Northern influence

(First published in the October 4, 2018 issue of City Pages)

Lands End fans will see the work of a Wausau photographer and blogger



Kristen Carlson during the Lands End Heritage tour, which she wrapped up last weekend.

Wausau photographer/blogger Kristen Carlson is commuting to work… in the Wisconsin outdoors in an airstream trailer tricked up for a Lands End social media and cross-marketing project.

Carlson, founder of the lifestyle/travel blog Miss Northerner, was approached by the Dodgeville-based company this summer to travel the state as part of the Lands End Heritage Tour. She, along with other bloggers, officially started in the Airstream “Seagoing Duffle” on Sept. 14, and Carlsoncontinued through Oct. 5. The tour made stops at a Milwaukee Brewers game, the Taste of Madison, the Green Bay Packers celebration, Warrens Cranberry Festival, and will hit the Bayfield Apple Festival this weekend.

See photos and notes of the tour at the Lands End’s Facebook page and Heritage Tour Instagram site, and through Carlson’s Miss Northerner blog.

For Carlson, it’s the latest adventure as a blogger, which she jumped into full time late last year. In 2016 Carlson started a personal blog but rebranded it into Miss Northerner to focus on travel, photography and lifestyle in central and northern Wisconsin. “I wanted it to be more relatable for people who can’t afford to trot off to Iceland,” says Carlson, 26. “There is so much beauty around us. The Midwest states are called the flyover states but I think we’re underrated.”

She does most of the photography herself with a tripod and timer, though sometimes one of her parents or her boyfriend hits the shutter after she sets up the shot. “When I talk about different places, I want it to be like they’re hearing it from a friend,” Carlson says.

Lands’ End isn’t the first organization she’s worked with, but it’s one of her bigger breaks. She worked with several small clothing companies, and the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce, for example. It’s not a 9-5 office job, but also doesn’t have that stability; Carlson can have a busy two months followed by a period of quiet. “It’s definitely unpredictable,” Carlson says.

Carlson says the opportunity to spend time in Wisconsin’s more remote locations and highlight them for other people is rewarding. “It comes naturally if we’re on a lake or in the woods camping,” Carlson says. “That’s what I love.”