William Guion was introduced to photography as part of his journalistic studies in college. Though mostly self-taught as an artist, he received guidance and focus as a student and assistant in several workshops between 1985 and 1995, sponsored by the Friends of Photography in Carmel, California. His early work was influenced by the West Coast, Group f-64 (Weston’s, Adams), straight approach to black-and-white photography he was exposed to at these workshops.

Guion returned to his native Louisiana from these early workshops and began a series of black-and-white studies of Southern live oaks – single trees in open fields, in groves, and planted in alleys. His first book, Heartwood, Meditations on Southern Oaks, published in 1998 by Bulfinch / Little Brown Press, reflects the journey he began following a workshop instructor’s advice to “find something you love and photograph it again and again until your feelings show through.”

His large-format black-and-white and more recent hand-colored images portray the oaks elegantly, revealing the majestic and mystical qualities of this iconic tree species. He describes these images as "tree portraits."

Over 30-plus years, Guion’s printing techniques and methods have evolved. In 2001, after his father’s death, he moved to California to reconnect with his early photographic inspirations there. He began a series of images of oaks woodlands and landscapes of the Central Coast and he began to explore the use of painting photographic images in response to "brilliant light and colors he found hiking the inland hills and rolling oak savannahs." His coloring process was strongly influenced by his exposure to the paintings of early California impressionists whose work he studied in the Carmel art galleries. 

Guion’s exploration of color continues today with the use of pastels and oils applied to prints on paper and canvas. Over time, his images have gained the attention of others and have been widely collected by both individuals and corporations and are included in the public collections of the Louisiana Folk life Museum, the Louisiana State Museum and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

His images have also been used on several book jacket designs by publishers such as Scribner/Simon & Schuster, Crown Books, Random House, Harper Collins, and Bulfinch/Little, Brown & Co., and were featured in the 1999 Alfre Woodard film “The Wishing Tree.”

Through his photographic images and writings, Guion encourages people to view live oaks and other trees as individual sentient beings rather than inanimate and insignificant natural resources. He supports multiple organizations and groups working to preserve and conserve oaks and oak woodlands in the South and West. 

Artist Statement

William Guion was introduced to photography as part of his journalistic studies in college. Though mostly self-taught as an artist, he received guidance and focus as a student and assistant in several workshops between 1985 and 1995, sponsored by the Friends of Photography in Carmel, California. His early work was influenced by the West Coast, Group f-64 (Weston’s, Adams), straight approach to black-and-white photography he was exposed to at these workshops.

Guion returned to his native Louisiana from these early workshops and began a series of black-and-white studies of Southern live oaks – single trees in open fields, in groves, and planted in alleys. His first book, Heartwood, Meditations on Southern Oaks, published in 1998 by Bulfinch / Little Brown Press, reflects the journey he began following a workshop instructor’s advice to “find something you love and photograph it again and again until your feelings show through.”

His large-format black-and-white and more recent hand-colored images portray the oaks elegantly, revealing the majestic and mystical qualities of this iconic tree species. He describes these images as "tree portraits."

Over 30-plus years, Guion’s printing techniques and methods have evolved. In 2001, after his father’s death, he moved to California to reconnect with his early photographic inspirations there. He began a series of images of oaks woodlands and landscapes of the Central Coast and he began to explore the use of painting photographic images in response to "brilliant light and colors he found hiking the inland hills and rolling oak savannahs." His coloring process was strongly influenced by his exposure to the paintings of early California impressionists whose work he studied in the Carmel art galleries. 

Guion’s exploration of color continues today with the use of pastels and oils applied to prints on paper and canvas. Over time, his images have gained the attention of others and have been widely collected by both individuals and corporations and are included in the public collections of the Louisiana Folk life Museum, the Louisiana State Museum and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

His images have also been used on several book jacket designs by publishers such as Scribner/Simon & Schuster, Crown Books, Random House, Harper Collins, and Bulfinch/Little, Brown & Co., and were featured in the 1999 Alfre Woodard film “The Wishing Tree.”

Through his photographic images and writings, Guion encourages people to view live oaks and other trees as individual sentient beings rather than inanimate and insignificant natural resources. He supports multiple organizations and groups working to preserve and conserve oaks and oak woodlands in the South and West.