Michael Stokes to release two new books Sinner or Saint and My Naked Soldier. Get in on the action by supporting him on Kickstarter.

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For 2020 the books will bigger, thicker for an enhanced shelter-in-place experience. This year both books will be 160 pages, 24 pages more than previous books!

To date I have published eight monograms, coffee table books composed of my photography – male figure studies with a sexy and erotic edge. This Kickstarter features two new books. I use Kickstarter to launch books because it gives me an idea of how many books to print, keeps the publishing costs down while offering the best price to customers along with discounts.  It’s also a fun way for people to watch an art project actualize.

Please pledge and then follow me through the process of publishing and distributing your coffee table books. I oversee the layout, personally go to Italy to supervise the printing, and when the books arrive in the United States, I even help my packers pack books for shipping.

The photos in the Kickstarter video are a sample of what will be in the books. Many more, unpublished images will appear in both books. In order to provide a truly special experience for those who support the books, intimate and exclusive photos are reserved for a project like this and will never be seen on-line.

*The emoji graphics blocking the genitals in the video will obviously not be in the books.

Sinner or Saint 

Having photographed male models for over 10 years now, I’ve noticed that many in my audience prefer men that exhibit outward alpha qualities but at the same time complain about aspects that accompany the alpha male, like arrogance and selfishness. To some extent I understand the built-in contradiction of desire, the dichotomy that leads many of us into failed relationships. What the Madonna-whore complex is to those who desire women, a sinner-saint duality might apply to those who desire men.

This may be why I tend to select models with outward alpha indicators, but then direct them into poses counterbalancing their outward physical presence – a softer, relaxed pose, sometimes looking down instead of directly at the camera, discrete and in some instances graceful. Of course there are images projecting outward confidence, but the ones that bring together dual personalities strike many as ideal. The fact that most of the men are naked already signals vulnerability, but at the same time, posing nude in front of a camera also indicates confidence.

In my personal experience with the models, after years of photographing the same guys and getting to know them on a deeper level, I believe the dichotomy of the masculine and feminine reside within many, and much of the time it is the choice of the subject to project one or the other. Sinner or saint, the reality is every man is both and somewhere in between.

As a model, Zack Salaun understands how to project a nice mix of the masculine with the vulnerable.

You will receive a hardcover photo book with a special, cloth cover and print inlay, 160 pages and measuring approx. 13.5 inches by 10.25 inches. All images are photographed and only need to be organized and published.


 My Naked Soldier

In 2014, I signed an agreement with Taschen Publishing to print my collection of World War I and II photographs of nude soldiers, titled, My Buddy. The book was an international success and My Buddy  is in its second printing with first editions now being offered for over $140. These are “found” photos I’ve been collecting for over 12 years, and this book will feature some of the absolute best of my collection – all new images, NO re-prints from My Buddy, over 230 photos never seen before. 

You will receive a hardcover photo book with a special, cloth cover and three photo inlays, 160 pages and measuring approx. 12.5 inches by 10 inches.  

Collector’s Edition – Sinner or Saint only

A special edition of Sinner or Saint will be available in a limited quantity of 200 copies. Over the years I have been perfecting these Special Editions, and I now print an image on top of the clothbound cover, which is stamped with foil lettering. The book will fit into a slipcase, which is also clothbound with foil lettering. The book will be hand stamped, hand numbered and hand signed. Below are photos of last year’s Collector’s Edition.

Side view of last year’s Collector’s Edition with slipcase
Last year’s Collector’s Edition
Signature page of last year’s Collector’s Edition – your numbered edition will be written in by hand.

Risks and challenges

In a nutshell, when this project funds, the books will be printed and distributed. The books are already in the layout process, and I already have quotes from my printer and the shipper. Now all I need are the pledges, so I know how many books to print. Also, this will be my sixth Kickstarter. I’ve delivered on all previous projects, so feel free to review them, the comments and the positive feedback.

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