As another year ends, it's a time to look back on where we've been and what we've done...
- Elska Yokohama - 2017 kicked off with the release of our ninth edition, shot in Japan's second-largest city, Yokohama. For me it was really surprising to see how multicultural the place was, because I'd just had this impression of Japan as a very homogenous place. That's why only a few of the 'local boys' in the edition are actually ethnically Japanese and the rest local residents with varying origins. The issue was also memorable to me personally because my husband came along and assisted on the shoots. Fun!
- Elska Mumbai - In March our tenth issue was released, shot in Bombay, India. When people ask me which was my favourite issue to make, this is usually what I say. The city was just so different to anywhere I'd been before, and as cliché as it sounds, it was genuine sensory overload. The issue is also one of my favourites in content, and it contains what remains to this day my favourite Elska story - "Dear Aaji", by Rehaan D.
- Elska Providence - Our first edition shot in the USA, Providence was chosen simply because I really liked the place, and I even ended up leaving London to move here permanently, partly as a result of impressions made when shooting this issue. When people ask what the best Elska edition is, I tend to go for this one, due to the diversity of men and the overall quality of stories. It's a shame therefore that the print version is out of print, but it really only sold well within the US. Around the world, people were like, "Where the hell is Providence?!"
- Elska Brussels - Our July release was made in the capital of Belgium, and capital of Europe. It's also the land of waffles, frites, beer, and chocolate - all of which I made time to sample during the visit, some accompanied by the guys shot in the edition. It's a really solid issue with a cover I adore, and it's one we've already had to reprint and may soon need to do for a third time.
- Elska Helsinki - After the success of Elska Reykjavík, still our biggest seller, we thought it would be good to feature another Nordic city, so we took a poll. The winner turned out to be Stockholm, but when costs (mainly accommodation) turned out to be over our modest budget, we went over the sea to Finland, shooting in the city that won second place in our poll. Mostly I'll remember how shy these guys were, a total surprise for a place so into naked sauna culture, and I'll also remember July temperatures in the balmy teens!
- Elska Haifa - Our November release was made in Israel, a country that we had more requests than anywhere else to feature. But we chose not Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, but the country's third biggest city, Haifa. Partly it's because I personally wanted to visit it, but mainly it was because the city had real diversity, which of course we managed to reflect on our pages. The print version is nearly sold out, and it's up in the air if we'll reprint or not. We'll see.
The new year is of course also a time to look forward...
- On 8th January we'll be releasing our next edition, Elska Bogotá, our first shot in Latin America, and our first shot in the Southern Hemisphere. After that, the following two editions will also be shot south of the Equator, but that's all I'll reveal for now.
Happy new year, elskans!