May 25, 2014

BUNNY YEAGER: URSULA ANDRESS

Celebrated photographer and pin-up pioneer Bunny Yeager passed away today at age 85. Yeager was a model-turned-shutterbug who came to prominence through her work with Bettie Page. After snapping pics in Florida, some of their early collaborations were published in Playboy in 1955, launching both women into higher profile work. Yeager had a knack for capturing playful sensuality by setting her models in natural settings and with wild animals. Her images of Page and other models with big cats seemed to define the exotica niche of 1950s glamour. Quoted in the Guardian, Yeager said, "'They all wanted to model for me because they knew that I wouldn't take advantage of them,' Yeager told The Associated Press during a 2013 interview. 'And I wouldn't push them to do nude if they didn't want to do nudes. It wasn't a day when nude photography was prevalent.'" She was hired during the production of Dr. No to photograph Ursula Andress and Sean Connery on the beach. Here is a collage of Dr. No portraits and her contact sheet. There were other photographers on-set, but I believe all or most of the images are Yeager's (they appeared in recent auction lots under her name). Looking at the art book cover below, it seems likely her image was also used for the cover of For Bond Lovers Only. And if you're curious about those big cat pictures, here is something from her sessions with Bettie Page. A proto-Honey West concept? Learn more about Bunny Yeager here


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