Thursday, July 29, 2010
The Photographer: Michael Ross Stokes
Michael Stokes moved to Los Angeles in 1983 and worked as a flight attendant as he completed his education at Cal State Long Beach which Michael calls 'the poor man’s film school' with a BA in Fine Art, emphasis in film making and photography.
As many of us know, a degree does not equal financial freedom or success. In 1996 Michael put his dreams aside, temporarily putting his camera and pen down and picked up his real estate license.
'It was never my goal to make it big in real estate; rather I had a fantasy of working part time while pursuing writing and photography, but by 1997 I was one of Long Beach’s top producers, enjoying an unprecedented 80% market share of the geographic area I specialized in. I worked my ass off but was unhappy that I had no creative outlet other than marketing properties.'
In 2005, Michael decided to get out real estate and reconnect with his photography and writing.
'I moved back to Los Angeles, took photography classes, writing seminars, and just when I was getting into a groove, my father unexpectedly died in 2006. His death put me in the unexpected position of CEO of a small, international corporation. Not only did the corporation bleed red ink, three attorneys told me to shut it down and salvage its assets. Since it was my father’s life work, I plodded forward, and after two years his small S-Corp became profitable. In 2008 I sold my majority shares to one of my father’s partners. Since then I have been building a portfolio and establishing myself as a photographer. I still write, and five to six days a week I wake up at 5:30AM to swim, my other life passion.'
Check out much more of Michael's work at his amazing website HERE:
When viewing Michael's portfolio, some of my favorite shots were of Jason Taulb, in particular this series using the 'television'.
'I had no idea of what I was going to put inside the tube. That all came post production. The baseball theme was last minute. I went out and got all the baseball gear the morning of the shoot. I had not figured out a theme for our shoot, and when Jason called to tell me he was in traffic, I decided I'd have time to run to the sporting goods store to get some gear. I knew I was going to do the TV, just didn't know what was going inside. It all came together last minute.'
The Model: Jason Taulb
Some of you might recognize 21 year old model Jason Taulb from 'All American Guys' (see below). Jason, whose MM nick is 'The Surfer' (yes, because he loves to surf), has been modeling for a couple of years now and says he loves every minute of it. Jason, who is also a full time student loves all sports and played water polo in high school. Michael says it was Jason's own water polo equipment used in the shoot. Michael reports Jason was pleasant, hard working, never complained, didn't even need breaks. 'He knows how to model, knows what to do, has his look down.'
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 190 lbs
Hair color: Brown
Hair length: Short
Eye color: Brown
Skin color: Tanned
I have posted the work of Michael Anthony Downs many times before on FH. Michael has be responsible for some amazing shots of FH favorites Nick Ayler and Craig Malozzi. Besides his work on Mascu, many of you I am sure are aware that Michael is responsible for shooting most of the men you see on All American Guys. Here are some of Michael's shots of Jason but you can see more at All American Guys HERE: