Ashly Stohl
  • Meet Charth Vader, the youngest son and muse of photographer Ashly Stohl. Charlie is a happy and sweet kid who has a love for "Star Wars" and an interest in its villian, Darth Vader, explained Stohl to ABC News. "He wore his Darth Vader helmet all the time, earning him the nickname 'Charth Vader.' I started photographing him in his helmet, and started a tumblr to show friends and family. It took off from there. ... I started taking the pictures more deliberately, and eventually I realized they would make a great first <a href="http://peanutpressbooks.com" target="external">book.</a>
    Ashly Stohl
  • "At first, many of the images were just funny things he was doing in the helmet. Sometimes he was doing something funny, and I would ask him to put the helmet on. As we worked to create more images, often I would find a setting, give him the helmet, and let him play. Sometimes, one of us would have an idea of what Charth Vader would be doing, or how he would react in a certain situation. ... By the end of the project, we had 6 of them [helmets]! ... I kept one in the car, and took them on vacation, in case we found a great setting or something funny happened."
    Ashly Stohl
  • "This project started when Charlie was about 5 years old, in 2011. ... To me, this project is about my boys and their struggles in the world, but to another person, this could be the struggle of any child that feels small and frustrated and sometimes confused and sometimes mad ... The way the mask obscures his identity makes the message more universal."
    Ashly Stohl
  • "Charlie has a condition called Ocular Albinism, which means that even with glasses, his vision is severely limited. While wearing the mask was a natural part of playing as a 'Star Wars' obsessed kid, it has a great deal of significance in the project. His eye condition causes his eyes to wander around a bit (nystagmus), and one eye turns in (strabismus), so, as a photographic subject, his eyes are a bit difficult to connect to ... The mask solves everything and lets you respond to his physical posture."
    Ashly Stohl
  • Today, Charth Vader has hung up his mask. "Charlie has grown up and has other interests ... This project represents a specific and wonderful time in his life, and now I can't way to see what's in store next!"
    Ashly Stohl
  • Ashly Stohl
  • Ashly Stohl
  • Ashly Stohl
  • Ashly Stohl
  • Ashly Stohl
  • To continue the journey of Charth Vader, as he battles his way through childhood, go to <a href="http://peanutpressbooks.com" target="external">http://peanutpressbooks.com.</a> Profits from the book sale of "Charth Vader" will benefit the Vision Center at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
    Ashly Stohl
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