With her blonde hair and good looks, it’s not at all surprising to find that Bunny Yeager was one of the most photographed models of the 1940s.
Yeager wasn’t satisfied with simply being a pretty face; she decided she loved being behind the camera more than being in front of it.
The model-turned-photographer is credited with helping to popularize the bikini.
“Anyone in Miami in the 1950s who wanted a bikini would come to her,” said her agent Ed Christin.
Somehow Yeager knew how to get the most out of the skimpiest looks. That is of course when fabrics were bothered with at all.
Yeager was known for bikini-clad and nude photo-shoots alike. She had written multiple guides to nude photography and self-portraits. In the process, Yeager inspired photographers of both sexes, including artists like Cindy Sherman.
RIP Bunny Yeager, a great retro model and photographer pic.twitter.com/zZdRdNXjkg
— Vintesque (@Vintesque) May 26, 2014
Aside from her fashion influences and photographic talents, there is something else very special for which Yeager is known.
She was credited with helping to launch the career of none other than Bettie Page.
Yeager first began photographing Page in 1954.
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The reason why so many women from homemakers to aspiring models felt comfortable posing nude for her was quite simple.
“They all wanted to model for me because they knew that I wouldn’t take advantage of them,” said Yeager. “I wouldn’t push them to do nude if they didn’t want to do nudes.”
Sadly, the 85-year-old photographer passed away on Sunday. According to Christin, she had been in a North Miami hospice for about a week.
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) May 26, 2014
Yeager leaves behind a legacy as a woman who helped shaped an area of photography typically dominated by men. Her photo of a young Bettie Page in a leopard skin bikini remains one of her most famous and enduring works.
Prior to the decline of her health, Yeager was in the midst of putting together new work. Her upcoming book of photography was meant to celebrate her 60 years of work.
It is scheduled to be released in September of this year.
R.I.P. Bunny Yeager (1929-2014), photographer best known for doing pinups of Bettie Page, other models and herself. pic.twitter.com/HpWgZYLzwE
— Doug Jones (@DougJones100) May 25, 2014
Image via Wikimedia Commons