girl asked me what was the big umbrella for? I explained that the light flashes off of it and makes a whole lot of light so everyone’s face could be seen in the photo. Her Mom said “That’s what helps mommies look nice.” We both laughed and she thanked me for talking to her daughter and explaining everything. I was just grateful someone wanted to learn!

That got me thinking …. What is the best camera for kids to try??? So here are some thoughts……

Choosing the Right Camera for Your Child

If your child has recently started showing an interest in photography and you are thinking about buying them their first camera, there are a few things you need to consider. As a parent you probably know that a kid’s interests can change tomorrow, next week or even next year but the good news is that you can still support their new hobby without breaking the bank.    

Here are some tips for choosing a camera for your child. 

  1. Choose a camera that will enable your child to learn the basics quite quickly. Make sure that the controls and buttons are manageable and that the size of the camera is suited to the size of their hands. The menus should also be logical, easy to read and have intuitive icons that are easy to understand. 
  2. Children love to experiment and tend to learn faster when they can do so. An entry-level DSLR camera will allow them to adjust exposure settings such as ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Interchangeable lenses are also a great learning tool but definitely not essential as a beginner. 
  3. When deciding on a camera for your child, take a look at the screen. It should be large, bright and have great color reproduction. It should also be easy to use both indoors and outdoors as there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to see your images clearly on the screen due to bright sunlight. 
  4. Ensure that the sensor resolution is good enough and meets your specific requirements, especially if you want to print larger size images. In most cases a 10-14 mega pixel camera is a sufficient for an entry level photographer. 
  5. As a first time photographer, your child will want to keep practicing so it’s important that you are able to extend the camera’s memory using a SD/SDHC memory card.  And move the photos off the card every so often so you don’t lose them! Use an external hard drive to store them.
  6. Next come the accessories. Your child will want to download their images from the camera onto a computer for editing so a USB cable will be an essential accessory. 

If you aren’t sure that a brand new camera is the best route to go as your child pursues their interest in photography you can also look at buying a secondhand camera instead. Ask around because many photographers may be willing to sell an older model camera. Be sure to find out about all the camera’s features and any extras that it might come with before making the purchase to ensure that it meets your specific requirements. 

Another great place to visit is Stroudsburg Foto. Dave the owner and the entire staff are super helpful and will definitely help you with finding the right gear to start off with!

Oh yea… you can always ask me too!

Michael Straub photography

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Fun Alternatives for Displaying Your Photos

Just thought I would share some ideas about what you do once you have the photo you love. Amazing photos deserve an equally amazing display but this doesn’t mean you always have to use a traditional frame to showcase them in your home.  Below is some inspiration for deciding how to display your favorite memories.

If your home décor is very contemporary you might want to consider canvas gallery wraps, image blocks or standout mounts to showcase your photos. Going frameless is also a great option if you’re looking for something truly sleek and modern.

If rustic and chic is more your style, then why not turn old pieces of wood into stained photo clipboards, using binder clips to hang the photos against the wood. Another unique option is to hang your photos on a thin cable to make it look like a clothesline. Binder clips also work perfectly for this. 

If you’re the creative type and have some extra time on your hands then there is the option of creating frames out of washi tape. This way you can incorporate different colors and designs around your photos to really make your walls pop. 

If you are a fan of frames, why not buy different sizes, colors and styles and create one big photo wall that displays a variety of memories. There are so many shapes and designs that you can use to create your photo wall and really make it your own.  

No matter which method you choose, get creative. Filling your walls with a lifetime of memories is one of the most special and visual ways to tell the story of your family, so get hanging. 

Michael Straub photography
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Paul The E-Sports Guy!

Portraits Scranton

So I met Paul a number of years ago at Marywood University. He was a student on campus I got to know by attending many of the same events. He’s in a unique position of being an Esports broadcaster. To be 1000% honest I’m not exactly sure what that means other than in the magical world of online gaming he does commentary for tournaments or large professional contests. He is the Al Michaels of the gaming world.

Branding images Scranton

Paul’s desire to expand his career led him to give me a call about doing some branding images. What are the branding images? That is when a person or business wants to create a certain look and feel for who they are and what they do!

The ultimate goal of this type of shoot is to produce a series of images that could be used for many scenarios that person or business encounter. For example, do you want a friendly look or an assertive look?  Do you want an approachable look more intimidating look? Branding images for a defense attorney would look different than those for an elder law or family estate attorney

Paul and I wandered around the campus Marywood University and allowed or spontaneous creativity to find some spots for us. He did a quick wardrobe change as well. I work best in a spontaneous environment. I find I get my best shots by not planning them and I love when clients like Paul trust me and also get excited to just see what happens. There are times you need a certain shot and plan to get it but at the same time, you can work on that from various perspectives once you are shooting.

In this last collage we used one spot as you can see. But we gain so many different looks! Finding a different perspective or angle or simply positioning the subject a little different and make a big change.

One of the best things about my job is also a critical component of what I do. Paul and I did not  just simply walk around the campus find a spot where  I tell him to stand there and look at the camera, click the shutter and the  walk to the next spot. We had many conversations… we talked about how unique his job was. He taught me about the gaming world and I just let him express all of the things he’s excited about.

By finding a few different spots, capturing a bunch of expressions, and changing the wardrobe we created some images of Paul can post to social media, use for press releases and just allow people to get to know him.

Thank you Paul for this fun afternoon and I am looking forward to hearing more about your success and how your unique career begins to explode with success!

You can find out more about Paul on his social media at 
Also learn more about his career here:   https://www.cratos.gg/leadership

Michael Straub photography
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