Business

Downtown location new home for photo studio

Sharon Hinman can recite several reasons why she moved her photographic studio from her garage on the outskirts of Enumclaw to Griffin Avenue – like the location is more visible and the amenities are more appealing – but the top reason for the move is because of her dog.

The Husky mix decided not once, but twice, in recent months to jump the barricade and force open a closed door to destroy $1,000 worth of equipment. The second time was the last straw. It was the dog or the relocation she had been talking about for months.

“That was it,” she said. “I closed the studio. That was the catalyst for me.”

So here she is with a spanking new studio at 1218 Griffin Ave. in the heart of downtown Enumclaw.

Hinman started her career as an art major at Atlantic Union College in Lancaster, Mass., but by late in her junior year, during the recession of the 1980s, she realized her friends were graduating and not finding jobs.

“It was hard on me to see artists working at gas stations,” she said.

She quickly switched to Plan B and graduated with a bachelor of science in business and a bachelor of arts in English with a minor in art, clinging to her specialization in photography.

Still with her eye on art school, she decided she needed a job that could support that dream. So, she went to graduate school and studied law.

“I never made it back to art school,” she said. “But I always took photos.”

She passed the Massachusetts bar exam and then later moved to California, where she passed the bar and worked as a lawyer. Eventually, she married and stayed home with the children. When it came time to re-enter the work force, she was forced with taking the Oregon state bar exam or taking photographs.

She picked photos.

For years, she captured soccer teams, weddings and preschool groups. Her work continued under the Hinman Ranch Photography name when she moved to Enumclaw. Her five-acre home near Flaming Geyser State Park provided beautiful scenery and the garage made a great studio. That was until the dog began to get a taste for lens caps and backdrops.

In addition to the new studio, Hinman changed the name to Hinman Photography Studio.

The centralized location is allowing Hinman to branch out and do some things she wasn’t able to do before, like coordinate with other downtown businesses. She’s working to set up a wedding network, where brides-to-be can find a florist, baker and more with one stop.

Hinman, a member of the Professional Photography Association, offers all services – portraits, senior photographs, weddings, pet portraits, team and events pictures as well.

“Pretty much anything,” she said. “I’m like a general practitioner.”

The studio is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment. For information, call 360-625-8489. There is also a toll-free number, 866-409-4799 and a Web site, HinmanPhotos@Studio.comcastbiz.net.

Reach Brenda Sexton at bsexton@courierherald.com or 360-802-8206.

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