“Did you see the new Reynolds Snapchat filter?”
These words have been circling the campus for the past few days. Natalie Huyett, a senior at Reynolds, is at the bottom of it. The Snapchat filter, which she made herself, went live on November 20 for users at RJR.
Snapchat, a novel photo and video messaging app, is creating a monopoly over today’s social media-driven culture. Huyett decided to take advantage of this and create a ‘geofilter’ for Snapchatters at Reynolds. A geofilter or geotag is one of Snapchat’s unique functions; users can add a quirky filter to a photo or video depending on the user’s location (like Winston Salem or Kernersville).
The app is a staple in a high schooler’s smartphone and Huyett herself uses it often. It involves taking a picture or video, ten seconds or less, and sending it to a friend or friends. The many filters and geotags offered often make the message funnier or more artistic. Huyett’s does the latter.
The filter she fashioned depicts the Reynolds auditorium, one of the distinct buildings that sets RJR apart from other local high schools, with its towering ionic pillars and original brick façade.
“When I think of Reynolds, I think of the auditorium and I wanted our geotag to show the school’s most famous symbol, especially since no other high schools around here have something as historic as our auditorium,” Huyett said. “I designed it using Illustrator and Photoshop and then submitted it on Snapchat’s website.”
While the process to submit a filter to Snapchat is rather simple, creating a filter that appeals to users can be quite difficult. The city filter for Kernersville, depicting the city’s name surrounded by two trashcans, was not popular with many Snapchatters. Huyett, however, succeeded with her attempt.
“I think it’s cool because it makes our school unique,” sophomore Emma Rowe said.
Unlike the Kernersville one, the Reynolds filter has received nothing but praise from users. In fact, Technology Engineering and Design teacher Michael Meeks likes the idea and says he will encourage his students to pursue similar ideas in the future.
Meeks is not surprised that a Reynolds student would be the one to use their artistic and technological skills acquired at Reynolds to make something new and innovative like a Snapchat filter.
“I think it shows the abilities we have in this school,” Meeks said. “Our students can move mountains using today’s technology.”
Now, one can rarely find a student who hasn’t seen or used the Snapchat filter.
“I still get really excited when I see other people using it,” Huyett said. “It’s kind of surreal to think that something I made is out there for everyone to put on their Snapchats.”