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Collage of torn pages from assorted editions of Elska Magazine. Can’t get enough of this!

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The Elska Blog has moved to Patreon

For those of you who’ve been enjoying our outtakes, extra pics, and behind the scenes stories on WordPress, Tumblr, or Facebook, these will now be exclusively on Patreon at patreon.com/elskamagazine

Patreon is a sort of independent artist-led subscription service, allowing fans to give support for as little or as much as they want to spend, and get rewards based on it. Our Elska Patreon rewards start at $1 a month, which gives you access to our blog. At $5 you get that plus a subscription to our bi-monthly e-magazine. At $10 you get that plus our bi-monthly flagship Print magazine too. And the rewards keep going.

I love making Elska, and it is my full-time job, but I have to admit that earning a living through making art and publishing on paper is far from easy. I’ve realised that the vast majority of people who tell me how they love Elska rarely buy the magazine, because they simply can’t afford it, even though I promise I’m making it as cheap as I can. Hopefully by offering less expensive ways to support us, and by offering exclusive rewards for it, I’ll be able to encourage more people to come on board.

Cheers + Love,

Liam Campbell

Photographer, Editor and Creator of Elska Magazine

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elskamagazine:

(What Does Erotic Mean?… with Şahin C from Istanbul)

I recently got a letter from a Swedish reader about his experience reading Elska for the first time. He’d come across Elska via our Instagram feed, where he recognised a friend who was in the Taipei issue. He was instantly worried that his friend may have done something stupid, may have been misguided or tricked into posing for a magazine that he’d come to regret. He quickly ordered a copy, read it cover to cover and wrote me to say how relieved and pleased he was that the content was tasteful, artful, and not the erotic mag he’d expected it to be. He then asked if we’d consider doing a Stockholm issue, and if so, that he’d love to be photographed for it. As I told him, I’d love to go to Stockholm and he’s very welcome to be in it. 

​​I’ve long been uncomfortable with the word ‘erotic’. When an early article written about Elska referred to it as ‘erotic’ in the headline, I was upset. I felt it gave Elska a seedy connotation. And as I can see from the letter I got, such articles may scare readers away from Elska. On the other side of the coin, perhaps those expecting a porno are disappointed. 

But what does ‘erotic’ technically mean? A quick google search yields the definition “relating to or tending to arouse sexual desire or excitement”. For me, my intention with Elska isn’t to be erotic, but if people find it erotic, I suppose I can’t help that.

That being said, what is pornography? Another google search refers to it as “printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement”. Ok, so since there’s no intention to cause stiffies, Elska isn’t porn… but it might be erotic. And there’s nothing I can really do about that.

See more of Şahin C and read his story in Elska Magazine issue (06) Istanbul

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An Ekstra Boy… with Ricardo M

Ever since our first issue, there have been some boys who we shot that didn’t get included in the final versions of Elska Magazine. Sometimes it’s because they never submitted a story, or maybe because there just wasn’t enough pages left for everyone, or even occasionally because they pissed me off! With Ricardo, however, it was something a bit unique. The reason I chose to cut Ricardo was because I didn’t think he’d like his pictures and be proud to be in Elska. 

It’s actually one of my rules to never give any of the guys previews of their images before the mag is published. The reason is because in the past, even though I said not to, some boys released their pics on social media before Elska was published. But Ricardo kept pestering me to show him something, and I relented. I sent him one of my favourite images of him, and his response was that he hated it. 

I was kinda crushed. Was it my photography that was to blame or was he just overly critical of his own image? I decided it was the latter, but I knew that even if I told him I thought he looked great, I wouldn’t be able to change his opinion. Maybe he thought he’d look different in a photo, perhaps like a completely different person… but whatever he thought, I knew he wouldn’t be happy. So I decided to use his pics only for Elska Ekstra and not for the printed Elska Magazine. I wasn’t going to throw them away, but just let his editorial fly a little more under the radar.

To see more of Ricardo M and to read his story, pick up a copy of Elska Ekstra e-zine (11) Providence.

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Our Last Minute Rhody Addition… with Samuel K-M

For most Elska issues, we try to find all our boys in advance. This is both to ensure a smooth and efficient schedule and also to build some rapport with the subjects before we meet for the photoshoot. But usually some people cancel last-minute and leave some gaps in the schedule. This happened in Providence as well is with every issue since we began.

I was sitting in The Shop, a great coffee place on Wickenden Street waiting to meet one of the guys, but he simply didn’t show up. After around ten minutes with no response from him, I decided to turn Grindr on and see if I could find a last-minute replacement. Samuel K-M was one of the guys online who responded, and he was up for it. 

Usually, however, last minute additions don’t work out in some way. The most common problem is that I don’t ever get a story from them, and with Samuel, I feared the same thing. I try to get stories submitted before we shoot, but when you meet a guy on Grindr and shoot him only hours later, it’s not exactly possible. But when we met and shot, I liked the images so much that I decided to hound him for the story. Probably he hates me for it, but I’m super impatient, and well, I got the story in the end. And actually it’s quite a good one. So thanks, Samuel, and sorry if I was a pest.

Pick up a copy of Elska Magazine issue (11) Providence to see more of Samuel K-M and to read the story he wrote for us.