Heather Surginer has been a professional photographer for nearly 20 years, but until this month, she’s never had a studio that suits her as well as her current space in Viking Village.
The owner of HK Photography opened her new Selah location on Nov. 6, and she couldn’t be happier.
“Now, I’ve got room to spread out,” said Surginer, who had been operating out of nearby Studio 17 for the past three years. “I’ve got so many props and so much equipment that I really needed more space.”
HK Photography’s new home, at 113 E. Third Ave., is next door to the new Light Delight Store, which also opened this fall. A Cricket cellphone store closed earlier this year, presenting Surginer with an opportunity to more than double her studio real estate.
Now, she has two adjoining 660-square-foot spaces — one side for the portrait studio and the other for office space, retail and reception.
“I had been looking for a larger space and asked the building owner if I could knock down a wall,” Surginer said. “My husband also owns a business and he needed some more space, too. So, we decided to go for it.”
Justin Surginer, aka “DJ DoughBoy,” can now store his music equipment at the studio, instead of at their home. Heather Surginer said she’s also elated that she can keep all of her work supplies in one place.
“I can now have three Christmas setups at the exact same time,” she said. “Before, I was always having to move stuff around.”
HK Photography is in the midst of its holiday rush, and Surginer is booking as many appointments as she can between now and Christmas. She said the Saturday slots have been filling up fast, but there are still some weekday appointments.
For the fourth straight year, her husband is dressing up as Santa Claus. He’ll be wearing a special holiday face covering to make sure families and friends remain safe.
“We’re just rolling with it,” Surginer said.
After Christmas, she’ll start booking appointments for Valentine’s Day. Then it’s on to Easter and high school senior portraits.
“We’re crossing our fingers for Easter because we weren’t able to do it this year due to COVID,” Surginer said. “We always bring in live bunnies and a duck, and the Easter Bunny (Justin) is also here. It’s one of our busiest times of the year.”
Surginer said she meets new customers all the time, but she also feels fortunate to have maintained some clientele from her previous job at Picture Perfect in Union Gap. That’s where she learned the most about being a portrait photographer.
“They let me be creative there, and I got to the point where I knew I could do my own thing,” said Surginer, 39, who started out working for photo studios at Walmart and Sears. “The studio at Picture Perfect is what I based my own studio off of. I want people to come in here and be comfortable so they can relax and enjoy their session.”
Surginer has one employee to help with photo editing, and she is training a second staff member for the holiday season. Having the additional help has allowed her to book more appointments and provide faster turnaround on orders.
To make an appointment, call HK Photography at 509-307-6373 or find them on Facebook.