Fate Sealed


Fate Sealed

Northern Pintail

Fate Sealed



600 mm

The Story

As a child, Bill was obsessed with the northern pintail. While they do show up in the upper Midwest, they are on the more rare side. Growing up he would go hunting for them, but never had luck finding them. Nor could he spot them in his early years as a photographer.

That changed on day on Salt Lake in South Dakota. Bill was thrilled when one male swam right up to him and took flight, leaving a trail of water droplets behind which Bill was able to capture with clarity. It was that moment Bill knew his fate was sealed - he would be a wildlife photographer for life.

Fortune shown on Bill and his camera for the 15 years that followed; the pintail continues to be a favorite, including this courtship flight captured in 2017.

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Countless Hours.

A Single Moment.

A man of few words Bill Vanderhagen is more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. Like many, he finds the speed of modern life exhausting. Photography is his refuge. It is in the stillness of nature, waiting countless hours to capture that single moment where he feels most alive.

Bill discovered photography in 2008 as a way to combine my two passions for art and the outdoors. Learning the skills of this art form was an adventure of its own. With the exception of a brief two-year hiatus due creative burnout, Bill have never bored from chasing that single image.

Even with human subjects, there is something magical about capturing a glance, a smirk, or smile, which is gone just as quickly as it showed up.

Thanks for visiting the site. It has always been Bill's hope that the photos he shares bring you the sense of excitement and discovery he feels when it is just him, the unknown subject, and his camera.