Bunny Yeager was a photographer at a time when men dominated that profession, but the model turned pin-up photographer used that to her advantage when photographing women in the 1950s and ‘60s.
She was able to make everyday women, from stay-at-home mothers to airline attendants, feel comfortable enough to bare it all. In the mid-1950s, she helped jump-start the career of then-unknown Bettie Page with her photo in Playboy. More than five decades after shooting the well-known stills of Page in a leopard-print bathing suit standing next to a real cheetah, 40 framed prints of her work are now on display in a gallery in Wynwood, Miami’s arts district.
Yeager, whose real name is Linnea Eleanor Yeager, was one of the most photographed models in Miami during her early career. Soon after taking a photography course at a local college, Yeager turned the camera on herself as she posed in bathing suits she handmade for her 5-foot-9 frame. Her self-portraits were turned into a book, “How I Photograph Myself,” in 1964 and many of those photos — including Yeager in a red-striped low V-cut bathing suit and a white bikini covered in real daisies she glued on one by one — adorn the walls of her Miami gallery. The prints range in price from $1,200 to $3,000. (…)
But in 2010, the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh held an exhibition of her work. Now, there is the Miami exhibition.
“I haven’t gotten used to it yet,” Yeager said of the recent attention. “And I still get that little tingle when I see the photos on the wall.”