Monday, October 19, 2015

Book Preview: Michael Stokes "Always Loyal"

Publishing house Bruno Gmünder has teamed up with wonderful photographer Michael Stokes once again for the jaw dropping, incredibly moving new book Always Loyal. Inspired by a chapter in his 2014 book, Bare Strength, which featured wounded amputee Marines, Always Loyal is an entire photographic volume dedicated to U.S. Gulf War veterans showcasing the beautiful side of wounded soldiers, whose injuries and/or lost limbs are detailed in intimate, exclusive photographs. The goal of fitness photographer Stokes, who was inspired by a shoot with veteran and amputee Alex Minsky, was to put a different spin on how wounded veterans were depicted. The result of the book is pure art.

Raised in Berkeley, California, Michael Stokes is now a Los Angeles-based photographer. He graduated first in his class and Phi Beta Kappa with a Fine Art degree through the film department at California State University, Long Beach. Before changing his career path to filmmaking, he was a photography major, learning pre-digital photographic techniques and using darkrooms and silver gelatin film. In film school, he wrote and directed a short film, Alien, that screened in film festivals around the world.

Michael’s first coffee table book, Masculinity (2012), was a glamour-styled, photographic male figure study book that is currently out of print. In the same style as his first, his second book, Bare Strength (2014), is already in its third printing and is available on Amazon. It features a chapter on wounded veterans of war, specifically amputees. From the sales of this book, he has donated $10,000 to the Semper Fi Fund, a charity that benefits veterans of war and their families. Also in 2014, Michael collaborated with the publisher Taschen to produce My Buddy, supplying the publisher with his collection of vintage photos of nude WWII soldiers.

Michael’s photos of wounded veterans have been shared around the world and have been featured on television: Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Tonight Show,The View, and The Talk. They have been featured in several major newspapers and online periodicals around the world, including: The Independent UK, The Mirror UK, TheDrudge Report, The Huffington Post, The Huffington Post (French Edition), Cosmopolitan, People magazine, BuzzFeed, and Vanity Fair Italy, just to mention a few.

Visit Michael Stokes at his Website or Facebook. Preorder a copy of Always Loyal from publisher Bruno Gmünder or from Amazon!

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