Laurel Golio’s year-long project 12 of Twelve started at the beginning of 2015 after the photographer felt “bummed” with where she was creatively. “I needed a project with a deadline of some sort to force me to create new images on the regular,” Laurel explains.
Focusing on various subcultures, groups and teams across America, Laurel’s project contains 12 series of images that look in-depth at her subjects and their environment. “I spent a lot of time on the internet searching and researching various subcultures and events that I felt might be interesting,” Laurel says. “I would usually land on a few ideas for each month and then figure out what I could get access to and what was feasible in the given time period.”
Last year, a quarter of the way through the project we featured her series of a youth dance competition but since then Laurel has photographed high school wrestlers, players at a table tennis tournament and portraits of bronzed bodybuilders. It’s her series shot at the very beginning of the project at a Star Trek convention that sticks out to us with its wonderful awkwardness and fandom.
“Growing up I really loved Star Trek (I still do), so getting to go to the San Francisco Convention was kind of a childhood dream! Everyone who worked and volunteered there were incredibly helpful – they gave me full access to the convention floor as well as backstage,” says Laurel. The series covers every aspect of the convention from the super fans to the collectors and every enthusiast in between. “Everyone was excited to be there and most people I encountered seemed really proud to be fans of the franchise. I was really taken aback at how friendly and respectful most people were.”
Vividly shot to let the polyester costumes pop, Laurel has a knack for capturing people at their most off-guard. “I’ve always been really interested in visual anthropology, so I suppose that’s how I’d describe most of my work,” explains Laurel. “I’m really interested in identity and subculture and how those things fit together.”
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