Ann Weaver McDonald is a native of Lubbock, Texas. She is a graduate of Lubbock High School, an historic institution, where she was introduced to the disciplines of journalism and began her fascination with the written word as well as the mysteries of photography. After majoring in journalism at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, she went on to be the editor of First Family, the employee magazine for the (then) First National Bank in Dallas. During her tenure there, not only did she write all the articles and make all the photographs, but she also designed the overall layout. This early necessity for a comprehensive approach contributed to her desire for a “hands-on” creative process, a characteristic which continues today as she determines to self-publish the forth-coming book on the flight around Australia.
She and Craig McDonald, also a native of Lubbock, married in 1960. They lived on their cotton farm in central Crosby County, Texas, for 34 years until they determined it was time to move back to Lubbock. Their three children, Karen, Eric and Laura attended the public schools in Ralls and participated in the activities common to smaller towns and rural communities. Laura chose to finish her education at Lubbock High School, attending a magnet program. All three earned both bachelor and master degrees.
Photography became Ann’s main creative outlet in 1970 when Craig helped her buy a Nikon F and a black and white enlarger. Finally determining that “something had to give,” she gave up quilting as a hobby to concentrate on the art of photography while successfully maintaining her other roles as wife, mother, and community volunteer.
Ann honed her skills and learned the craft photographing friends’ weddings, high school proms, and even the winners of local dairy goat competitions. As hard as she worked to reach the level of quality she desired, she knew something was missing but did not know where to go to find more instruction.
In 1981 she and Craig went to San Francisco for a banking convention. Joe Gray, an old friend from Lubbock, lived in Carmel and was Ansel Adams’ ophthalmologist. With Joe’s invitation Ann and Craig eagerly headed down the coast where they met Ansel and Virginia Adams in their own home. Ann was encouraged to bring some of her photographs for the photography legend to review, which she did with reluctance. He found one in particular to compliment and encouraged her to attend one of his workshops.
She never participated in one of Ansel’s workshops, but through her acquaintance with him, she ultimately studied with other outstanding photographers who also conduct workshops such as: John Sexton, Bruce Birnbaum, Ray McSavaney, David Scheinbaum, Janet Russek, Eliot Porter, Bill Wright, Jay Forrest and Sam Abell.
As she became more knowledgeable and confident, she enjoyed showing her work locally and across the state. Travels with Craig and friends give her a wealth of opportunities to test her style in many cultures.
She stays current with happenings in the world of photography with a large group of internet friends called the Zoners who show new work to each other online to get immediate feedback.
Most photographs on this site are made from film. The photographs in the portfolios entitled 7,000 Miles, Pacific Battlegrounds, and India are made entirely from digital capture.