William R. West Jr. was born in St.Louis Missouri on January 3, 1951. Attending College at Elon University in North Carolina, he received a bachelor's of art degree in 1973.
At the age of 15, his father gave him an Argus C3 Range Finder Camera. The first images consisted of birds at the jersey shore, and pictures of his girlfriend. He gained photo experience in college,and vocational technical school, in the mid 70's. Pictures of forest fires impressed his local teacher, and inspired him to continue his photography career. The pictures were run in the Atlantic City Press, and led to a staff photography job. He worked there from 1977-1978. His career led to the Sun newspaper,a twice a week publication, from 1979-1980. During the early 80's, he worked as a Stringer Photographer for UPI international wire services.
After 1985 he began shooting fine art film photography, in 35mm and 2 1/4 format. Currently his work is predominantly digital based.