W. J. Moore was born in 1887 in Bryson, Quebec, one of eleven children of James and Elizabeth Moore. The family moved to De Winton, Alberta when Moore was in his early teens. By 1911 he had found work with commercial photographer Byron Harmon in Banff, Alberta. Harmon married Moore‚Äôs older sister Maude in 1907 and it is quite possible that Moore received his early photographic training from him.
Moore, his parents and several brothers and sisters settled in South Vancouver and Burnaby in 1912. Vancouver was then in the midst of an economic boom, but in 1913 it became a depression. Moore established a commercial photographic studio out of his home, first at East 21st Avenue and later on Sophia Street.
He bought a Kodak No. 8 Cirkut Outfit in 1913 and incorporated panoramic photographs as a specialty within his business, producing most of his work with this format in the first fifteen years of his career. After 1928, his use of this format was sporadic and production was solely by commission.
Moore worked on his own until mid-1915, when he formed a partnership with Wilfred F. McConnell, purchasing the Canadian Photo Company from O. J. Rognon and Fred P. Stevens. While in this partnership, Moore signed panoramic negatives under both his own name and the Canadian Photo Co. The partnership was dissolved in 1921, with Mr. McConnell operating his photographic business under the Canadian Photo Co. name until 1933.
In 1921, at the beginning of a decade of economic regeneration in Vancouver, Moore established his commercial studio out of the Winch Building on Hastings Street. William Read was hired as an assistant and worked with him for over thirty years, eventually purchasing the business in 1953 when Moore retired. He died in 1963.