ELSKA shot in Iceland

The next issue of ELSKA will be dedicated to Iceland. Photographers from the gay erotic magazine are currently in the country taking pictures. Editor says its been a pleasure working with Icelandic men, who are both open-minded and ready to go great lengths to get the job done.

Editor Liam Campbell is in Iceland working on an upcoming issue of ELSKA Magazine. Each issue is dedicated to a certain city and the men who live there. The word "elska" means love in Icelandic. Liam decided to use it as the magazine's title as he is a big fan of Iceland and Icelandic culture.

Editor Liam Campbell is in Iceland working on an upcoming issue of ELSKA Magazine. Each issue is dedicated to a certain city and the men who live there. The word “elska” means love in Icelandic. Liam decided to use it as the magazine’s title as he is a big fan of Iceland and Icelandic culture.

“It’s been packed everyday – the first day we had six shoots, which was crazy. Then we had three but went to Vík and Seljavallalaug, so that was really busy. But today was easier, only three shoots so me and my assistant could actually sit down and have a cup of coffee,” says editor Liam Campbell, who is currently in Iceland doing photo shoots for an upcoming issue of gay erotic magazine “ELSKA”, which will be featuring local men and boys.

“We have 19 models booked and I think the goal was to have 15, we figured that at the last-minute someone would cancel and that has happened. It’ a very diverse group actually, the youngest is 20 and the oldest 54 – all living here but not all Icelandic. One from Turkey, one from France and one Brazilian, but the rest is Icelandic,” the 33-year-old Londoner goes on and adds that he actually had no idea that the population of Iceland was so diverse.

The last time we interviewed you, you said that it would be a dream come true if you would be able to shoot in Iceland but that you weren’t sure if you’d be able to get enough Icelandic men to participate. That fear was unnecessary then?

“Yeah totally.”

So was maybe it easier getting models than you expected?
“Yes. My assistant Andriy, who has been working with me since the first issue in September, just scouted for models on Facebook. He talked to one person who talked to another person and this snowballed that way. Actually, in some ways, even though Iceland is a smaller country than Germany it was way easier than Berlin (where the last issue of ELSKA was shot). At least everybody answered us. In Berlin we would perhaps not even get a reply.”

Did the men have to go through auditions or fulfill some special requirements to be approved?
“At the moment everybody who says they wanna do it – can be in it. Of course, if everybody who wanted to participate looked the same, you know, 22-year-old, blond and muscled, we would have to turn some away since we want to show diversity. But we’ve been lucky, we got a naturally good range. So no, just as long as they’re up for it and are local and are willing to write some text about themselves, which is a must, then they’re in. We even ask them what they want to do in the shoot. Whether they want it to be “artsy” or outdoor or more like a fashion shoot.”

“…a guy said that he wouldn’t feel comfortable posing naked unless I and Andriy also took our clothes off. And so we did! I found it a bit embarrassing…”

Asked how its been working with the models, Liam says that the experience been interesting. “Because in a way they’re really open-minded – but at the same time there is a more conservative element here too. At first they were fine, saying: “Well, people see me at the swimming pool anyways so…” But when we met, some were a bit more shy and said they might not want to be totally naked, explaining that they’re were afraid that a co-worker or someone close to them might see the photos. A little bit of shyness, which is understandable considering how small the country is.

No photohopping. Just real bodies. And a focus on diverity.

ELSKA’s policy: No photohopping. Just real bodies. And a focus on diverity.

There was even an incident where a guy said that he wouldn’t feel comfortable posing naked unless I and Andriy also took our clothes off. And so we did! I found it a bit embarrassing, especially at first, but then I kinda got used to it. So now at least I know what it feels like!” (Laughs.)

Liam says that Icelanders differ from other nationalities that he’s previously worked with. “There is one thing I noticed for sure. Icelanders can have their photos taken, maybe just in a t-shirt, out in the freezing cold, and NO PROBLEM. When we tried to bring a guy of another nationality for an outdoor shoot it honestly didn’t work; he looked cold and so miserable. The Icelanders looked cold, sure, but NOT miserable.” (Laughs.)

Asked whether he’s not worried about violating that law, since the Icelandic criminal law nr. 210, section 2, states that it can result in up to 6 months jail time to publish porn, Liam says he’s not.
“I looked at the dictionary definition where it says that you must have the intent to get someone sexually excited which is not my intent. My pictures are not really sexually arousing. Some might look at it and get excited but that is not my intent. Maybe the Icelandic definition of the word “porn” is different, I don’t know.”

On a lighter note, when will the “Icelandic issue” come out?
“In beginning of January – 1st or 2nd – so it will be a happy new year present!”

And what else is scheduled for “ELSKA magazine”?
“The issues after that will come out in March. It will be shot in Lisbon. And hopefully we can get more subscribers and more buyers – so we can go to Asia and South America,” he says.

Liam says that the outdoor shoots take the longest time to prepare. “I spend a lot of time going through Google Maps, trying to find a good location, a beautiful street or something. But as the work progressed I’ve figured out that I want each shoot to be more about the model involved than any story I planned to put on it. For example there was some knitting in the home of one of the models and I asked him if he didn’t want to use that as a prop in the shoot because I want to try to make it more personal. So some shoots benefit if I’m less prepared, which of course also makes me more nervous because I don’t know what to expect when I get there.” Here one of the photographers can be seen working in Öskjuhlíð (an old cruising area), with church Hallgrímskirkja in the background.

Follow Elska on Facebook.

Photos by Liam Campbell. Main photo by Fedya Ili.

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.


Omnom Chocolate
- award-winning chocolate maker

    Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

    Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

    Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

    In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

    At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.


    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater comes from 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals: the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

      From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

      Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Reykjanes lava plain, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

      Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      - leading financial institution

      Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

      The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

      Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

      The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

      Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

      Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

      It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

      Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

      - get inspired

      Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

      Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

      More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

      - for all your Apple needs

      From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

      Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
      For all your Apple needs. We are here.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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        Ísey skyr
        - once tasted never forgotten

        Our Story
        Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

        For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

        Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
        This is our secret and you are in on it

        You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

        - noodle bar

        Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

        All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
        We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
        Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

        Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

        - adventure cruise

        Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
        and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

        The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.


        This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.


        The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

        Birds, possible to spot:
        -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
        -eider ducks
        -white-tailed eagle

        The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
        Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

        Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

        Contact Us

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