Wade received a BFA from the University of Texas, Austin (1965), and an MA from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1966.
A self-employed artist since 1977, Wade was assistant professor of art at North Texas State University, Denton, from 1973 to 1977 and director of Northwood Art Institute in Dallas in 1972-73. He served as artist-in-residence at Northwood Institute in Cedar Hill, Texas, in 1970-72, and taught art at McClennan Community College in Waco, Texas, from 1966 to 1970. Wade's nonphotographic achievements include the 1979 sculpture “Biggest Cowboy Boots in the World" for Washington (D.C.) Art Site, "Giant Iguana" sculpture for Artpark in New York (1978) and videotape (1979) and participation in the 1975 film lackalope, by Ken Harrison, documenting Texas artists.
Using small and large format, the photographer produces large-scale black-and-white photos on sensitized linen, hand-colored with photo oils.