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Famous Richmond pinhole photographer is still capturing images at 93

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RICHMOND, Va. -- For half her life, Willie Anne Wright of Richmond has performed her main art through a pinhole. She's known across the country - and beyond -  for it.

"The pinhole camera seems to see things that maybe you miss when you're watching or maybe you didn't get with a different kind of camera," Wright told us during a recent visit to her Fan residence, where most of her prints have come to life.

Willie Anne Wright

She's 93, still doing her art, experimenting with a new version of the old Polaroid camera.

And she's fresh from a big show in Atlanta, where her pinhole prints were snapped up briskly enough to give her a headache at tax time.

It's an early and simple form of photography she discovered while taking a photography class at Richmond Professional Institute, now Virginia Commonwealth University, as her children were getting grown.

Willie Anne Wright

In 1972, her photography professor made her class build their own lensless cameras, something that made the students grumble for two weeks, she recalled.

"That changed my life, just making that camera," she said, "and trying to see what it could do."

The images spoke to her immediately.

"It seemed to me it was something I'd tried for in my paintings and hadn't achieved," Wright added.

Willie Anne Wright

Please join us for a video tour of her art and her home in the city's Fan district and see what's she's up to now. And check out her original pinhole camera, now 45 years old.

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