Personally, I never had a special connection to strawberries as a subject. However, the first photograph I ever sold was the chocolate covered strawberry. I found this photo lacked the direction I wanted my work to have.
On the other hand, the second photograph of mine to be recognized was a portrait of my sister shaving her legs for the first time. It allowed my larger body of work to be representative of growing up, from a girl to a teenager to a womanhood; an important part of my identity.
I decided, with this project, I wanted to investigate what different ways I could contrast the strawberry photo, and build a collection that felt more meaningful.
It occurred to me while I was working on it, that my strawberry project is not just a comment on my body of work, but also a study of what strawberries symbolize culturally. They often convey childishness; an implied cuteness, innocence, or sweetness. Strawberries also have a contradictory representation of sexuality or eroticism. Inevitably, the color red, or describing something as 'juicy,' brings to mind this type connotation.
I tried to explore the paradox of the two different meanings. Through this exploration, I found the strawberries came to represent the same transitions of growing up that the shaving photograph does. As a result, this project that started as a way for me to explore the irony of one photo grew to be a study of semiotics, what they mean in my work, and even my identity.
I plan to continue this study in other, and possibly even more deliberate manners.