Gathering eggs is part of the daily chores at the Rockville Market Farm in Starksboro. With thousands of free range chickens, any help is welcome. Today there's an extra hand, only she's being put to work for a different reason. Natalie Stultz is taking pictures for the farm's website.
"I love photographing people in their environment doing what they do," Stultz said.
Stultz does what it takes to get the perfect shot. With changing weather conditions, tough footing and live animals, there are many challenges to shooting on a farm. But this is where Stultz says she's most comfortable-- she grew up loving nature, spending time outside. Her passion for photography started at 10 years old when her family moved across the country and she captured the journey.
Stultz studied art at the University of Vermont and after graduation took photo courses in Maine. She taught photography for 15 years at Champlain College, but decided to leave teaching to return to her main focus-- freelance photography.
And for this gig, the hard work doesn't end in the fields. Stultz makes that farm fresh egg turn into breakfast for the next shoot. It's all part of a style of photography she calls Farm to Table, tapping into the big local food movement.
"I photographed farms for a long time for Vermont Life and other magazines. It's been a side specialty, so it seemed completely natural to go in this direction," Stultz said.
From egg to omelet, radish to salad; Stultz tracks the evolution through her lens and then sells the photos to restaurants and farms. Her images end up in magazines and on websites across the country.
"The localvore movement is huge right now and I've decided to focus on this in the past year and half," Stultz said.
These are farmers not models, so some coaching is needed and Stultz adds a prop or too like an apron.
"The person here is as important or maybe more important as the food. Then when I go to shoot the food that takes center stage," she said.
"I don't like to eat a lot of the food after I shoot it. It's like I'm too close to it or something," Stultz said.
After the omelet is out of the oven, Stultz lets the local product shine. It's all about the eggs.
"I like it not perfect," she said.
Capturing a journey from the farm to the kitchen and finally to the table.
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