William Guion has photographed the Louisiana landscape and live oaks for more than 30 years. His large-format black-and-white and hand-colored images portray the oaks elegantly, revealing the majestic and mystical qualities of this icon of the Deep South. Not since the landscape paintings by early 20th century Louisiana artists A.J. Drysdale and William Henry Buck has a Southern artist focused on a long-term study of the Southern live oak.

He was introduced to photography as part of his journalistic studies in college. His early photographic training occurred through participation as student and assistant in various photography workshops through the Friends of Photography in Carmel, CA between 1985 and 1995. His early work was influenced by this West Coast, Group f-64 (Weston’s, Adams) straight approach to black-and-white photography. Following one of his instructor’s advice to “find something you love and photograph it again and again,” he began a series of live oak studies on his native Louisiana soil that continues today.

In 2005, moved by the loss of many of the oldest oaks in Louisiana from hurricanes and development, Guion focused his photographic work on the oldest live oaks across the state to document these historic trees before they and the stories connected to them are lost.

His writings and photographs about oaks have appeared in numerous publications like American Forests magazine, Louisiana Life, Country Roads magazine, the Journal of the International Oak Society, the Baton Rouge Sunday Advocate magazine, Cultural Vistas (publication of the Louisiana Endowment of the Humanities), Under the Oaks magazine (the alumni publication of Newcomb College of Arts), the Calumet Fine-Art newsletter, View Camera magazine, Creation Spirituality magazine, and books like Live Oak Lore by Ethelyn Orso, Spiritual Literacy by Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat, and Folklife in Louisiana through Photography by Frank DeCaro.

Guion’s photographs are contained in a variety of corporate and private collections across the country as well as the public collections of the Louisiana Folk life Museum, the Louisiana State Museum and the New Orleans Museum of Art. In 2016, he received a major grant project from the Louisiana Department of Tourism documenting the historic live oaks of Bayou Lafourche.

A sampling of his work with oaks is contained in his four books: Heartwood, Meditations on Southern Oaks, published by Bulfinch / Little Brown Press in 1998; Heartwood, Further Meditations on Oaks, by Blue Oak Press in 2009; and Across Golden Hills – Meditations on California Oaks in 2013, and Laura Plantation – Images and Impressions, published in 2017 by The Zoe Company. Currently he is working on a fifth book project on historic oak alleys of Louisiana.

Biography

William Guion has photographed the Louisiana landscape and live oaks for more than 30 years. His large-format black-and-white and hand-colored images portray the oaks elegantly, revealing the majestic and mystical qualities of this icon of the Deep South. Not since the landscape paintings by early 20th century Louisiana artists A.J. Drysdale and William Henry Buck has a Southern artist focused on a long-term study of the Southern live oak.

He was introduced to photography as part of his journalistic studies in college. His early photographic training occurred through participation as student and assistant in various photography workshops through the Friends of Photography in Carmel, CA between 1985 and 1995. His early work was influenced by this West Coast, Group f-64 (Weston’s, Adams) straight approach to black-and-white photography. Following one of his instructor’s advice to “find something you love and photograph it again and again,” he began a series of live oak studies on his native Louisiana soil that continues today.

In 2005, moved by the loss of many of the oldest oaks in Louisiana from hurricanes and development, Guion focused his photographic work on the oldest live oaks across the state to document these historic trees before they and the stories connected to them are lost.

His writings and photographs about oaks have appeared in numerous publications like American Forests magazine, Louisiana Life, Country Roads magazine, the Journal of the International Oak Society, the Baton Rouge Sunday Advocate magazine, Cultural Vistas (publication of the Louisiana Endowment of the Humanities), Under the Oaks magazine (the alumni publication of Newcomb College of Arts), the Calumet Fine-Art newsletter, View Camera magazine, Creation Spirituality magazine, and books like Live Oak Lore by Ethelyn Orso, Spiritual Literacy by Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat, and Folklife in Louisiana through Photography by Frank DeCaro.

Guion’s photographs are contained in a variety of corporate and private collections across the country as well as the public collections of the Louisiana Folk life Museum, the Louisiana State Museum and the New Orleans Museum of Art. In 2016, he received a major grant project from the Louisiana Department of Tourism documenting the historic live oaks of Bayou Lafourche.

A sampling of his work with oaks is contained in his four books: Heartwood, Meditations on Southern Oaks, published by Bulfinch / Little Brown Press in 1998; Heartwood, Further Meditations on Oaks, by Blue Oak Press in 2009; and Across Golden Hills – Meditations on California Oaks in 2013, and Laura Plantation – Images and Impressions, published in 2017 by The Zoe Company. Currently he is working on a fifth book project on historic oak alleys of Louisiana.