By: Shelly Robinson | Category: Gifts & Decor | Issue: March 2009
Mike Edwards, owner of Masterpiece Studio in Owasso, displays an example of one of the studio’s Easter portrait themes, “A Day with the Ducklings.”
Have you ever admired a work of art, perhaps of a child in a garden surrounded by beautiful flowers, and suddenly been amazed to realize it was actually a portrait of a child you know? That is often the reaction of people seeing Mike Edwards’s portraits for the first time.
Photography has long had a grip on Mike Edwards. From the time his dad gave him his first camera as a child, he couldn’t shake the desire to capture special images and share what he saw through his lens. Mike’s favorite subjects are children’s and family portraiture, and when he saw the work of Cindy Baxter of West Virginia, he was amazed. “Her work is unlike anything else. There are only a few places in the United States where you can truly have a masterpiece created for your family,” says Mike. “Her portraits are the highest heirloom quality.”
Inspired by Cindy’s work, Mike spent three years under her instruction, learning her techniques and methods for creating such unique and high-quality portraiture. The dream was complete in November of 2007, when Mike and his wife Valerie opened their doors at Masterpiece Studio of Owasso.
Masterpiece offers an experience unlike anything available in this area. Mike and Valerie create elaborate sets that are imaginative and interactive. The theatrical scenes bring a depth not available with a simple pull-down screen, and because the sets are so labor-intensive to create, scheduling is coordinated with each featured theme. With 17 themes to choose from, including an enchanted garden, a windswept beach, or a charming country day, you are sure to find a look you’ll enjoy for years to come. The attention to detail means there is real sand in the beach scene and a real swing in the trees on the country set.
Valerie points out that in addition to the incredible sets, the high quality children’s clothing available for each theme makes the final outcome enchanting. “Our children’s apparel is meticulously chosen to complement the sets. Many of the outfits are hand-sewn; some are custom made. They are just beautiful, and we have sizes to fit infants through 8 to 10 year olds.”
Spring is always a good time for photography, and Masterpiece will offer two different Easter portrait themes. “A Day with the Ducklings” will be featured March 19 through 28. With live ducklings and a real working pond, children are genuinely drawn into the environment, allowing Mike to capture images that are happy and relaxed. “Mike takes the portraits, and I become the duck wrangler,” laughs Valerie. “The kids love it, and we get the most wonderful natural expressions.”
April 2 through 11 will bring “The Garden Shed” set. Designer clothing, a beautiful garden and live bunnies make this set very popular. Valerie stresses that browsing online is the best way to check on what sets are offered and when they are available. “We really encourage clients to look at our website and get an idea of what setting they would like and then give us a call. Another great way to keep informed is to sign up for our VIP list to keep in touch of our specials and upcoming events, plus receive a complimentary session certificate as well as an order discount.”
With two young children of their own, Mike and Valerie know the value of preserving precious childhood memories. Savannah is 7 and a student at Bailey Elementary. Rachel is 4 and attends the Children’s Depot. “They grow up so fast – it’s so important to capture these years and save them,” says Mike.
Masterpiece is known for large canvas portraits, which are finished by Mike using multiple techniques to take them from a simple photograph into true wall art. “When you put something on canvas, it is just transformed,” says Valerie. “It would be my wish that everyone could have a 16x20 framed canvas of their children. They are just breathtaking, but it is also a hard time in our economy and we have worked hard to keep our prices on traditional print versions affordable to everyone.”
Whether you are looking for a more traditional print version or a custom canvas of your portrait, Masterpiece Studio is the place to visit. Located just north of 145th E. Ave. and 86th St. N. in Owasso, Masterpiece is conveniently located, and evening and weekend appointments are available.