Payment with Tea and Shortbread Biscuits… with Andriy M for Elska Magazine

I’m starting to feel more experienced with making Elska, having just shot Issue (02) a fortnight ago, and having booked flights for Issue (04) just today. Though I’m sure all the shoots will be unforgettable, the first will always be special. Ukraine was a very welcoming place, full of beautiful buildings, beautiful people, and the most delicious coffee and chocolate. I expected people to be gracious and hospitable, and they didn’t disappoint.

We don’t pay our models, but I felt like I wanted to repay that expected hospitality with a gift from home.  So when trying to think of what was British but also universally lovable, tea and shortbread came to mind. So I went to Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer the night before  I flew out. After all the shoots, I went into my case and pulled out a box to give to each model (incidentally, of the two suitcases I brought with me to Lviv, one was almost totally full just with the biscuits).


Everyone got this gift from home, except Andriy M, who was reserved a special gift – a Royal Baby themed tin of shortbread petticoats. Why? ‘Cos this guy was there for all the shoots, assisting not just with lighting and such, but with interpreting for models who spoke no (or functionally no) English. And I ended up bringing him into the team permanently. He was there by my side in Berlin for Issue (02), and he’ll be there next time too. Thanks, Andriy! Дякую!

To see more of Andriy M, subscribe or pick up Elska Magazine Issue (01) Lviv, available in select shops or online at


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