These nude photos of injured veterans are both inspiring and NSFW

Michael Stokes began photographing injured veterans by accident.

"I had been doing fitness photography with sort of an erotic edge," the American photographer tells i100.co.uk. Then someone suggested he photograph Alex Minsky (below), a 26-year-old former soldier turned male model.

Minsky's right leg was blown off below the knee when he was touring Afghanistan.

The photos were well received and led Stokes to set up a Kickstarter to fund Always Loyal a coffee table book featuring around 14 American former soldiers injured in the Gulf Wars. Stokes made his fundraising target in under an hour.

“These guys, most of them are in their 20s. Imagine if you’re around young men whose lives are in front of them. We think of them as veterans of war but really they’re guys in their 20s who are ready to start new lives and have a lot of energy and willpower to move forward. When they are in my studio I almost have to hold the energy back," Stokes tells i100.co.uk.

"I don’t feel like I’m giving them anything other than a platform for exposure."

So why does he think so many people enjoy his work?

It’s the contrast that – I think – moves people. You see all this perfect skin, you see that they are young and then all of a sudden you see their injury. That is emotionally provoking.

Stokes added he wants to come to the UK to photograph injured soldiers here.

Always Loyal will be published in November.

More: These moving photos of wounded soldiers were taken by Bryan Adams

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