Photographer Captures Strength of Wounded Veterans in Powerful and Erotic Series [NSFW]

Jul 18, 2015

Allen Mowery

Allen Mowery is a Nationally-published Commercial & Editorial Photographer with over 20 years of experience. He has shot for major brands as well small clients. When not shooting client work or chasing overgrown wildlife from his yard, he loves to capture the stories of the people and culture around him.

Photographer Captures Strength of Wounded Veterans in Powerful and Erotic Series [NSFW]

Jul 18, 2015

Allen Mowery

Allen Mowery is a Nationally-published Commercial & Editorial Photographer with over 20 years of experience. He has shot for major brands as well small clients. When not shooting client work or chasing overgrown wildlife from his yard, he loves to capture the stories of the people and culture around him.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

michael-stokes-veteran-amputees-05

So frequently within society, whether by conscious decision or not, we tend to look upon wounded veterans with pity, if for no other reason than to satiate our on insecurities.  But many of them simply want to retain their dignity and show the world that they are still powerful, viable humans beings and that not even the voice of death can stop them.

That is exactly what Los Angeles-based photographer Michael Stokes set out to do when he conceived the idea for Always Loyal.  The image series and upcoming photo book is a rather unique way of paying tribute you to those who have literally given of themselves in the defense of others.

(Warning:  Potentially-offensive images after the jump.)

michael-stokes-veteran-amputees-02

“I was a fitness photographer who had an erotic edge to his images,” says Michael recounting how the project unintentionally began in 2012 when photographing a Purple Heart recipient.  “I thought, I’m gonna basically shoot him as if he’s not an amputee.”

And things grew from there.  Michael, who had already published two books – Bare Strength and Masculinity – decided earlier this year to publish a coffee table book of his wounded veterans photos for the world to see in print.  With a Kickstarter goal of a little over $48,000, Michael has already raised almost $210,000 with 11 days yet to go.

michael-stokes-veteran-amputees-06

But, Michael’s naked (or nearly-naked) photos aren’t always met with a welcome smile.  As he began sharing the images on Facebook, they started getting flagged and removed for allegedly violating Facebook’s terms of service.  After his first image was banned, a follower posted the same image on their own profile, accumulating over 4,000 shares before it was removed again.

Whenever his images begin disappearing another round of Facebook deletions, he removes all images from his page in protest.  Doing so, he believes, also helps to keep the page from looking “deserted” when large chunks of time are unceremoniously ripped from his timeline.

Michael even got a 30-day ban for an image of two fully-clothed “police officers” getting ready to kiss.

In response to all the deletions and multiple bans, the only feedback Michael has gotten from Facebook is two computer-generated emails stating that the removal of two of his images was a “mistake.”

This has spawned two petitions that are currently circulating, one demanding that Facebook stop censoring his images and one asking Facebook to change their reporting policy to prevent harassment.  The two petitions share over 40,000 signatures between them, yet, according to Michael, Facebook has yet to even acknowledge them.

michael-stokes-veteran-amputees-09

Michaels images of Alex Minsky (above), the veteran who sort of inspired it all, launched Alex’s new career as a model.  Alex got a six-page spread in the November 2014 issue of GQ.

michael-stokes-veteran-amputees-01

In the end, Michael’s images are as much about making a statement as they are about art.  As he tells The Daily Mail, “These kinds of intimate photos show an aspect of vet life that people have not been exposed to. It’s a visible reminder of the price that the country has paid.”

You can see more of Michael’s work on his Facebook page visit his website to purchase prints.

michael-stokes-veteran-amputees-03

michael-stokes-veteran-amputees-04

michael-stokes-veteran-amputees-08

michael-stokes-veteran-amputees-11

michael-stokes-veteran-amputees-12

michael-stokes-veteran-amputees-13

michael-stokes-veteran-amputees-14

michael-stokes-veteran-amputees-15

[via The Daily Mail]

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

Allen Mowery

Allen Mowery

Allen Mowery is a Nationally-published Commercial & Editorial Photographer with over 20 years of experience. He has shot for major brands as well small clients. When not shooting client work or chasing overgrown wildlife from his yard, he loves to capture the stories of the people and culture around him.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 responses to “Photographer Captures Strength of Wounded Veterans in Powerful and Erotic Series [NSFW]”

  1. Ryan Poorman Avatar
    Ryan Poorman

    I don’t know what’s worse! The photographs or that hideous watermark!

    1. Jeff Avatar
      Jeff

      Why are the photos bad?

    2. Renlish Avatar
      Renlish

      Seriously dude? These are boys who gave their all for their country and lost limbs and have probably felt they could never be attractive or sexy again, and yet here they are, stunning examples of vitality with a bit of fucking humour in a couple of cases – and all you can do is compare them to a watermark. Get over yourself.

    3. Rex Deaver Avatar
      Rex Deaver

      Wow. I think you just won the Internet for Shallowest Comment of the Week!

  2. Erin 'Ren' King Avatar
    Erin ‘Ren’ King

    LOVE THEM. Not just because I’m female and they’re gorgeous men, but I love the photos for what they might mean to these guys.

  3. James F Byrnes Avatar
    James F Byrnes

    Excellent work. Powerful images.

  4. Margaret Curtis Avatar
    Margaret Curtis

    Awesome!!

  5. Aleksandra Sz Avatar
    Aleksandra Sz

    awesome!