“Remember, there is no ‘winging it’ in professional photography….” Playboy Centerfold photographer Arny Freytag stated clearly to the rapt crowd before him. I quickly glanced around the room and you could have heard a pin drop. A few squirmed in their chairs, perhaps recalling a previous moment or two back at their photo studio, thereby reminding themselves again why they had traveled from around the world to attend this event. It was the 3rd installment of the Shoot the Centerfold seminar, this time in Las Vegas, Nevada, from September 14 -16 and Bullz-Eye was there. Here, top photographers from around the world gathered to learn how to shoot centerfold-quality images from Playboy Magazine’s best shooters, and with three stunning and current Playboy Playmates as their subjects. The newly remodeled Tropicana Hotel once again was the featured showcase venue. Jarmo Pohjaniemi, Arny Freytag and David Mecey were the three keynote instructors and, for the first time, both editors Jeff Cohan and Gary Cole added editorial guidance to the photographers who attended the event.
The three ringleaders have honed their craft even more since the first Shoot the Centerfold event took place in Hollywood, Florida, at the Hard Rock Casino & Resort. As before, each had their own stunning glamour photo set, with flexible lighting change-ups to instruct the lensmen how to best capture beauty, figure and form.
Given all the amount of hype it’s been receiving, it would be reasonable for you to presume that this was an event being thrown in conjunction with NBC’s new drama, “The Playboy Club,” which premieres this fall. In fact, the party came about through Playboy’s own network, Playboy TV, which made their TCA tour debut back in January, courting couples to watch their new programming. But while there’s little question that this evening’s goings-on resulted in plenty of journalists writing about their experiences – I’m living proof! – it must be said that, even though there were several TV screens running trailers for Playboy TV programs on a loop, the function ultimately did more to promote the Playboy brand name as a whole than the actual network. I did walk out of the event with screeners for a couple of Playboy TV's new shows, however, so you can expect a write-up on those at some point in the future.
For now, though, here's the big thing I'm here to write about: I went to the Playboy Mansion.
Was it everything that 13-year-old me had imagined it to be? Read on and find out...
“So I know you all are wondering how I got this job.” Arny Freytag knew it was the one question everyone in the standing room-only crowd really wanted to know. To be a Playboy photographer is a dream most men have had at one time or another in their lives, mostly starting at adolescence and never really leaving. To be like Arny, the most prolific and successful shooter of all the Playboy Playmate Centerfolds -- 146 girls and counting -- is beyond imagination for even the most bold Walter Mitty types in the audience seated before him. Lucky for them, this was the first of many seminars aimed at the amateur, semi-pro, or career professional who has always wanted to experience how centerfolds are shot and created. The premiere of the Shoot the Centerfold Photography Seminar took place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida this past January 30.
Three seasoned Playboy centerfold photographers are your personal instructors at Shoot the Centerfold: Arny Freytag, David Mecey and Jarmo Pohjaniemi. These gifted glamour photographers are offering for the first time an opportunity to attend instructional tutorials on how their world renowned images are created. Arguably even better, they then allow you to step in and use their lighting set-ups to shoot lingerie clad models! We at Bullz-Eye knew this was an opportunity that should not be missed. Each instructor had a beautiful model waiting for your camera and instruction. Arny brought his “favorite Centerfold” of 2010, the painfully fresh Kyra Milan, to be his model on set. Through his highly informative and well-paced instructional session, it allowed the photographers in attendance to create near centerfold perfect images of a current playmate for their own portfolios, or for their own personal bragging rights for the rest of their lives!
The seminar started at 9 am with an amazing slide show of some of the most unforgettable images ever put on film of the classic girl next door nude. Imagine three top Playboy centerfold photographers, all putting their personal favorites together for a one of a kind photo presentation. It was so enjoyable to watch one impossibly stunning image after another. Classic Playboy images were accompanied by revealing behind-the-scenes comments from the photographers themselves, revealing what it was like to shoot the likes of Anna Nicole Smith, Cindy Crawford or Carmen Electra. The morning session was visually remarkable, but that was just the beginning.
Practically every guy enjoys Playboy magazine whether they subscribe or not, and old issues are treated differently than those of other magazines. We don’t want to throw them out, particularly those with our favorite Playmates. So collectors and even casual fans have boxes of old issues in their closets and garages.
Now Bondi Digital Publishing has come out with a product that every Playboy fan will love – a USB portable device that gives users immediate access on their computer to every issue from that first iconic Playboy featuring Marilyn Monroe in December 1953, all the way to the December 2009 edition featuring Chelsea Handler– and every issue, award-winning article and advertisement in between. There are over 650 issues and more than 100,000 pages covering a span of 56 years. As for adding content after 2009, a decision hasn’t been made yet on whether that will be offered, though the device can be easily updated.
The Playboy Cover-to-Cover Hard Drive is pocket-sized and very easy to use, and it’s fun to browse through all the old magazines. Naturally the pictorials will be the most popular – some of our favorites include Cathy St. George from 1982 and Christina Leardini from 1991. But Playboy has always been an influential magazine as well as Hugh Hefner featured some of the best writers of the past 50 years from Norman Mailer to Tom Wolfe. The interviews are excellent as well with an incredible variety of subjects from Steve Jobs to Jimmy Carter to Brett Favre. The software makes it easy to find items through a robust search feature, and it’s easy to browse old issues as well. We found a couple of minor glitches, but representatives from Bondi explained that updates and fixes could be downloaded seamlessly.
Priced at $299.95 this isn’t an inexpensive item, but there’s a ton of value packed into this device. Collectors will love it, along with casual fans as well.
Each November, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in the Palm Springs, CA area hosts the annual Palm Springs Playboy Golf Scramble. This past weekend, the San Diego Playboy Golf Scramble was held. Following that, lots of Fantasy Springs VIP casino players (who also played in the San Diego tournament), the four Playboy Playmates and dozens of Girls of Playboy Golf from the San Diego event rode a party bus for the weekend afterparty at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. On Saturday night, the resort held a private VIP party in its picturesque 12th Floor Wine Bar. The four Playmates in attendance are also members of the Playboy Dancers and treated the audience to an impromptu routine.
Many casino players and many Girls of Playboy Golf spent the night at the luxurious resort. The next day, they lounged at the pool and expansive sundeck and noshed on some great food.
If you haven’t seen the article in question yet, you can find it right here, but to get the gist, here’s the opening paragraph:
In an interview with Playboy set to hit newsstands tomorrow, comedian Sarah Silverman responds to questions about her provocative brand of humor by telling a story about how “the onetime lead singer of a very popular band from the 1980s” came up to her after a show and said, “You’re my favorite comedian. You have the best nigger jokes.” Silverman didn’t outright name Journey’s Steve Perry, but she added, “I’ll just say this: After that, I stopped believin’,” a poke at the band’s classic “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
It’s kind of a non-event, really, since the combination of knowing Sarah Silverman’s sense of humor and reading Steve Perry’s reaction to her comments make it seem pretty likely that she’s having a laugh by taking an approximation of something he said and making it into a punchline of questionable comedic value (your mileage, of course, may vary), but try telling that to the members of the Steve Perry street team, who have come out in force in the Comments section of the article.
Here, then, are ten of my favorite reactions…and, yes, they are all 100% real.
1. “I refuse to believe that Mr. Perry is the same type of low-life as John Mayer who would carelessly use such a disgusting word.”
2. “What bullshit! I don’t believe he even talked to that slut puppy! Neal (Schon) and (Jonathan) Cain probably paid her to say that because they know Perry’s working on his new cd! What a bunch of lowlifes!”
3. “WELL I DON’T BELIEVE A WORD THAT TRAILER TRASH SARAH SAYS. I’D LIKE FOR HER TO USE THE NI WORD IN FRONT OF WHOOPI. WHY DIDN’T SHE USE IT WHEN SHE WAS ON THE VIEW? STEVE’S IDOL IS SAM COOKE HELLO IF HE WAS PREJUDICE HE WOULDN’T SAY SAM COOKE IS HIS HERO MORE LESS. WHY COMEDIANS FEEL THEY HAVE USE BAD WORDS TO GET LAUGHS IS BEYOND ME. SHE COULD OF SAID BLK PEOPLE INSTEAD OF THE N WORD GROW UP SARAH.”
4. “I work in the mental health field and so I know how people perceive what they want and misconstrue to make themselves powerful. I find her humor cheap, condescending and pathetic. Steve Perry can’t even enjoy a comedian act without someone trying to shit on his image. LEAVE HIM ALONE! I get so tired of people triangulating in the name of fame at other’s expense.”
5. “First and foremost, I do not think that Racial and Ethnic slurs have a place in Comedy PERIOD. My interpretation of Silverman is nothing more than a Skank! Furthermore, I also have been a fan of Steve Perry for 30 years or more. I HAVE been to concerts and he is a total gentleman at all times, with more class than any other Lead Singer I have ever seen. I also wish to challenge what RS is saying that Mr. Perry actually said to defend himself. I doubt he would say as much as RS is saying, or go into detail about the experience. This is just disgusting rubbish that belongs in the dump along with Sarah Silverman. Listen to Steve’s beautiful Voice and weigh the talent. I don’t have to tell you which side the scale is going to weigh heavy. RS, write something good for a change. You used do some great articles. This is definitely way below your standards.”
6. “This is SUCH BULL!! Steven is one of the kindest, most gentle spirits on the planet and would NEVER say the “N-word”!!!! That bitch lied!”
7. “Steve is very classy and SEXY guy! I don’t believe he said this in a million years! Steve is friends with Randy Jackson, so why would anyone agree with that so called comedian?”
8. “SARAH SILVERMAN , I WILL NEVER WATCH U ON T.V AGAIN..THIS IS SO-UNCOOL”TO USE JENNIFER ANNISTON’S WORDS”.. STEVE PERRY IS WAY TO POPULAR FOR U TO JAM ON..AND REALLY U JUST AREN’T THAT FUNNY..TO BE HONEST, EVEN IF ROBIN WILLIAMS OR RICHARD PRYOR SAID IT , I WOULD BE PISSED..AND U CAN’T EVEN TOUCH THEM AS A COMEDIAN.”
9. “First Sarah is a total B. Get a life! I guess your name hasn’t come up often so you have to create a total lie about “The Voice.” Like one comment said he was going to come out with an album and now this will scare him away. He’ll hide for another ten years!! Thank you!!Some people (Sarah) have nothing better to do in their lives than make up lies about the nicest people! All she does is make up horrible jokes but they shouldn’t be called jokes because they SUCK ASS!!! Anyways she’s racist herself. Yeah it’s fun and jokes but what do we really now? She just might hate us all! Also Steve Perry is the greatest voice ever! That is why they call him the voice! And his idol is Sam Cook! for heaven sakes he’s black! Now why would a guy who loves Sam Cook be racist!?!? And maybe Neal Schon paid her to say it all. I can believe that after all Neal and Steve aren’t great friends right now. Sarah is just making this up. She thinks it’s a funny and cute joke. Well let me tell you something it’s not funny or freaking cute!! Also why would someone falsely accuse another just for a laugh!! She’s an F*** Bitch!!!Lastly Sarah get a freaking life!! Stop making fun of people just because. Steve I believe you all the way! You’re the best singer and also will be. And you’ll also be the nicest and most charming guy ever!! And again I believe you!! Steve Perry is right and Sarah Bitch is wrong to Hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
10. “I believe Steve Perry over that no-talent-horse-faced-unfunny woman any day…and where is all the outcry over John Mayers racial slurs in Playboy??? The kid is a no-talent racist who will be dead of a drug or alcohol overdose in 5 years or less… Peace…”