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 fashion and fitness photographs have been featured on America’s Next Top Model, have twice been the cover for Men’s Health Italy, and are used for more than twenty-five novel covers. Michael has also made personal appearances on television’s The Insider and Inside Edition.