Photo business exploring new angles

Couple elevates photography with unique perspective
Donna Baxter
For the News-Leader

Scott and Stacie Edwards go to great lengths — heights, actually — to capture lofty images for their customers.

MAST-R-PIX Elevated Photography is the Springfield couple's new company, offering digital images of any subject from a vantage point up to five stories high.

"It's aerial photography from a lower angle," explained Scott Edwards. "The picture's a lot more detailed than you can get from a plane. A picture from the ground is a two-dimensional look, but when you raise it up, it's three-dimensional ... more of a bird's-eye view."

Their equipment can take photos from 12 to 60 feet high, he said.

Stacie Edwards said the idea for the business surfaced as they researched work they could do together. A self-proclaimed, lifelong camera nut, she was considering portrait photography.

"She kept mentioning aerial as a possibility," Scott said, "and as we studied aerial photography, the concept of elevated photography came up."

Stacie explained that in the past, elevated photography involved setting a camera on a tripod with a pole, cranking it up and securing it with guy wires tied to heavy weights ... very labor-intensive.

The camera can weigh no more than 3.6 pounds and care must be taken to keep it from wobbling atop the pole, especially in windy conditions.

"I'm almost 50 years old; I can't lug 50-pound weights around all day long," she said. "We needed to figure out how to make this happen."

Scott, an engineer by trade, found a TV van for sale.

The vehicle had shelving and a mast that can handle a 200-pound payload but, as Stacie said, "Scott put it all together ... outfitted it with all the electronics, computer, printers and other equipment."

Raising and lowering the mast takes about two minutes. The camera can pan 360 degrees and tilt almost 90 degrees ... very versatile, Scott added.

In business for about two months, Stacie does the marketing from their home and has developed the company's Web site. Scott works during the week but devotes his weekends to their business.

Stacie does promotional speaking to business groups and at networking meetings.

"Everybody knows about aerial and portrait photography, but we want to educate people on elevated photography," she said. "When I take my car and portfolio to go talk to people they say, 'Yeah, that sounds pretty good,' but when I take the van, they exclaim, 'Oh, I get it.'"

They really understand the difference at that point, especially with high and low pictures on three sides of the van, like a roving presentation.

Possibilities include projects for Realtors, architects and engineers, and large-group photographs.

"Here in the Ozarks and around the lakes near Branson, the homes have such beautiful views," Stacie said. "When you go up five stories, you really get an interesting and enhanced picture while maintaining the integrity of your architecture."

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