JONATHAN CHERRY: What did you want to be growing up?
LAUREL GOLIO: I used to build spaceships out of cardboard boxes when I was a kid. I’m not sure if I wanted to be an astronaut or I just really liked Star Trek, but either way, space travel was pretty high on my list.
JC: Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
LG: Bryan Schutmaat Gray’s the Mountain Sends, Spike Jonze, Dana Lixenberg, Stefan Ruiz’s San Quentin portraits, always Richard Renaldi’s Fall River Boys.
JC: What are you up to right now?
LG: I just finished a series of portraits from a Kiki Ball in Harlem, and now I’m gearing up to start work on a We Are the Youth book! We Are the Youth is a project I’ve been working on with a journalist friend of mine for the last few years. We’ve been photographing and interviewing queer youth across the US and have mostly been sharing the stories online, so I’m excited to figure out how to translate that to paper.
JC: Have you had mentors along the way?
LG: I’ve been working with Emiliano Granado for the past few years, and would definitely consider him a mentor. Apart from being a rad dude, it’s been great working with someone who is constantly challenging himself with new projects and creative ventures.
JC: Where are you based right now and how is it shaping you?
LG: I’m currently based in Brooklyn, which is both amazing and overwhelming. New York is filled with so much creativity and inspiration that some days I feel paralyzed by the incredible shit around me and other days I can’t wait to start work on a new project.
JC: One piece of advice to photography graduates?
LG: Don’t compare yourself to other people and don’t give up, even when it seems ridiculous you want to make a living by being a photographer.
JC: If all else fails - what is your plan B?
LG: I’ve never been good at making life plans…
JC: Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community?
LG: For sure – most of the time, shooting photographs is a solo adventure and I definitely spend too much time in my head, so finding like-minded people to share work with and talk about what it’s like to be an artist is definitely something that’s important to me.