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The Viral #FoodGradient Photographer on Success, Instagram, and Veggies (Sponsored)

Brittany Wright’s Squarespace website

The Seattle photographer Brittany Wright is on a mission “to teach herself how to cook everything and anything,” and she’s taking the rest of us along for the ride. Between her wildly popular Instagram feed and her recently released book Feast Your Eyes, Wright’s playful, colorful photographs have earned her a following of hundreds of thousands of people around the globe. And as the artist behind the viral sensation #foodgradients, she’s created a business and a brand from passion.

Whether she’s meticulously arranging strawberries and grapefruit or ice cream and donuts, Wright elevates the ordinary into the realm of fine art. In her mind, if she’s able to show us another, unexpected side of everyday foods, she’s succeeded. While her photos regularly rack up dozens if not hundreds of comments, many of her favorite remarks tend to go something like, “I hate this food, but I love this photo.”

And she’s built everything from the ground up, having started photography as a hobby while working a day job in computer repair. As an artist and a person, Wright thrives by taking on new challenges. Through hard work and an eye for color, she made international headlines, landed a book deal, and changed the course of her life forever. When it came time to choose a website builder, she selected Squarespace, and she operates under the recognizable domain name Wright Kitchen (the same as her Instagram handle). Her flourishing online store includes everything from prints and gift cards to jigsaw puzzles, with more products in the works.

Squarespace offers beautiful, award-winning website templates for ambitious photographers and entrepreneurs who, like Wright, take a hands-on, do-it-yourself approach to building their business. For busy artists, Squarespace makes it easy to host a website, start a blog, and open a store without learning complicated code or hiring an outside web designer. We talked to Wright about inspiration, Instagram, viral success, and the gorgeous website she built to showcase it all.

Brittany Wright’s Squarespace store

Why did you choose Squarespace when you were looking to build your own website?
“Years back, I was looking for something that was kind of ‘plug and play.’ Squarespace has grown so much and in such wonderful ways since I first started using it. I’m thankful for the option of code injection for more advanced use, but it’s usually unnecessary. I spent a good bit of my childhood learning CSS and HTML, so I’ve always been a bit savvy when it comes to the ins and outs of the backend of web development.”

What template do you use, and did you customize it?
“I switch templates all the time, and I’m currently using West. I try to keep everything pretty simple as far as color goes. You’ll notice that it’s only my photographs that are colorful, with the exception of the yellow lightning bolt in my logo. Everything else is either black or white.”

When did you build your online print shop?
“It’s been a couple of years now. I hadn’t really thought much about it until I was getting a lot of requests. It has been so special seeing my art up in people’s homes and having people tell me they have gone as far as remodeling an entire room off of one of my images. I had a seven-year-old save up all of her birthday money for one of my photos, and my heart melted. I sent her a few extra, of course.

“It means the world to me that people want to spend their hard-earned money to bring my work into their world, so I spend time making sure the packaging is special and an experience in itself. I’m also quite good with a tape gun now too. I honestly still feel like I’m in the very beginning stages of what the store can be. I’m working on creating more products but am waiting on finding the ideal partners for that.”

Brittany Wright’s Squarespace store

Can you easily update your site and your store when you want to mix things up?
“You know it. It’s a big part of why I’ve stuck with Squarespace for over five years now. I’m a one-gal show, and I am really busy these days. Being able to spend a few hours (or minutes) working on my site to make all of the changes I need is so important.”

Why was it important to you to establish a solid online presence?
“It’s nice to be able to have an opportunity to share a bit more about the photographer who is creating all of these food gradients. At first, I stayed pretty low-key with all of that, but eventually a lot of questions started coming my way. My website is my portfolio, allowing interested people and potential clients to see what I’ve done and where I’m going with it. It allows me to have a home for previous press and work.”

Can you walk us through the process of creating one of your images?
“Each photo has its own unique process. My brain is always on high alert for inspiration. My photos can take anywhere from thirty minutes to a week to create. Sometimes I build out a photo and completely start over. As for the ingredients, I find them anywhere from a local market to someone selling produce on the side of the street. I love that I have the ability to visit local farms and harvest the food myself, which allows me to get exactly what I’m looking for in the right color tone.

“One of my favorite parts of the process is what I do with the food after the photo. I cook everyday, often all three meals each day; it’s where I unwind. Pickling, preserving, freezing, and infusing are all ways I can stretch out the lifespan of anything extra-perishable. Anything I can’t get to in time I give to my friends or to the local homeless. There’s always someone hungry around, and I’m glad that I have the ability to help out.”

Your food gradients have gone viral around the world. Did you anticipate them being so huge, or did the response take you by surprise?
“I definitely had no idea they would grow or have the impact that they did. I’ve always been one to go with my inspiration and see what happens. I’m thankful everyday that people want to hang out and see where my brain goes next.”

Brittany Wright’s Squarespace website

How do you think Instagram has influenced the world of photography in general and food photography in particular?
“It has completely changed how we see our food and where we eat. It has also changed how restaurants showcase their food and build out their spaces. Instagram has become its own type of advertisement for spaces, bringing people in just to have their food photographed. The ability to post anything in an instant has its own type of pressure that didn’t exist even just a few years ago. We are able to share what we’re eating for every meal along with where it came from. We celebrate food holidays as heavily as most official holidays now. It’s all pretty wild, but it’s a lot of fun being able to leave my own stamp on the movement. I like to say I’m trying to rebrand fruits and vegetables. Making broccoli cool, ya know?”

What advice would you give to emerging photographers about creating images that resonate?
“My biggest piece of advice is to just get your art out there. I’ve talked with so many artists who keep most of their work behind closed doors for fear of failure or hearing negative opinions towards it. It’s going to happen at some point, but being proud that you tried is everything.”

What’s the most challenging shoot you’ve done?
“Anything incredibly perishable has its own challenges, like ice cream or popsicles, but I have so much fun with it. I love a good challenge.”

Brittany Wright’s Squarespace website

Tell us about your new book! What was the most rewarding part of creating it?
“My book ‘Feast Your Eyes’ came out in November of 2017. The process was a lot of fun, from deciding what I was going to put into the book to how I was going to tell the story behind the food. I wanted to make sure it was small enough to carry around with you and put in a bag, and I’m incredibly happy with the results. The most rewarding part is easily that people can now hold my art in their hands versus looking at it through a screen.”

You’ve been making colorful, vivid food images for a few years now, but your photos are always new and surprising. How do you think you’ve evolved over time, and do you have any tips for keeping things fresh?
“It’s often said that you should think outside of the box. Well, I like to think outside of that even more. I always keep my head up and ready for the next thing. I have fun making art out of the items we see everyday. I have so many ideas I’ve yet to create, which is very exciting for me.”

You can try Squarespace free for 14 days. When you’re ready to subscribe, be sure to use coupon ‘FEATURESHOOT’ for 10% off your first purchase.

Squarespace is a Feature Shoot sponsor.

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