Fitness Photographer Inspired To Create New Series Of Calendar Pin-Up Photos Featuring Amputee War Vets

LA-based fitness and fine arts photographer Michael Stokes is used to working with athletic, attractive male models, many of whom are ex-military.

Last year, he was inspired to make wounded combat veterans — including amputees — the subject of his sexy pin-up style shots.

It all started with Alex Minsky, a retired marine corporal who lost his leg to a roadside bomb during his tour in Afghanistan in 2009.

Micheal Stokes Photography

Minksy spent 58 days in a coma after the injury that left him without his right leg. He now has a successful modeling career.

“Before our shoot, I studied as many amputee photos that I could find. I noticed that most of them emphasized the lost limb and that the mood was often sorrowful,” Stokes wrote.

Micheal Stokes Photography

“That was not the vibe I was getting from [Minsky], so I decided to simply photograph him as if he was not an amputee, photograph him exactly the same way I would any of the models I had worked with,” Stokes continued.

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Micheal Stokes Photography

From there, the photos seemed to take on a life of their own. Stokes’ shoot with Minsky went viral, and soon, dozens of other wounded veterans expressed an interest in doing their own shoots.

Micheal Stokes Photography

Stokes published a large format book featuring military veterans last year after a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. He hopes to double that this year, putting out two new titles, “Exhibition,” and “Always Loyal.”

Micheal Stokes Photography

Stokes previously worked with only male ex-military models, but for his latest project he has included female veterans.

Micheal Stokes Photography

A portion of the proceeds of the book sales generated through Stokes’ current Kickstarter campaign will be donated to an organization supporting wounded US vets.

Micheal Stokes Photography

His last Kickstarter surpassed its goal of over $48,000 (£30,700) in just over an hour.

Micheal Stokes Photography

“Some people will say to me ‘Oh, this is really helpful to their self-esteem,’ or, ‘You’re making them feel like men again,’” Stokes said. “These guys have come to me very healed and ready to take the world on. I’m not giving them back their confidence. They already have it.”

Micheal Stokes Photography

To purchase the new books and help Stokes meet his book publishing and donation goals, visit his Kickstarter page.

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