Ever since I started shooting for Playboy, I’ve had this itch to photograph a classic Bunny in the official Playboy costume. I’d been talking to Katzi Stadler, the pictorial director of German Playboy, about this for a while, and she generously offered to loan me a Bunny outfit and the necessary accessories. All I had to do was give her a shout, and she’d ship it my way.
I was just waiting for the right moment with the right model to bring this vision to life. My aim was to pay homage to the swinging ’60s with a photoshoot inspired by the old-school Playboy clubs from that era. For that, I needed a model who had that whole vibe going on, and a place that oozed glamour and timeless charm.
That’s where Solomia Maievska came into the picture. She was the model I had in mind, with her beautiful and generous bust, short hair, those big, mesmerizing eyes, and a genuine, childlike smile. Her timeless beauty made her the perfect fit to be my Bunny!
As for the location, nothing screamed ’60s glamour like a casino: the dazzling lights, the slot machines, the roulette wheels, and the classic allure reminiscent of Ian Fleming’s Bond world. It also had a nostalgic touch of old Playboy Clubs I aimed to capture.
Of course, this kind of shoot could only happen at the fabulous Casino Lisboa. This place holds a special spot in my heart since it’s where I had my first major photography exhibition, “Ana Dias – Playboy World.”
So, on July 11, 2023, we were all set: the model, my crew, and myself, working together to bring this project to life.
Here’s an interesting tidbit about shooting in a casino that is obvious but we usually don’t think about—casinos are pretty much always open. To get a shoot in there, we had a very narrow window of opportunity, limited to the early morning hours. Time was ticking!
We had to pull out all the stops to stay awake. Figueiredo and Gomes traveled all the way from up north at 2:00 a.m. Raquel didn’t even get to hit the sack, coming straight from another job. As for me, Gonçalo, Jaime and Solomia, we managed to grab a tad more sleep, but not by much.
Despite the race against the clock, we pulled off shots on two different casino floors and even squeezed in some studio shots, which ended up on the cover of the December issue of Playboy Germany.
– Ana Dias
BTS photos by Gonçalo Jorge, Gonçalo Gomes and Jaime Luiz
Model: Solomia Maievska; Photographer: Ana Dias; Producer: Gonçalo Jorge; Photography Assistant: Gonçalo Gomes; Makeup & Hair: Raquel Batalha; Video: Filipe Figueiredo; Special Thanks: Jaime Luiz; Kathrin Stadler