April S. Hartford was born in 1974 as Justin Andrew Hartford. A native of rural Maine, she lived in the area until her early thirties, working in the family insurance business and competing as an Alpine ski racer and iron distance triathlete. In 2006, realizing she could no longer ignore her feeling of gender dissonance, Hartford embarked on the first steps of her transition. That same year, she left the family business to pursue a new career as a freelance graphic designer and photographer and moved to Northern Virginia. She began chronicling the inner journey of her transition under the mentorship of John Paul Caponigro, soon receiving accolades and attention for her original approach to the subject. Hartford has photographed extensively in the United States from easy to get to places as well as in remote settings that include rigorous hiking and backcountry camping. She has also amassed a long list of international settings spanning various terrain from South America’s rugged and cold mountain ranges to the hot deserts of Southern Africa along with various locations in Asia and Europe.

Hartford’s influences include Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Connie Imboden, Jerry Uelsmann, Ansel Adams, Paul Caponigro(John Paul's father), and Joyce Tenneson. April has been mentored extensively over the past ten years by JP Caponigro and more recently by Seth Resnick as well. She also credits her maternal grandparents, both watercolor and acrylic painters, for encouraging her artistic talent as a child.

Hartford completed the major steps of her gender transition in 2013. She is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and travels widely.