Spanning seven decades, W.R. Heick's career in still photography and filmmaking has covered locations all over the world. Born in 1916, Heick grew up in Kentucky and attended the University of Cincinnati. He married Jeanne Ridge in 1942 and served as a naval intelligence photographer in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, he continued his education at the San Francisco State University. He also attended the California School of Fine Arts (now known as the San Francisco Art Institute) where he studied photography, painting, and sculpture under distinguished instructors such as Ansel Adams and Minor White. It was also during this period that he met and made lifelong friends with photographers Imogen Cunningham and Dorothea Lange, both of whom he regards as primary influences on his photographic work.
His fine art photography has been exhibited in institutions such as San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, DeYoung Museum, and Seattle Museum of Art, among many others. He is one of eleven living photographers included in the "100 Years of California Photography" at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. He has produced over 200 films and thousands of photographs. Even now at the age of 94, when asked to sum up his prolific career, he'll simply state, "it sure beats working!"