When I first heard from the Playboy team that I would be shooting Teela LaRoux for Playboy’s Gender & Sexuality Issue on a rooftop in downtown LA, I jumped in excitement! I just love her looks and her attitude, and to capture her in such a powerful urban landscape felt like a perfect match. So, after days and hours fine tuning the details of the upcoming shoot with Anna Wilson and Erica Loewy (the multimedia director and the creative director from Playboy, ie the creative brains), on April 5, 2019, the day of the shoot finally arrived and I was pumped!
Calm, focused, truly genuine and in complete control. That’s how Teela approached the shoot. The pictorial was titled ‘Heat Rises’ and the keywords for the shoot were ‘sweaty, sexy, city vibes’ but the weather on that rooftop in LA wasn’t exactly hot… but Teela, with all her badassery, didn’t even hesitate for a second. She went all in and pulled it off magnificently.
Photographing nudity is always a remarkable experience, because without clothes we show our inner self, there is no protection. We show a little bit of our soul. Teela had never photographed nude before, but she did it as powerfully, genuinely and generously as it can possible be done. She was a dream to work with. I love it when the model surprises me, when I don’t have to direct too much. That’s exactly what happened. I felt that Teela knows and loves her body, and can play with her posture and body language easily. She is strong, bold and intense very effortlessly. As soon as I pointed the camera at her, I immediately felt that connection. That click. You know immediately that you are going to have a great shoot… and you don’t want to stop shooting!
The pictorial was published in the Summer Issue of Playboy and Teela became July Playmate. Mission accomplished.
The shoot was also special because it was featured on an article in the New York Times, by Jessica Bennett and a photo of me shooting Teela even appeared on the front page of the newspaper. Cool!
– Ana Dias
BTS photos by Evan Woods
BTS photos by Stephanie Noritz for The New York Times
BTS photos by Raquel Batalha
Model: Teela LaRoux; Photographer: Ana Dias; Executive Editor: Shane Michael Singh; Photography & Multimedia Director: Anna Wilson; Creative Director: Erica Loewy; Photography Assistant: Raquel Batalha; Styling: Kelley Ash; Makeup & Hair: Bree Stanchfield; Staff Photography and Video: Evan Woods; Photo Coordinator: Sandra Evans; Video: Boa Simon
IN THE PRESS
Teela LaRoux heats up the summer even more in her pictorial as Playboy Miss July 2019. On the set of a rooftop in downtown LA with the photographer Ana Dias, Teela tells about her work, experiences, beliefs, and much more. “I’m a hardworking, goofy, adventurous firecracker — a little free spirit creating the life I’ve always envisioned,” she says. A Seattle native, Teela now lives in Los Angeles but has also spent some time abroad. “After I started modeling I moved to Paris and fell in love with the city,” she tells. “I stayed there for years. It was a beautiful way to learn and grow into adulthood.” When it comes to talk about the shooting, Teela reveals: “My experience on set was the best in all my 16 years of modeling. There was just something about Ana Dias that I’ll never forget. Our conection was so special. She brought out confidence, strength, passion, comfort, and a self-love I forgot existed.” For Teela, posing nude is a form of self-love. “[It] can be a vulnerable experience, but at the same time it can be empowering,” she says. “I felt strong. I felt beautiful. I didn’t realize I could feel so much love for myself in doing [a nude shoot.]”
First published in Playboy Summer 2019 Issue
Also published in Playboy Netherlands July 2019 Issue; Playboy Colombia July 2019 Issue; Playboy Portugal August 2019 Issue; Playboy Croatia July 2019 Issue; Playboy Poland October 2019 Issue; Playboy Greece Autumn 2019 Issue; Playboy Czech Republic November 2019 Issue; Playboy Germany December 2019 Issue; Playboy Italy April 2020 Issue; Playboy Calendar 2020
Buy the issue here
Model: Teela LaRoux; Photographer: Ana Dias; Executive Editor: Shane Michael Singh; Photography & Multimedia Director: Anna Wilson; Creative Director: Erica Loewy; Photography Assistant: Raquel Batalha; Styling: Kelley Ash; Prop Styling: Craig Sweet; Makeup & Hair: Bree Stanchfield; Staff Photography and Video: Evan Woods; Photo Coordinator: Sandra Evans; Video: Boa Simon
BEHIND THE SCENES
IN THE PRESS