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
There’s a lot of love lately, with Elskans (aka Elska readers) all over the world sending us pics of them with their favourite Elska issues. We got a few from a guy called Harold recently, and here’s one of them.
If you’d like to send us you and your Elska, email a pic to email@example.com.
On that whirlwind of a day in Harlem… with Ian S for Elska Magazine
About eight months ago my husband had an interview in New York and I decided to tag along for the day. I drove, and since I knew it was free and easy to park in Harlem, we put the car there and then he took the subway downtown and I planted myself in a coffee shop on 145th Street. I brought my laptop to do editing work, and I also brought my camera, just in case.
I was in the mood to shoot, so I turned the apps on. I messaged basically every guy on the screen, introduced myself, and said that if they were up for it, we could shoot today. I ended up shooting six guys that whirlwind of a day in Harlem, all located within a ten minute walk of my location. also asked each of the guys to tell a story, which I recorded on my phone, ‘cos it wouldn’t be very Elska without a story to go with the pics. One of those men I met was Ian S.
The thing is, I kind of got distracted afterwards (I was putting finishing touches on Elska Brussels) and sort of forgot about all the pics I took. Crazy, right? Anyway, yesterday Ian messaged me on Insta saying, “Hey, didn’t we do a shoot last year?”
“Sorry, Ian, I somehow totally forgot.” So here’s one of those pics. I’ll put the rest along with Ian’s story in the next issue of Elska Ekstra, out in early May. I promise I won’t forget this time!
Alasdair McLellan and the D on the Cover… with Jason W-P
It was a few months before Elska began, I had a day off, and I decided to cycle down to Fuckoffee on Bermondsey Street in London. I was just hanging out, drinking coffee, and leafing through fashion magazines that people had left behind there. One of these mags greatly inspired me.
I don’t remember the name of the magazine but it was something rather mainstream like i-D, and the editorial was shot by Alasdair McLellan. It was an autumn season spread featuring guys in warm, autumn colours. On one page was a lad wearing just a jumper and nothing else, his dick out for all to see. I didn’t know you could do that in an editorial, and I didn’t know you could show full frontal in a “regular” magazine. What impact it had. I wanted to do an editorial like this, and I even wanted to buy the jumper. Seriously.
The editorial made me see the scope of photography differently. It was key to the inception of Elska, a mag that would have nudity but without relegating it to the top shelf. In my photographic training, I certainly learned the rules, but I only truly got excited by the art when I found that I could break them.
For Elska Cape Town when I was shooting Jason W-P, that moment in Fuckoffee came back to me. There I had him in his warm autumnal jumper and nothing else. It was an Alasdair McLellan flashback moment. I fell in love with the pics we took, especially the one you see in the main mag with him laying on the floor, dick out and eyes looking into the camera (the one above is a “safe-for-work” cat-censoring outtake). I very nearly considered using the nude version for the cover, but everyone told me not to. Maybe you can show dick inside a mag, but you can’t put a dick on the cover! Well, maybe next time!
En route… with Matthew W
It had been ages since I’d seen my friend Veronika, a former colleague from my flight attendant days. While I’d gotten out of it (and started Elska) and moved to Providence, she was still in London and flying. Then she got in touch to tell me she just got put on a flight to Philadelphia and wondered if it was close enough to me that we could meet. I wasn’t doing much that weekend so I decided I’d drive down and meet her.
It would be a six hour drive to Philadelphia – not too bad I suppose – but definitely worth a break in the middle. When I saw on the map that NYC was the halfway point, I decided to see if I could find a guy there to shoot. Somehow I stumbled across Matthew W on IG and asked if he was up for it. And he was.
So I got up at like six in the morning and made my way to Brooklyn. I got to Matte’s place right on time (though I hoped I’d have been early so I’d have been able to get a coffee ‘cos I was knackered). He was tired too. I think he said something about being out all night with some guy and barely got home himself. Anyway we had a little chat, took some pics, and then it was time to go so I could meet Veronika’s flight. Last I heard, Matte was going to move to Japan. Maybe I’ll see him there sometime.
Here’s an unpublished outtake of Yuchi P, one of the guys from our Elska Istanbul edition. It’s on a blowout sale now, selling off the rest of our copies before we do our next reprint. bit.ly/elskaistanbul
An Elska reader showing off his lovely, lovely copy of Elska. We love to see our happy customers!