When I was a naïve teenager, shortly after receiving my first camera from my old boss Yehuda, I did a shoot of my best friend Stacie in a car park, with eggs as a prop. The inspiration came from Björk’s “Venus as a Boy” video. Sounds weird, and it was. But it was a learning process.

I then got into street photography. With Anastasia in tow, we went to a bland working class suburb southwest of Chicago – it could have been Tinley Park, Mokena, Orland Park – and we took shots of regular folk eating fast food. I hadn’t yet figured out how to be stealthy so the results were just stupid. Embarrassing.  

It was years later that my tastes developed into something new, something a bit more Elska. I don’t know even what you call it, though ‘homotography’ is a term I love, borrowed from the tumblr of the same name. One of the first photographers that I stumbled across who really inspired me, and continues to do so, is Lauro Justino, whose tumblblog Sem Foco, is one of the best out there. Way back before Elska was even a glimmer of an idea, I remember bragging to friends with such utter delight when Lauro followed me on Instagram; then again when we became Facebook friends.

And now, most recently, I have the joy of having his work submitted in Elska Issue (03). It’s like meeting Madonna or something to have even spoken to someone you long admired. And here we are working together. What a dream it would be to actually meet someday. Perhaps after the 2016 Olympics are done, and if there is budget for flights, I can go to Rio to do an Elska issue in Lauro’s home territory. And then maybe we can even do a shoot or two together. 

See more of Gabriel R and read his story in Elska Magazine issue (03) Reykajvík


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