Awhale of a store in Birch Bay

Published on Thu, Jul 29, 2004 by Jack Kintner

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A whale of a store in Birch Bay

By Jack Kintner

Orcas Photo and Graphics, one of Birch Bay’s newest businesses, might appear to have been named for whales. It takes its name from the island, however, where owner Kathy Grant started her business six years ago.
Grant headed for Orcas, the place where she spent her childhood vacations from Estacada, Oregon, after her youngest child was out of high school. “My parents were already there,” she said, “and our roots run deep but it’s no place to be if you’re sick,” Grant said, “and as my parents find themselves more in need of care we decided to move back to the mainland.” She brought her business with her, which is why you’ll find Orcas Photo and Graphics right in the middle of Birch Bay.

“In a nutshell,” Grant said, “we sell or work with everything photographic except cameras.” It’s tough to beat the internet on that, she said, but otherwise “you can buy film and develop it in an hour, print out your own digital photos on a consumer terminal or get them loaded onto a CD so you can clear your storage media and shoot more pictures.”

The centerpiece of Grant’s state-of-the-art photo printing operation is an Epson 9600, capable of printing images nearly four feet wide and as long as necessary on various kinds of paper that comes in long rolls, cut to length when printed.

“We can do fairly large stuff,” she said, “and when people bring in a priceless old photo we ask them to come back in a few hours once we’ve scanned it and take it right back home. We can work on the image we make and your original is back with you where it should be.”

“We’re here to have a good time with this,” she said, “and we get to see some amazing pictures people have made.”

Orcas Photo & Graphics.
7900 Birch Bay Drive
9-5:30 M-F, 10-4 on Saturday