Local Color

How A Park City Native Ditched the Big City Rat Race and Returned Home to Chase Her Creativity

Natalie Fine used her background in production and design create a unique party service called the Parker Premier.

By Michaela Wagner September 25, 2017

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In 2010, Park City native Natalie Fine sought out the big, bright lights and new experiences of New York City. Her first job in the Big Apple was as a stylist in a salon, but she eventually fell into the world of freelance photo production, and got to work with a variety of high-profile clients along the way, including Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Harpers Bazaar magazines and the lifestyle website, Refinery29.com.

Although the city proved to be everything it promised to be, a couple of years ago Fine began longing for a more settled life and for the mountains back home. "I was always traveling while I was living there, going to LA for photoshoots and consistently working 12- to 14-hour days," says Fine. "Even though I was seeing and doing a lot of cool things, I realized it was never going to be relaxed. I was ultimately a hamster running in a wheel, living for my job and my shoebox-sized apartment." Eventually, the mountain girl inside of Fine convinced her to move back to Park City, a decision she did not take lightly.  

"It probably took me two years to get to the point where I was ready to come back to Utah," says Fine. "I had learned all these things, made friends, and found my niche. I really wanted to find a way to use my skills and create something viable in Park City." Fine found that something in a tiny town in Kansas: a vintage Airstream trailer she could renovate into the ultimate photobooth.

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The airstream before and after Fine's renovation work.

With the help of Devlon Wurth who runs an off-the-beaten-path RV repair shop out of his garage front (Heber Valley RV Repair - 435 West Airport Rd), Fine set to work. "I had never done this type of thing before," Fine admits. "It was all face masks and power tools, paint and scrubbing, figuring out what materials to use, and a lot of problem solving. There's a really wonderful community online and via social media so you have a lot of brains to pick, but you still need to figure out the best way to make it aesthetically pleasing." Six months later, the Parker Premier was ready for business. 

Fine launched the Parker Premier in April and has been booked to bring her mobile photobooth business to all manner of events, from Chamber of Commerce gatherings to weddings. Parker Premier is similar to a traditional photobooth, where you hop behind the curtain, do a bunch of silly poses, and get a strip of photos to take home as a souvenir. But Fine's photobooth is much more personalized and adaptable. "When people rent the space, we can deck it out in all sorts of interesting ways, inside and out," she says. "Instead of being cramped into a small photobooth, you have two comfortable seating areas so you can easily fit 9 or 10 people with props." The imagination is really the limit when it comes to this photobooth and many of Fine's clients, particularly the wedding clients, have their florists decorate the space.  

Having successfully navigated her first summer in business, Fine is excited to see what Park City's signature season--winter--will mean for her fledgling enterprise. "Every season here is completely different. Summer has been really full of weddings and for fall I've tapped into the pumpkin patch in Midway, but I don't know what December will bring yet," says Fine. "There's so much potential here though and so many community brands I'd love to partner with. It’s really about finding the same people and collaborating them. I'm lucky to have such a great support network, including my boyfriend and family."

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Fine and her boyfriend Billy outside the airstream.

Image: Natalie Fine

One of these joint ventures already lined up is a photobooth session with the animals up for adoption at Nuzzles & Co. Beyond that, only time will tell. 

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