Pam Francis (1954-2020) was born in Houston, Texas. She graduated with a BFA in studio art, specializing in photography and graphic design, in spring 1979 at the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. Her early works include portrait photographs for the covers of Texas Monthly, beginning in 1991 with Dan Rather, CBS Evening News anchor, and Oscar Wyatt, founder and CEO of Coastal Corporation. By 2001, recognized as one of the top photographers in Houston, Francis became the chief photographer for the Houston Texans Got Tickets billboard campaign. Throughout her career, Francis presented sustained, eloquent, and provocative exploration of portraiture. She cultivated technical finesse and clearly communicated the vitality she derived from her subjects.
Co-founder of FotoFest International in 1983, Wendy Watriss has worked as a freelance photographer, writer curator, newspaper reporter, and producer of television documentaries from 1965-2017. From 1991 to 2014, she was FotoFest’s artistic and publications director, curating and organizing more than sixty international exhibitions on photography and mixed media art. Watriss conceived and produced the award-winning book Image and Memory: Photography from Latin America, 1866-1994 and several other books, as well as eleven FotoFest Biennial catalogues. With Frederick Baldwin, she co-authored Looking at the U.S. 1957-1986 and Coming to Terms: The German Hill Country of Texas. As a documentary photographer in her own right, Watriss’ own work has been exhibited internationally; her photo documentary essays have been published worldwide in The Smithsonian, Life, Newsweek, The New York Times, GEO, Stern, among many others.
Co-founder and chairman of FotoFest, Frederick Baldwin has had an extensive career as a photographer working around the world. His photographs have been published in Esquire, National Geographic, Life, The New York Times, Newsweek and Geo, among many others. Baldwin taught photography at the University of Texas and was the head of the photojournalism program at the University of Houston. He was Peace Corps director in Borneo in the 1960s and, subsequently, worked in the civil rights movement as a volunteer photographer for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He has published two books of his photographs on the civil rights movement in Savannah, Georgia, Freedom’s March (2008) and We Ain’t What We Used to Be (1983).
Wendy Watriss and Frederick Baldwin have been co-recipients of many honors and awards including the Vision Award from the Center for Photography (Woodstock, NY) for their contributions to photography and photographic artists, nationally and internationally, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Houston Fine Arts Fair (2012). Photographs by Wendy Watriss and Frederick Baldwin are in the collections of The Menil Collection, Houston; Bibliothéque Nationale de France, Paris; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas at Austin.