SOME TIME AGO WE RECEIVED A PHOTOGRAPH FROM MICHAEL STOKES THAT WAS JUST TOO BEAUTIFUL TO PASS BY. UNFORTUNATELY IT WAS A ONE OFF SO THERE WAS VERY LITTLE WE COULD DO WITH IT. WE DECIDED TO LET IT GO. IMAGINE HOW JOY WHEN EARLIER THIS WEEK THAT VERY SAME PHOTO FOUND ITS WAY BACK TO BEAUTIFULMAG, THIS TIME ACCOMPANIED WITH A WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER PORTRAITS NO LESS GORGEOUS AS THAT FIRST ONE. AND GUESS WHAT. THIS IS ONLY THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG.
Ever since we started following Michael Stokes we have been nothing but impressed by the work that has come from this man’s creative spirit and technical skills. Michael’s traject has been more than unusual. After moving to Los Angeles he started working as a flight attendant, which allowed him to pay his way through college. He ended up graduating Phi Beta Kappa and receiving a BA in Fine Art with an emphasis in filmmaking and photography, but also with all his money spent. Michael chose to get his real estate license and – against his own expectations – became highly successful in that industry. When he finally got ready to get back into his creative work, the sudden death of his father called him home and placed hm in the position of being the CEO of the family business. Michael put everything on everything to safe the small business from bankruptcy, turned the business in a profitable company and sold his shares after 2 years of hard work. Ever since Michael has been working as a photographer and writer, finally giving himself the freedom to follow his passions.
It has been 6 years since Michael Stokes found his true destiny, and he has not let those years pass by unnoticed. His highly successful first photo book masculinity, which was released in 2011, is proof of that. And now there is Bare Strength. Though the title of this breath-taking photo book is related to the strong imagery consisting of male erotic portraits and figure studies, one can’t help thinking, knowing Michael Stokes history, that inspiration also comes from his own fighter spirit. A personality that seeps through in his photography of strong athletic male models, that also include Michaels well-known work with amputee marines.
Those of you who purchased Michael Stokes’ first book Masculinity or follow his work will already have an idea of what the second book will consist of. In Bare Strength there will be a chapter of my amputee marines, but most of the book will be images of fitness competitors, personal trainers and body builders from around the world. With Bare Strength Michael simply wants to continue to explore raw, male sexuality through images that are either unique or a homage to a masterpiece but always outstanding and fresh. And he has done it in a most original and daring way. Michael decided to launch his Bare Strength as a kickstart project, asking his fans all over the world to be co-publishers by funding the project. And, as it seems to be the case with everything Michael Stokes does, the project was a success, as 21 days before the deadline he more than reached his financial goal to equal the sales of his first book. But please do not let that stop you from participating and backing Bare Strength. The more money will be pledged, the more copies can be printed. And trust me if I tell you it is definitely worth it. –BM-
Michael Stokes Bare Strength will be released as a hardcover photo book with dust jacket will be approximately 128 pages and will measure 14 X 10.5 inches, consisting of both color and black and white images. The full retail price will be $89.99, printed on heavy stock, high quality, photo paper. Bare Strength will most likely be available for purchase on Amazon starting the end of October.
The decision to cover parts of the photographs was made by Michael Stokes in order to protect his exciting book project, with respect of the team of BeautifulMag.
BeautifulMag archive for Michael Stokes: Michael Stokes' Destiny | Catalyst of Dreams | Michael Stokes' Art of Making Art | Michael Stokes' Masculinity [CS].
MICHAEL STOKES | BEAUTIFULMAG
BARE STRENGTH | BEAUTIFULMAG