Star Wars meets real war in Matthew Callahan’s Galactic Warfighters photo series


posted Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 1:17 PM EST

Though we never got a glimpse behind those stormtrooper helmets in the original Star Wars trilogy, as we've seen in later installments, including The Force Awakens, there are, in fact, humans under that armor.

U.S. Marine Combat Correspondent and photographer Matthew Callahan has been working on a personal project capturing humanizing photos of stormtrooper figurines. It can be all too easy to feel disconnected from real-life combat and those who serve, but Callahan hopes that his project will get viewers to stop and think about the people who are in the line of fire every day.

Marine Gunnery Sergeant Joseph DiGirolamo produced a video giving a behind the scenes look at Callahan's Galactic Warfighters series. It is really interesting to hear the motivation behind the project and see how Callahan is able to create such life-like images using small lifeless figurines.

You can see in the video above that Callahan uses both Nikon and Canon cameras for his work, including a Nikon D750 and a Canon 5D Mark III. The roughly 12-inch figurines can be tricky to pose at times and Callahan has to get creative to produce realistic-looking scenes for the figures.

Five years ago, Callahan was injured while in Afghanistan. His injury led him to pursue photography and this passion led him to train for his current enlistment as a combat correspondent. For a photography assignment during his schooling, he used a stormtrooper figure and his project was born.

To see more of Matthew Callahan's work, visit his website and follow him on Instagram. If you'd like to keep up to date on his non-Galactic Warfighters work, which is excellent, follow him on his other Instagram account.

(Seen via Fstoppers and SLR Lounge