Wilson was a wealthy Glasgow businessman, who appears to have taken photographs for his personal pleasure. He learned photography whilst a schoolboy at Harrow and kept a regular photographic journal between 1895 and 1927, providing an insider's view of upper class Edwardian society. His more traditional landscape and travel pictures are the result of extensive travels both in Scotland and abroad. He produced some unusual documentary images too, such as a series of photographs recording Scotland's doomed whaling industry. In 1927 he abandoned photography as the rising price of metals made the platinum process too expensive.