In December of 2018, Anna Wilson contacted me to check if I was free to photograph a Playmate for the 2019 Speech Issue of Playboy: the gorgeous Yolimar Lara. I was free and I was thrilled!
The photoshoot took place in Puerto Rico, Yoli’s native island. I had never traveled to Puerto Rico before, but I felt in love from the very first minute I arrived. Everyone was so kind and the island is breathtaking. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to photograph at some of the best locations in the island: Cayey, Santurce and La Perla in San Juan.
We did the actual photoshoot in two days, on the 4th and 5th of January. On the first day, we shoot at Casamerica, a beautiful Villa in Cayey. The mood board was inspired by Lana Del Rey’s vintage Hollywood aesthetic, so the house was chosen with that in mind. It didn’t disappoint. The hot Caribbean weather, the immense space, the surounding nature (that included singing coquí frogs) added a magical aura to the place. It really felt like paradise. The owner, Aleksander Lúgaro, was very hospitable and welcoming. He even gave us the HUGE Puerto Rico flag that you can see in many of the photos.
For the second day, Anna Wilson and Erica Loewy thought we could marry the vintage Hollywood aesthetic with some tropical notes, so we headed out to the local market, in Santurce, and used some local fruits as props. We also shot Yoli enjoying the local sights of the island. We could see Yoli felt at home here, she always had a smile on her face! To wrap up the photo shoot, we went to La Perla, the colorful barrio outside Old San Juan’s city walls, made famous by Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” song. Obviously we had to dance to that tune when we where there. Yoli’s friends Chris and Liz, also from Puerto Rico, made sure we got the moves right.
And that was it. All I can say now is: take me back!
– Ana Dias
BTS photos by Filipe Figueiredo
Model: Yolimar Lara; Photographer: Ana Dias; Executive Editor: Shane Michael Singh; Photography & Multimedia Director: Anna Wilson; Creative Director: Erica Loewy; Photography Assistants: Christian Chasko Pérez, Lizbeth Perez; Styling: Kelley Ash; Makeup & Hair: Danny Miami; Photo Coordinator: Sandra Evans; Video: Filipe Figueiredo