Strawberry Jam

A family picks strawberries at Adam's Farm on Highway 54 in Fayetteville, Georgia.

A family picks strawberries at Adam's Farm on Highway 54 in Fayetteville, Georgia.

My girlfriend Candra and I went strawberry picking at Adam’s Farm on Highway 54 in Fayetteville, Georgia, last weekend. I brought my camera with me. It felt foreign in my hands, been awhile since I've used anything but a phone. Candra said I've got my photography blocks—that I can get stuck in a rut for periods of time—my own kind of jam. I thought maybe this process will help me get out of mine.

Making jam is a long process—about 8 hours (plus the 12 hours of congealing). At least, that's how long it took us. Picking the strawberries was the quickest step. While waiting to check out, one woman said she and her daughter picked 20 lb. of strawberries in 20 minutes. Candra and I picked 4 lb. in 45 minutes, but to be fair, I kept making her pose for pictures. 

Candra poses with her bucket of strawberries in the field of Adam's Farm on Highway 54 in Fayetteville, Georgia.

Candra poses with her bucket of strawberries in the field of Adam's Farm on Highway 54 in Fayetteville, Georgia.

Candra's strawberry tattoo. "I always got strawberry cakes for my birthday every year," Candra said. It was her third tattoo and something familiar. She said she has "strawberry legs," meaning her pores, similar to seeds, are visible.

Candra's strawberry tattoo. "I always got strawberry cakes for my birthday every year," Candra said. It was her third tattoo and something familiar. She said she has "strawberry legs," meaning her pores, similar to seeds, are visible.

I continued to photograph in the kitchen, occasionally taking breaks to wash dishes and scrub red stains off utensils. Most of the time I stood over her, practically using her shoulder as a tripod, paying no mind to the knife. I had to shoot quickly—I was losing light. The sun was on the opposite side of the house at this point. But I was documenting the process and had to show that this shit takes forever.

I slap jam on a slice of bread with peanut butter when I want a fast lunch. Who would have thought something so easy like that would take an entire day? Not me. It’s similar to a photograph—most people see only the end result, but not how it got to that point. Jam is more than a liquidized fruit—it’s a craft. Candra hunkers down in the kitchen as a labor of love.

She had never made jam before. Candra is keen on trying something new and her adventurous nature encourges me to take my camera everywhere—to document everything. 

 

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