This month, we’re taking a look at some of the boys in its Lisbon issue – and here, once again, editor Liam Campbell explains how he brought the edition together.
The Lisbon Elska boys ranged from 23 to 47, bringing a nice age mix to this edition and setting Elska apart from most gay mags and photography books that focus on only the young.
Lisbon was probably the most beautiful setting we’d shot in and we made use of the city a lot for our shoots, but we also shot some of the boys in their homes as well, for that even more intimate feel.
We chose to do our fourth bookazine in Lisbon to bring a bit more colour and warmth to the scene following our Icelandic issue. The light really was incredible there, so much so that we chose to shoot two of the Lisbon boys nude bathed simply in light streaming from a bedroom window.
To add to the Elska goal of intimacy, all the guys wrote personal stories, sort of like journal entries, to accompany their photo spreads. And they wrote in their native languages, unedited, and followed by English translations. This issue has stories in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish and Russian.
We don’t shoot professional models, instead just going on Planet Romeo, Hornet, Grindr, Instragram, etc. to find local guys. But in this case we actually ended up shooting a guy who was a model, but we didn’t realise that until after we met.
Elska is an independent publication, homemade by Liam Campbell, without big budgets or advertising income. I really hope it will continue to grow so I can continue making these collectible bookazines for many years to come.
We were grateful in Lisbon to get accommodation sponsored by two fantastic local hotels: My Story Hotel Rossio, and the gay-run guesthouse Casa Amora. Two of the shoots in the issue – of Miguel G and Ricardo V – were shot at Casa Amora.
It’s such a pleasure to meet all the boys for each issue, and we always make an effort to get to know them a bit before we shoot. Sometimes we even get to hang out more, like with Jorge B who took us out to his restaurant for lunch, and with Daniel R who drove us for a tour of the city at night. I just wish there was more time to spend just hanging out with them.
Lisbon was actually my favourite city visited so far for Elska and I can’t wait to go back, but next time for a holiday. It’s definitely a city in Europe that deserves to rank higher on ‘best cities’ lists.
To see a list of where Elska Magazine is sold around the world or to order a copy online, visit elskamagazine.com.