At one point in all our youths, we become caught between who we were brought up to be and who we are destined to become. In this work, I explore this decisive moment through conceptual serial photography, building a visual index for what is arguably the most trying period in a lifetime.

In the process of exposing film multiple times, the portraits become fragmented and faint—sometimes rendering the initial subject unidentifiable. The resulting images are representative of the struggle to find identity amidst the push and pull between nature and nurture.

This work is an ongoing visual exploration of coming of age through portraiture and multiple exposure photography. This first installment of "Together in youth and light" is merely a beginning, as I intend to expand the collection and explore further the collective force of these images.

—Justin Gonyea

Editor's Note: This series was a finalist in the LensCulture Portrait Awards 2014. Discover all of the winners and finalists — an impressive array of portraits from many points of view.

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