A native Floridian, photographer Nathaniel Welch has been documenting these rites of passage for four years—and has captured scenes of agony and ecstasy in Spring Broke, his first monograph. Whether it’s partying at a kegger on the beach or engaging in group sex in the shower, entering a wet T-shirt contest or passing out on the bathroom floor, these teens’ uninhibited impulses are as absurd as they are disturbing. Yet Welch accepts, and even embraces, these raunchy rituals of extreme adolescence, allowing a strange sense of sadness to pervade. The morning after, broken spirits are left to reflect on their senseless acts, pack their bags, and head home. They say children are the future. Brace yourself.
Published in 2004