Inspired by a chapter in his 2014 book, “Bare Strength,” which featured wounded amputee Marines, celebrated photographer Michael Stokes has created an entire photographic volume dedicated to U.S. Gulf War veterans. Always Loyal, a large-scale, hardcover coffee table book, showcases the beautiful side of wounded soldiers, whose injuries and/or lost limbs are detailed in intimate, exclusive photographs and information that provide a highly unique appreciation for those brave souls who have fought for the United States of America. The goal of fitness photographer Stokes-who, inspired by a shoot with veteran and amputee Alex Minsky, wanted to put a different spin on how wounded veterans were depicted-was to create a book via crowdfunder KickStarter.com. “I met this veteran, Alex Minsky, and talked to him about different approaches to a portrait session,” says Stokes. “I had already studied as many amputee photos that I could find. I noticed that most of them emphasized the lost limb, and that the mood was often sorrowful. That was not the vibe I was getting from him, so I decided to simply photograph him as if he were not an amputee, photograph him exactly the same way I would any of my fitness models.” The result of the book is pure art. Always Loyal received praise from CNN, Cosmopolitan, The Daily Mail, Metro, MTV, and many others around the globe. Stokes donated $20,000 from Always Loyal sellings to the Semper FI Fund, a charity that benefits wounded warriors.
Buying & Selling Guidelines
The following guidelines and tips are provided as suggestions based on our experiences at this time. We’ll update the list when necessary or add items other members have found to be helpful.
1. Review the listing carefully, noting any questions about the list price, seller’s terms, condition grade, description, photos or any other attributes you feel are important. This is especially important if you’re searching for a specific edition, signed copy, etc.
Tip: Clicking on the seller’s photo or name will direct you to their Profile Page where you can see how long they’ve been a member, the overall rating they’ve received and any comments left by other members who have worked with them.
2. Use the Send Message button located at the top of the listing page to contact the seller about your interest in the book and ask any questions you have after reviewing the listing. Ask for clarification about anything you don’t understand and confirmation of details or attributes that are important to you. Remember that the seller will be going through the same process – looking at your profile and asking you questions as well. It might require more than one exchange to ensure that each of you are clear about the expectations of the other.
Tip: If you ask the seller to reduce their price, make sure you can explain why. Asking a seller to reduce their price without justification – especially if it’s by a very small amount – might make them feel as if you’re more interested in winning a negotiation than pay a price that’s fair to both of you.
Tip: If you want to compare the seller’s price to other listings for the same book in similar condition, whether it’s on Photobook Collective or another site, be sure to review the seller’s terms first to see if their price includes a PayPal fee and shipping charges. Be sure you’re comparing apples to apples!
Tip: If the seller has requested a non-insured form of payment in their terms such as PayPal Friends & Family, Venmo, Apple Pay, etc, you are free to agree, or you can ask that an insured form of payment be used. There is a fee associated with standard PayPal payment processing, but that fee provides a degree of security to buyers who are paying before the item is shipped.
3. When an agreement is reached, initiate the exchange by paying the seller using the payment service agreed on. If the seller has chosen PayPal, ask for the email address they use, and pay promptly. The seller can leave the book listed for sale until they receive notification of payment and sell the book to another member if your payment isn’t received within the timeframe agreed to in their terms.
Tip: Before contacting a seller, you should be “ready, willing, and able” to pay for the book as soon as an agreement is reached.
4. When you receive the book, check it carefully to be sure the seller’s description was accurate, and that no damage occurred while in transit. If you have concerns, notify the seller immediately so the correct course of action can be determined.
Tip: Most sellers will appreciate a message letting them know when the book is safely in your hands.
Tip: If it appears the package has been damaged in transit, take photos before opening the box. Include as many angles as you feel are necessary to show the extent of the damage. Take additional photos of any damage evident to the packaging as you open it, and inspect the book carefully. If the book itself has been damaged document it with as many photos as necessary. Contact the seller immediately.
5. After you receive the book, return to the seller’s profile in the Member Directory and provide feedback by rating and commenting on your experience. Rating Guidelines are located on each member’s profile for your convenience.
1. When you receive an inquiry about a book you have listed, attempt to answer questions as quickly, thoroughly and accurately as possible. Ask any questions necessary to be confident the buyer’s expectations are appropriate and the book they receive will be the book they expect.
Tip: If you receive more than one inquiry, they should be responded to in the order they were received.
Tip: Click on the buyer’s name in their inquiry message to see their profile and experiences with other members they’ve worked with previously.
2. When an agreement is reached, make sure the buyer has the information they need to make payment.
3. When you receive notification of the buyer’s payment, change the status of the listing to Sold. Until notification of payment has been received other members who inquire about the book should be told it is pending sale and that you will alert them if the sale falls through.
Tip: Sellers should never ship a book until notification of payment has been received.
4. As soon as you’ve been notified of the buyer’s payment, package the book carefully and ship it as quickly as possible using the carrier and service level agreed to.
Tip: Although any carrier or service level agreed upon by you and the buyer can be used, we recommend you consider using those that include tracking and insurance.
Tip: Many photobooks are very valuable and, in some cases, difficult or even impossible to replace. We encourage you to consider requiring a signature upon receipt. Most will understand and make arrangements. If the book is left in public view and goes missing, the buyer will ask for a refund, but you’ll be unlikely to see your photobook again.
5. When the book has been shipped, add the tracking number to the PayPal activity record (if PayPal was used), and provide it directly to the buyer as well via PM.
6. Track the book so you’ll know when it’s been delivered. If there is any doubt, contact the buyer to confirm it was received.
7. At the conclusion of the exchange, return to the other member’s profile in the Member Directory and provide feedback by rating and commenting on your experience. Rating Guidelines are located on each member’s profile for your convenience.