Tag Archives: Tumblr

Kamrin Baker

January 27, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

The common trajectory for aspiring journalists is that you work at the school newspaper, get into college, work at that college paper, graduate, then take a lowly entry-level job somewhere and work your way up from there. Then, after years of amassing a portfolio, maybe, just maybe, you can get a gig at a place like The Huffington Post

But thanks to a quick reply to a call for contributors on The Huffington Post’s Twitter feed, Kamrin Baker, 18, pole-vaulted past all those traditional, dues-paying markers and landed a spot as a contributor for the popular news site…all while still working on the high school yearbook at Millard West, where she’s a senior. She co-edits the yearbook with Keegan Holmes (also a senior).

The first major news story Baker remembered was the September 11 terrorist attacks. She was a pre-schooler in 2001. In kindergarten, Baker said she wrote a picture book, and in third grade, she brought stories to her Georgia Wheeler Elementary class.

Kamrin-Baker-2Now sitting with her mother, Grace, at Stories Coffeehouse, Baker says she originally thought about being an English teacher.

“Then, I started realizing I was really impatient. And don’t love children. Or ignorance,” Baker says.

Baker has written blogs both serious (a call for schools to better handle mental health issues) and not (a eulogy to Parks and Recreation). Like many Huffington Post bloggers, she is an unpaid contributor. However, the freedom to write about the topics she wants, and the site’s flexibility with her busy schedule, were worthy trade-offs for her.

“I’m not super keen on the politics and the economy of The Huffington Post,” she says, “but I like what they’re doing.”

Stirring a strawberry Italian soda, Baker recalls one of her most popular posts, one about living with anxiety.

Though Baker and her mother went back-and-forth trying to figure out when her first panic attack occurred, Baker definitely remembered the first one that sent her to the school nurse. It was during an intro to behavioral sciences class. She was watching the movie Mockingbird Don’t Sing.

“I was watching it…and then I couldn’t breath. I thought I was just sick,” says Baker.

She went to her teacher, who quickly sent her to the nurse.

“I sat there for an hour, and I just shook,” she recalls. “I had no idea what was going on.”

Baker was diagnosed with panic disorder. She used her position at The Huffington Post to unveil her Joy is Genius campaign, which is an online resource on Tumblr for teenagers struggling with anxiety.

“I’m at a point where I don’t think it’s smart or cool to ignore it,” Baker explains.

In our post-newspaper media landscape, the mode you select is almost as important as the content. Like many savvy journalists, Baker quickly toggles between Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and, yes, even print.

“I usually use Pinterest for yearbook design and dog pictures. I’ll post more comedy-based things (on Twitter). I like Instagram because I can tell more of a story with it. The caption content is longer.”

Baker is currently weighing going to UNL or UNO to study journalism. She’s sure to find new role models in college, but for now, she explains, ”The two people that inspire me the most, and are not on the same spectrum whatsoever, are Diane Sawyer and  Taylor Swift.”

Visit huffingtonpost.com/kamrin-baker to read her work.

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Spaghetti Toes

March 19, 2015 by
Photography by Keith Binder

As a parent, you’ve probably appreciated (and not appreciated) the absolute honesty that often escapes your child’s mouth. Frankness aside, kids also tend to say some hilarious things. Martin Bruckner’s daughter, Harper, 3, is no exception.

In early 2014, Bruckner, his wife Michelle, and their daughter were having dinner when he overheard his wife exclaim to Harper, “Please don’t put spaghetti between your toes.” That same night, as Bruckner was giving his daughter her evening bath, he found himself asking her, “Did you drop your cheese in the tub again?” From that point on, he decided it would be worthwhile to take note of all of the absurd utterances around his house. He knew that one day, he his wife and their child could all look back and have a good laugh.

Bruckner began to create graphics based on things he wrote down, eventually starting Tumblr and Facebook accounts to share them with friends, family, and parents around the world. “Pretty much the first day I started the Facebook and Tumblr pages I had parents replying to me with the things their children say to them,” he chuckles. Bruckner admits that it isn’t just the locals that find things he, his wife, and his daughter say funny. In fact, he has gotten messages from as far away as Australia.

While Spaghetti Toes started out innocently enough, it seems to be gaining steam as Harper ages. Bruckner states that while his daughter is a newer conversationalist, the things she says only get funnier with age. “Her vocabulary is getting bigger and stronger but she’s still having a hard time getting certain things to be in the correct context, which in turn makes them hilarious,” he says. This

is confirmed with nothing more than a cursory glance through his website.
The graphics he has created have started to garner some national attention, getting picked up by websites such as BuzzFeed and The Chive. Additionally, Bruckner has started to fulfill custom orders and recently completed two such requests for a woman in Canada. Nonetheless, Bruckner remains encouraged by the local scene, claiming Omaha’s creatives are extremely supportive while locals are incredibly kind.

The attention his sites have garnered feels good, Bruckner says. Nonetheless, he finds that he is more drawn to the long-term payoff that they will have. “I started this as a way to document my daughter’s life while she’s little and I’m having an incredible time doing it,” he shares. In fact, his own mother, inspired by what her son was doing, went digging for books that she kept on Bruckner and his siblings when they were young. Bruckner hopes to use it to create additional graphics for his mom and five sisters. “I’ve gotten message after message after message from parents and I think everyone is in agreement as far as their children saying incredible, silly, ridiculous, and disgusting things,” he adds. “I say things daily that I never thought I’d say.” We’re sure that every parent out there can relate.

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Rebecca Forsyth

March 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

“I think I always wanted to be a hairdresser,” says Rebecca Forsyth, 26.

With a mother as a receptionist in a hair salon, it’s no wonder that Forsyth aspired to work in a salon, as she spent a good deal of her childhood in one. As Forsyth got older, she veered from the cosmetology path and attended a traditional, four-year college. “At the end of it all, having cut all of my friends’ hair in my kitchen since high school, I realized hair was still where my heart was.”

Forsyth moved to Omaha about five years ago from Sioux Falls, S.D., to attend cosmetology school at Capitol School of Hairstyling and is currently a stylist at Bungalow/8 off 105th and Pacific Street. “It’s a fabulous and beautiful space, and I couldn’t dream of a better fit,” she says of the salon. “Everyone working there is so inspired and passionate.”

Hair color is Forsyth’s specialty. She’s an American Board Certified Haircolorist, an honor only attained by 1,700 stylists in the U.S. But she also has interests in styling. “I collaborate with a lot of photographers, fashion designers, and other creative types locally in both photo and video work, so I’m constantly working to help others realize their vision.” In addition to her hair coloring and styling credits, Forsyth has also developed a number of hairstyling tutorials with Sarah Lorsung Tvrdik, co-founder of Hello Holiday, an Omaha womens wear ecomerce site. The tutorials have been seen in magazines, reblogged, and pinned thousands of times on Tumblr and Pinterest.

“I haven’t worn pants in like seven years. I’m very into femininity but certainly a bit country and a bit rock and roll.”

From braids to blowouts to beehives, Forsyth says she loves it all. “My love of styling has really helped me to find ways to work on teaching my clients while they’re in my chair how to style their own hair at home. Before I was a hairdresser, I was always so frustrated that my hair would look great when I’d leave the salon, but I would be clueless about what to do with it when I was at home in front of the bathroom mirror. I’ve made it my mission to try to bridge that gap.”

Her clientele is very diverse, ranging from men and women, young and old. She also sees many clients with long hair and red hair. “I was a redhead myself for many years, which is likely where my eye for red comes from.”

As for her personal style, Forsyth describes her look as “a mixture of Brigitte Bardot, a Bradley doll, Dolly Parton, and a 1960s airline stewardess.” She explains that she’s very influenced by the late ‘60s big hair, lipstick, and winged eyeliner. “I haven’t worn pants in like seven years. I’m very into femininity but certainly a bit country and a bit rock and roll. You are as likely to find me in cowboy boots or a square dancing dress as you are to find me in a fabulous jumper and pair of heeled Mary Janes.”

Her favorite styling products and tools include:

  • Mason Pearson Popular Mixture hairbrushes—“It’s the Rolls Royce of brushes and has helped me produce amazing styling results.”
  • Kerastase’s Ciment Thermique—“Many of my blonde clients will tell you I’m also a huge fan. [It’s] a product that protects from heat and helps to rebuild broken and damaged hair. I’ve seen incredible results with it.”
  • Bumble and bumble Spray de Mode—“It holds fabulously and provides great texture and body but is still dry and brushable, which is great for re-styling and avoiding that 1980s shellac-ed look.”

Instagram Builds Brands

November 25, 2012 by

Instagram is this non-assuming app that is a snap to download and use on your iPhone or Android. It helps us makes the most of our increasingly busy, visual, and social lives. And people love it. According to a recent Forbes article, Instagram saw “remarkable growth” in the first half of 2012, going from 15 million users early in the year to 80 million in July. That’s a 400 percent increase in users.

Founded by two Stanford grad geeks who majored in Management Science and Symbolic Systems with a focus in Human-Computer Interaction, the inspiration they got from working at Google, Microsoft, and a few start-ups led to the big idea—an easy way to take a photo, give it a cool effect, affix your location, tag your friends, and share with the world (or at least your world) through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and more. With Instagram, you can broadcast a visual experience to thousands in a matter of seconds.

That’s what the world’s major brands like about Instagram.

The Starbucks and Redbulls of the world may be obvious early adopters of the cool Instagram technology. Performers, fashion companies, and sports teams use Instagram to showcase what they do best. But savvy marketers in the halls of General Electric and other corporations are leveraging this tiny tool to make big waves in building their brands. Here’s how GE did it:

They birthed their Instagram account by sharing photos of their innovative jet engine and health care technology as “art.” Then they launched a contest inviting Instagrammers to share their photos of items that illustrate any of GE’s four main areas of innovation (moving, powering, curing, and building). Contest photos were marked by a hashtag (that groups and feeds similar photos to users) “#GEInspiredMe,” and shared on GE’s Facebook page. This allowed other Instagrammers and Facebook fans to see and vote for the best photo. The winner was flown to Germany to photograph a world-class jet engine plant. A little ingenuity and a lot of creativity helped GE emotionally engage thousands of prospective customers and  grow brand awareness and sales.

To see the more than 4,000 user photos submitted to GE, search “GEInspiredMe” from your Instagram account.