Sure Shot

Dallas photographer Laura Wilson has made up for lost time. The 55-year-old Massachusetts native is a regular contributor to Texas Monthly, for whom she has shot portraits of Laredo debutantes and Mullin footballers, and she has also worked for The New Yorker, the New York Times, and the London Sunday Times. But Wilson’s burgeoning success belies less than a decade of experience as a professional. For five years her camera work was strictly a labor of love (see “ Her Three Sons ,”). Then, in 1979, she met the legendary Richard Avedon at Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum. That led to a six-year stint assisting him on a project, after which time she realized she too wanted to work behind the lens. For her first study she chose a crusty old Shackelford County cattleman and eventually published Watt Matthews of Lambshead, a Texas State Historical Association book now in its fourth printing. To this day, she favors subjects like Matthews—people “who are able to resist the powerful currents of mainstream America.” In keeping with that theory, her current project is an examination of a reclusive religious sect, Montana’s Hutterites. “My work doesn’t have a New York take; it doesn’t have an L.A. take,” Wilson says, explaining her success. “It’s my own.”

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