Laurel Golio is a New York based photographer and visual anthropologist. Her work revolves around the examination of community and its various subcultures, with a focus on using portraiture to investigate issues of self-presentation and identity. Her client roster includes The New York Times, The Fader, New York Magazine, Nike, The North Face, and the British Journal of Photography. In 2018, she was named to the PDN 30 in 2018. Laurel is also the cofounder of We Are the Youth, a photojournalism project that shares the stories of LGBTQ youth in the United States.
In the following portfolio, Laurel shares images from Between the Ears, a personal project featuring Andreina Rodriguez, a three-time City Wrestling Champion from Queens, NY who, according to her coach is "as physically talented as any female wrestler in the United States and has all the tools to be an Olympic-caliber wrestler."
A CHAT WITH LAUREL GOLIO
INSIDE/OUT: Introduce yourself.
LAUREL GOLIO: I’m a New York based photographer and visual anthropologist. I also run a photojournalism project called We Are the Youth, which shares the stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth in the United States.
I/O: Do you play any sports? Any other wellness related rituals or activities?
LG: Growing up, I was never not playing sports. I swam competitively and played baseball (and then softball) from about 6 to 18 years old. These days, I try to swim when I can and I try to get to the gym once or twice a week for exercise classes with a friend.
I/O: Thoughts on female empowerment and feminism?
LG: I’m encouraged to see that mainstream feminism is starting (however slowly and sometimes in a really clunky way) to become more intersectional. Or at the least, I’m encouraged to see more elevated conversations about intersectionality in relation to feminism and female empowerment.
I/O: Any particular challenges or obstacles you have faced or are facing in your industry or as a woman?
LG: Yeah, there are constant challenges – micro and not so micro - for females in the creative industry. Whether it’s having to navigate ridiculous questions in relation to your gender, or in relation to your technical skills without explicitly mentioning your gender (but it’s very clear those questions would never be asked of a man).
One of my favorites is the constant questions and unwanted suggestions I get from men any time I have my camera in a public space. It’s like clockwork: I take out my camera in public and men will come up to me and ask about my equipment and then casually challenge me on my knowledge of said equipment or give me their opinion on how I should be shooting.
I mostly ignore it, work hard and let my projects speak for themselves. Spending time with other female creative, or likeminded folks in the industry, is also really helpful.
I/O: What says 'New York' to you?
LG: Diversity, magic and riding the subway out to the beach.
I/O: A mantra?
LG: Don’t be an asshole.
I/O: A destination?
LG: The beach.
I/O: A song, artist or album?
LG: 90's hip-hop, anything Lauryn Hill.
I/O: A food/drink?
LG: Pasta and coffee.
I/O: A wish or manifestation?
LG: Abolishing the white cis heteropatriarchy.
I/O: A book, podcast, movie, show or other resource?
I/O: An app or site?
LG: Tara Brach – she shares 20 minute guided meditations that I find really helpful when I need to take a break from work on stressful days.
I/O: Someone we should feature on Inside/Out.
LG: Yael Malka, Athena Torri, Sasha Arutyunova, Joyce Kim, Shaniqwa Jarvis, June Canedo.