Elska London Shoot Week Update no.2


It’s now midway through Elska London Shoot Week, and the rain has been teasing us the whole time. There are sudden bursts of sunshine and then sudden bursts of driving rain, but usually it’s just damp and grey. This is however my favourite weather, at least photographically speaking. I don’t end up with half the camera roll spoiled by guys squinting or by horrible shadows caused by harsh sunlight. But also, I think it’s appropriate for Elska London to be full of the sort of weather that Britain is famous for, although I would like some lovely sunny scenes just to break down the stereotype a bit.

Since the last update, where I complained of last minute cancellations, I can tell you that there have been even more. Never have I encountered so many people who could not to commit to something, or to have the decency to be honest enough about it to cancel with some advance warning. Worst of all, after shooting eighteen issues and over two hundred men, for the first time ever someone stood me up for a shoot. There I was bright and early at 7:30am at Brixton station and he didn’t come. My calls went unanswered and my texts not replied to, even though the two WhatsApp ticks did appear. He’d seemed excited though, and had written a decent story, so I was surprised. I’m fully in the belief that such behaviour is a London thing, but one benefit of London is that it’s pretty easy to go onto Grindr and find a last minute replacement, which I did, shooting Paul M an hour after being stood up by Dan T. So I remain confident that Elska London will work out, but the experience making it is just riddled with a lot more uncertainty and anxiety than I’d have liked. 

On a more positive note, this morning’s shoot with Jose C was nothing but lovely. He looked so cute in his pikachu pyjamas, and when we later snuck into a bus garage for some shots, nobody threw us out. Result! I was also glad to last night meet Darren B on the Isle of Dogs. It’s one of the most unique neighbourhoods in all of the UK, so I was lucky that one of the subjects lived there. And I’m also hopeful about tonight’s shoot with Jamie T. His story is impactful and beautifully written, so if he somehow doesn’t turn up tonight, I’ll really be cross. But I have a good feeling. 

As for tomorrow, I’m not sure. Two of the guys haven’t yet replied to my “Looking forward to tomorrow” texts, which isn’t a great sign. But we’ll see. I’ll let you know next time.