James Wilfred Marr was born in 1922. On leaving school he began work at the Orcadian newspaper, remaining there until he joined the Royal Navy, serving aboard a Minesweeper during the Second World War. After the Second World War ended Wilfred rejoined the staff of The Orcadian and also took up photography as a hobby. He soon came to be in demand for photographing functions and events around Orkney, but his biggest love was to photograph the Orkney landscape in all its many changing moods. He was also a founding member of the Kirkwall Camera Club.
Wilfred left The Orcadian in 1957 to open a photography studio in Kirkwall, where he specialised in wedding photography and portraits while continuing to document the countryside. In 1960 he acquired Rendall’s Printing Office, in Stromness, while continuing to provide photographs for use in books, catalogues and an annual calendar of local views. In later life Wilfred took up painting as another way to depict the Orkney landscape that he loved so much. Wilfred Marr died in 1988, leaving behind a fantastic collection of photographs that have since been gifted to Orkney Archive by his widow.