Vital Farms is calling bullsh*t on mainstream egg carton labeling. Cage free? Free range? Tell that to the chickens’ faces. The Vital Farms hens are pasture raised, and that means exactly what it sounds like.
To see what all the egg-citement was about, Randal Ford donned a blue jumpsuit and a hair net and headed out to pasture with the rooster’s call. Vital Farms and the small family farms that supply their eggs have a very stringent policy about cleanliness, even in the field.
“The morning of the shoot, the light couldn’t have been more perfect. Working in the studio, I have to artificially create the light. Shooting outside with that wonderful natural light was really refreshing.” said Randal.
Austin-based ad agency Preacher conceived the project. The sunrise session en plein air was followed by afternoon studio portraits of “the girls.” Randal, who is accustomed to working with Hollywood animals, was pleasantly surprised by the local talent.
“I built a mobile studio in the shed where the farm sorted the eggs. They brought in a half a dozen chickens and set them down on the table and they just stood there all clustered together. I was amazed! I guess the saying holds true even with chickens—birds of a feather really do flock together!”
Randal shot dozens of portraits that bring out the individual personalities of the birds, clucking, jumping, even (seemingly) dancing. The images will be used in a series of print ads with cheeky taglines like, “Go ahead and ask her what she thinks about Cage-Free” and “This is one no bullsh*t bird.”
“It’s always such a joy to work with animals in this way, but these were actual working hens, not actors, and they had so much attitude. The layouts are hilarious, and they really speak to the quality of the product,” said Randal.