About This Day Forward
After his first wedding was published in Vogue, Will Hartl found his passion in capturing the love and connection between people. His approach to shooting weddings is to treat people how you’d want to be treated. He treats his couples like old friends and their families like his own. He takes a step back and allows them to have an amazing time with their friends and family. He’s a fly on the wall, a guest with a camera, and a friend in the background creating a story of their wedding day.
Behind The Brand
Your best piece of advice for event planning?
Go a step further. Stepping into nature has created some of my most memorable shots. Hiking that hill, chasing down that sunset, going that extra 100 metres and venturing a little further can create magic.
What was the spark for your This Day Forward? Where did the story begin?
In the very beginning it was a gift to a friend as a wedding present. The simple gift of capturing the day that they never wanted to forget. I feel honoured to be able to capture images which become part of a family legacy.
What inspires you creatively?
I have to admit I’m slightly obsessed with great light. It casts shadows, creates shape, contrast and tone. It’s a madness and a love affair which I chase down in my images. There’s something really inspiring about finding great light and incorporating it into a wedding story.
Most memorable place you’ve travelled?
A couple years ago I was asked to photograph a wedding for a friend in beautiful Corsica. I flew in the day before and arrived to find out that the airline lost my bags. Luckily I kept my gear with me, so could still capture the wedding. I bought some clothes and captured the beautiful wedding and partied like the French do after finishing up.
The next day 2 hours before leaving for the airport my bags finally got delivered. Upon arriving at the airport, I find out my flight’s been cancelled due to bad weather and everyone had to catch a bus at 11pm to another airport 3.5 hours away. To make things even better, we’d be sleeping on the floor of the other airport. The airline generously donated a bottle of water and a jambon fromage baguette. 65 of us bunkered down for the night and finally boarded a plane to Bordeaux the next morning at 11am.
Landing back in Bordeaux I realised it was the adventure I’d been seeking. I guess the saying is true, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.
On a typical weekend we’ll find you?
Weekends are a precious commodity in my line of work, so if I’m not working I’m probably hanging out with my gorgeous French finacè or with my other love affair the ocean.
A favorite quote?
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.
“When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon.