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MATTHEW BLAKEBURN, CPP

OWNER & PORTRAIT ARTIST

Hey there!  I’m Matthew, the owner and Portrait Artist of Blakeburn Studios. I work both locally and around the world.  I specialize in capturing moments in time as emotional works of art through vivid and inviting cinematic design.  I work one-on-one with each and every one of my clients in order to make the whole experience personable, intimate, fun, and unique.  With over  a decade of professional experience in both portraiture and commercial work, I have photographed countless sessions, families, and weddings in as many places.

I became interested in photography early on.  At the age of 13 I went backpacking with the Boy Scouts on an 80-mile trip over the course of 11 days.  The very first day of the trek, I broke my glasses so that they were unwearable.  The only thing that I had to see the mountains of New Mexico and the beauty around me was my father’s 1st generation Point-and-Shoot digital camera.  Let’s just say, I haven’t been able to set a camera down since. 

I began my professional photography career at the age of 16 with a family-owned portrait studio in my hometown of Clinton, OK where I started in the “Green Screen and Retouching” department.  After high school, I moved to Pittsburgh, PA where I studied for a Bachelor of Science in photography at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.  While there I trained in classical master portrait techniques, commercial photography, B&W film and the Zone system, and a myriad of lighting techniques.  During my time in Pittsburgh I worked in many different areas of photography including pet portraiture, commercial and editorial work, and composite commissions.

I am proud to say that I have been able to study with countless exceptional photographers including Tony Cilento, Jon Allyn, Luke Edmonson, Joe McNally, Jerry Ghionis, and Jon Lisbon, in addition to regularly attending workshops and continuing education courses.  Currently, I am a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) with the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), a board member of the South Eastern Wisconsin Professional Photographers Association, and am working on attaining the rank of Master Photographer with the PPA.

In 2012 I moved to Milwaukee, WI to work with one of the largest photographic companies in the world in their high-end division and as a Director of Photography. I then went on to earn their highest award of recognition.  In the summer of 2015 I started my own photography business and in January 2016 decided to open a studio in my hometown of Clinton, OK.  Having my own studio has given me the opportunity to photograph in many new and exciting locations including, Milwaukee, Chicago, Boston, New York City, California, Oklahoma, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Paris, France.  

In December of 2016 after months of renovations we opened Blakeburn Studios in Downtown Clinton, OK.  I can't wait to see where we go.

Currently I am an active member of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce and part of several sub-committees, a co-founder and the president of the Clinton Arts Council, an Assistant Scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 361, and the RYLA Chair at the Clinton Rotary Club.

 Matthew Blakeburn, CPP

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Casey Merryman

Sales and Marketing Manager

I joined the team in November of 2018 as the Sales and Marketing Manager. My primary focus is to assist in sharing our invaluable services with area schools, churches, and individual clients.

Things I love about my job are: informing others about the high quality photography that Blakeburn Studios provides and why it matters, traveling to area schools and learning about their traditions, connecting with area churches and assist their congregations in capturing priceless memories, and inspire potential clients on the benefits of allowing a professional photographer to capture their memories.

I grew up in southwest Oklahoma and have always wanted a job that would allow me to work with a variety of people in a variety of environments. I’ve always had a passion for students as a former educator and truly believe that every child deserves the opportunity to have quality photographs taken of them. That’s one of the reasons I was excited to join the team at Blakeburn Studios.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Master of Business Administration, both from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. I met my husband, Patrick, after finishing my bachelor’s and moved back to Weatherford Oklahoma in 2013 so that he could pursue his CPA license while I completed my Master’s degree. We now have a son, Parker, who was born in 2018 and Patrick is the Accountant for the Department of Institutional Advancement at SWOSU.

In my spare time, I enjoy participating in and attending the arts, assisting my father and brother at the family farm and dairy, doing volunteer work with Oklahoma 4-H, SWOSU organizations, and Weatherford Rotary.

I’m excited to help Blakeburn Studios grow and evolve in our efforts while capturing priceless memories.

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Ruby Payan

Bi-lingual Assistant Manager

As a photographer at Blakeburn Studios, a large portion of my work consists of learning. My interest in photography began after growing used to our continuous trips to the zoo and wanting pictures of more than just the animals. I took notice of the different lighting, the small details that usually went unnoticed, and the various angles that I could aim my phone. Along with those around me, I realized that photography was going to be more than a short-term hobby.

Being the oldest sibling, I was constantly needed at home and hardly participated in school activities. While my hobby followed me when I moved to Clinton from Colorado, it wasn’t until I met Matthew that I got to dive more into photography along with coming out of my shell. Along with helping with all the little details to help make a photoshoot go smoothly, I am also bilingual which breaks the language barrier and allows us to connect with more families here in Clinton. The most important thing that he and Casey have taught me is to always tell a story and I enjoy watching the process that goes into capturing a memory.