Playboy photographers find reality TV hard work

Tue Apr 6, 2010 9:03pm EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - They thought it would be all fun and glamour, but when 10 photographers recently gathered for a new reality TV show, they learned there was more to taking pictures of naked women than a good camera lens.

"Playboy Shootout," which premiered this past Saturday on cable television's subscriber-only Playboy Channel puts the photographers together in tandem with 10 models and each group -- shooters and models -- compete to have their work featured in the legendary men's magazine founded by Hugh Hefner.

While perhaps many a young man has dreamed of shooting a nude centerfold for Playboy, only few ever make the grade.

Playboy editorial director Jimmy Jellinek said the magazine annually gets "thousands and thousands" of submissions from photographers, but it is the rare exception who gets picked.

Stephen Wayda, a longtime Playboy photographer and judge on "Shootout," said he tried unsuccessfully for years before finally making it into the magazine's pages and onto a stellar career as a celebrity photographer.

"People think it's all fun, sex and glamour. They don't realize when you're doing nudes there's a lot more to it. You see all the body. You see the wrinkles in the waist when (models) turn. You see how the body is built, and you have to make it look good," Wayda said.

For "Shootout," Playboy gathered the photographers from around the United States and put them together in Los Angeles. The first episode had them assigned to take pictures of the models in a different area of a luxurious mansion, and they were given a time limit to devise a theme, set lighting, pick a costume and put the models through hair and makeup.

A MAN'S WORLD?   Continued...

<p>Photographer Eric LaCour photographs model Cassandra in the reality competition series "Playboy Shootout" shown in this undated publicity photo released to Reuters April 6, 2010. REUTERS/Playboy/Handout</p>