“Twelve” by Photographer Juliana Sohn

Exploring the transitory stage between childhood and adulthood, photographer Juliana Sohn documents the lives of 12-year-old girls in New York City in her series, “Twelve.” Describing the age as a time of both disorientation and discovery, Sohn explains: “I wanted to try and capture this fleeting yet critical period of their lives. I hoped to capture a range of these girls’ experiences as they navigated emotional and physical changes, shifting social dynamics and evolving self-identities.”

See more from “Twelve” below!

“What’s important to me right now is being able to empathize with other people and understanding what they may be feeling or what affects them. I feel like a lot of people, especially when they are going through a hard age and time, like now, they want to be able to open up to someone, for someone to understand what’s happening, and for them to be able to open up and trust them. That’s really valuable, to have someone you really trust, to have someone you really feel you can trust your real personality with, you know? And that’s who I want to be to my friends.” – Gloria

“A lot about twelve year olds is that they don’t exactly know how to interact with each other. ‘Well, are you my friend? Am I not your friend? Or do I try to just piss you off as much as humanly possible?’ I think that’s everyone’s tactic to a certain extent.”Saoirse

“It’s very, very difficult to stop being friends with someone but remain friendly with them. I know people I was extremely close to and now am not friends with at all. The way that I felt I had to go about that was completely stopping all communications with them. And not looking at them, talking to them, interacting with them at all. And I think that is also a kind of immaturity that I still don’t really feel able to properly cut myself off from someone in a mature way. The lack of maturity that I have and the overt immaturity of other people I think has kept me from being able to have mature endings to friendships.”Betty

“I would say being 12 is an awkward, fun, exciting, horrible, nerve racking, interesting, and figuring out who you are kind of age. For me, all I wanted was to turn 13 because I would officially be a teenager. Honestly, I’m not sure why I wanted to be a 13 year old. I guess it was that I wasn’t happy with the age 12 or the number 12. It’s sort of in the middle of child-childhood and then a jump to a teenager because 11 would be the child-childhood, 12 would be the awkward middle then 13 would be full teenager. All I wanted was to be 13 and get the year over with.”Blue

“My entire life my hair has been what I am, you know what I mean? A lot of people know me because of my hair, “Oh, I like your hair. You have really pretty hair.” And nothing else. Obviously, I was more than that, but making a drastic change to my appearance was very important to me.”Sylvia

“I sing in church and this year I actually participated in the school talent show. I sang this song called Rise Up by Andra Day. And it was quite terrifying considering it was school but I still sang. I was kinda freaking out but I was like, “You can do this! You need to just keep going!” I really wanted to do it for a while and I had friends who were telling me that I can do it, that I have a lot of talent. They were very supportive.”Sachary

“My school goes from 6-12 and I see 12th graders kissing in the halls and it makes me feel kinda uncomfortable so I know that me right now, I wouldn’t be able to be in a relationship and I don’t want to be in a relationship. I like romance in books, romance on tv, romance in movies, but I don’t like it in real life too much. At least not yet.” – Sylvia

“At my old school I remember in 6th grade my grades were really bad. They weren’t terrible, but they were on the lower side of average. And I didn’t care. Sometimes, I thought that mean jokes were funny and my old friends, when they did things to get attention or did little things to people who were supposed to be their friends, I just went along with it because I didn’t know what else to say. If I kept doing that, I don’t know what would have happened. I’m really glad that I didn’t stay.”Megan

“When I think of myself at twelve years old I think of this little weakling and it kind of annoys me. Like there were a lot of missed opportunities when I was twelve. I was so small and a late bloomer and insecure. I’m still evolving, I’m still young. But now I definitely have a sense of who I am, like I’m not going to let people push me around anymore or let myself down because I think I definitely created my own misery. So now I am stronger and I know who I am and I’m going to try to not let that happen again.” – Simone

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