First Look: Bunny Yeager’s Darkroom, a Book on the Photographer Who Put Bettie Page on the Map [NSFW]

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Before Ms. magazine and second-wave feminism, there was Bunny Yeager. The model turned photographer starting out taking self-portraits, dyeing her hair and completely changing her look for each shoot like an early Cindy Sherman. But she's best known as the person who put Bettie Page on the map. "Bettie was very much an underground model until Bunny Yeager took pictures of her in Miami in 1954, the year after Playboy magazine launched," author Petra Mason told The Cut. Mason's new book, Bunny Yeager's Darkroom (published by Rizzoli and out September 11), takes a look at Yeager's dynamic work during pinup photography's golden, male-dominated era. A year later, Yeager ended up contacting Playboy and selling them images of Page wearing nothing but a Santa cap. She continued to work for the publication regularly from then on.

Though many assumed she was a feminist, Yeager didn't consider herself one. Most of her clients were old-school gentlemen's magazines that no longer exist, like Modern Man, Peep Show, Cavalier, and Rogue. "Feminism certainly had no interest to them!" Mason said. "The magazines were just happy to take her work and say, 'Thanks Bunny, here's your check.'" Others thought that she was gay, even though she was happily married to a man named Bud whom she met at a club for men over six-foot-two. "She just got on with it," Mason remarked. At 83-years-old, Yeager continues to shoot in her Miami Shores studio. Click through to see her self-portraits, pictures of Page, and more, but be warned, the slideshow is NSFW. "It's by no means the nasty, skanky stuff that goes on today. It's all very playfully erotic," Mason explained. Still, "this turned out to be more of a nude book than a pinup book."

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