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Bunny's Honeys: Bunny Yeager, Queen of Pin-Up Photography (Photobook) Paperback – February 1, 1995
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The models are arranged in alphabetical order, with a brief blurb on each one. Unless one were an avid student of 50's and 60's models, the names would be lost, but that's because Yeager preferred to photograph woman who hadn't been photographed before. There are colour and B&W photos. Not all of them are nudes, but being a woman herself, she did have a knack for tastefully bringing out their natural beauty in a way that men photographers wouldn't. Also, the models felt more comfortable posing in front of her as opposed to a man, which stands to reason. And the models have that 1950's look and the texture of the photographs bring out a nostalgic air.
Most of the models have two pages devoted to them. Bettie Page has six. Maria Stinger, a cross between Marilyn Monroe and Lana Turner, has only two pages devoted despite the fact that a 1954 magazine cover of her was the first photo Bunny sold. Others like Lisa Winters get their due, as Winters became a Playmate of the Year.
Yeager clearly loved her work and some creativity shows, such as the orchid bikini she designed for Joan Rawlings. She describes in the foreword how she always tried to find new posing ideas, hairstyles, etc. However, she felt alienated at the more explicit photos coming to the forefront in the 1970's: "Photos of women in men's magazines were no longer beautiful for me to look at. I didn't want to do that kind of photography. It was demeaning to women. The loveliness of a woman's body was gone and in its place was a type of cold clinical photography that only concentrated on the female sex organs." Result, she gave up pin-up photography.
Eric Kroll's description of Yeager's work is accurate: "Bunny Yeager's photographs were never obscene. Erotic and glamorous yes. Cheesecake, perhaps, but not pornographic. ... These are the 1950's after all." Kroll is known as the man who returned Bunny to the spotlight by making her work, especially Bettie Page photos, available to the public eye. The essay on her gives him a chance to thank the woman whose photos he enjoyed in his youth. And this book gives me a better appreciation of an independent woman ahead of her time. Thanks, Ms Yeager.