Welcome to Los Angeles!
Today we launch the latest issue of Elska Magazine, this time made in Los Angeles, California. It’s our eighteenth city-zine, and our second to be made in the USA. It’s also our biggest, comprising 184 pages and 17 local men, all shot in the city and in their homes, and each accompanied by a personal story.
For us, making an issue in LA was about challenging stereotypes. As is often the case, some stereotypes are true – which is why you’ll notice a lot of palm trees, sunshine, big roads, and petrol stations. Yet most stereotypes are false – the guys we met were not at all self-obsessed, body-fascist starfuckers, and as usual this Elska has a diverse range of men presented equally and as equally beautiful and compelling.
That being said, although Elska doesn’t normally feature celebs, considering that LA is the centre of the entertainment industry, there are a few pretty well-known guys who ended up taking part in this issue. But we’re not going to emphasise them over any of the other lads, so you’ll just have to pick up the issue and see if you recognise anyone!
Elska Los Angeles is available now in a classic print version or in a download version. Also available is our companion e-zine, Elska Ekstra Los Angeles, containing behind the scenes content and stories and pics from five LA guys not featured in the main mag.
Head to our shop now to order: bit.ly/elskashop
A crystallised preview of our next issue – Elska Los Angeles – out Monday.
Elska was born in Korea… with Min-Hyeok
Even though I studied photography in school and at college, it wasn’t until I took a job as a flight attendant that I really started using it. On average, I’d be in two different countries every week, and would use our 1 or 2 day layovers to explore and document. At first I was more into street photography, which then turned into portraiture, which then turned into a desire to turn this photography stuff into a career.
In my mind, the most sensible career prospect was fashion, so I started to build a portfolio. I’d do this by contacting amateur models during layovers or even modelling agencies and asking to shoot their “fresh faces”. These were both men and women. It did work, and soon I was able to use this portfolio to secure jobs in fashion when back home in London, though usually they were hardly glamorous assisting gigs.
Sometimes, however, I’d just contact a guy on an app for a non-portfolio shoot. For example, one time during a layover in Korea, even though I did have a shoot booked with a ‘proper’ model the following day, I was itching to shoot as soon as the plane landed. So I turned on Grindr and found this guy Min-Hyeok who lived near our crew hotel. We met, we chatted, and I photographed him. The pics we took wouldn’t work for a fashion portfolio – they were too intimate, too imperfect, and he was too much ‘not like a model’. But I enjoyed these pics more than the others. I loved the honesty and earnestness of them. Here, in Incheon with Min-Hyeok, the seeds of Elska were sown. Elska was born in Korea.
No spoilers, but we might be going to Korea to make a full Elska issue soon. Maybe we’ll even find Min-Hyeok.
Back in the pre-Elska days, a good few dozen guys were shot in London, but of course there was no lovely mag to publish them in. So we’re righting the wrongs and returning to London to meet some new men to shoot and publish. I wonder if we’ll run into this guy, Ybere, again. Or if not, I wonder if we’ll find any arses as hairy as his!
Meet all our guys in any of our seventeen city-zines: bit.ly/elskamag
Our latest Elska selfie comes from LA. Send us yours too to firstname.lastname@example.org. xx
If you’re knocking around New England this weekend, come see us in Providence. We’ll have a table at QTZfest at AS220 in Providence for Rhode Island Pride.