Portraits Of Retired Playboy Bunnies

What happens to Playboy Bunnies after they retire? Most of them are never heard from. Photographer, Robyn Twomey, decided to take a portrait series showcasing these women. No retouching was done to the whole set to make sure realism is maintained. 

Robyn really brought out as much personality as possible with these portraits. These photos were taken at the Playboy Bunny reunion in Las Vegas. Robyn states, “They are complex characters that are proud and empowered by their beauty and sexuality, at the same time stricken by the fleeting nature of it.”

You can check out more of Robyn's work here on her website:













[Via Design Taxi via Eikona via Robyn]

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tommyi_20's picture

It's definitely not Playboy quality on the light setting in these photos. I feel sorry for the beautiful ladies - they have deserved better.

Nikola Milasevic's picture

I agree-as if the intention of the photog was to make those lovely ladies as 'worn out' as possible-not fair and not polite. Maybe she (I mean the photog) was envious of their beauty ??

Darren Williams's picture

well this is a fail...

Bert McLendon's picture

I think it would have been a little more insulting trying to make these women look like something that they're not and post process the crap out of them to make them look "young" again.  They're not young, they are old.  These pics show the stark contrast of what once was.  These images look and feel real and I appreciate that the photographer didn't try to cover the old up with beauty lighting and post process work.

Jr Miller's picture



Photography has gotten so post process happy that some can't appreciate an image for exactly what it is....makes me wonder if their wives are developing a complex ;-)

Mr Blah's picture

Good lighting has nothing to do with post process....

perceptionalreality's picture

Do you have any concept what goes into the lighting of a playboy shoot? A dozen assistants and multiple lights for every assistant. Then hours in post retouching the photos (with an airbrush back in their day; Photoshop now). It is incredibly unrealistic to expect the same production values from a project like this (with no paying subscribers to fund it), and particularly when the point is to contrast those production values and women in their prime with the realities of life (which includes poor lighting more often than not). 

Just ridiculous criticism revealing an incredibly limited world view. 

Mr Blah's picture

 Being old doesn't mean not caring for flatering light.

In the first ones, it looks like he used bare flash only. Not the best result here.

the background changes tonality which makes our eyes leave the subjects (on the fisrt 5 of them).

It seems to be better for the next ones but still... why the change in lighting? The series Is a great idea and there is alot to do with it, but it isn't tied together well enough for my taste...

Mike M's picture

 "It's definitely not Playboy quality on the light setting in these photos."

"I agree-as if the intention of the photog was to make those lovely ladies as 'worn out' as possible-not fair and not polite"

" think it would have been a little more insulting trying to make these
women look like something that they're not and post process the crap out
of them to make them look "young" again."

-No one said make them look young, they commented on the lighting and unnecessarily making them look more worn out intentionally.

Look at 1, 2, 4, 6, 10, and even 11.  No effort is made to capture their beauty, solely their age, which makes it seem like a predisposed goal from the outset. 

You should always aim to capture your subjects' inner beauty, period.  Doing so, doesn't solely require working in Photoshop to make a workable image....

Carlos Osterling's picture

Nobody is talking about airbrushing them. To me, the photos try to make them look worn-out. Take the photo of the lady in black, with the playboy logo, against that poor looking background. Don't tell me you would take a photo like that of a celebrity, for example.

Grant Palmer's picture

I don't mind the "realism" aspect of the project, but at least light it well.

Chris Popely's picture

As everyone else has said, the lighting is dire. 

John W Smith's picture

Snapshot, Uncle Bob lighting would have made these women look rough even at their younger best. This is a bullshit disrespectful project.

elotrochele's picture

All the ladies are super HOT!!!!!!

Ana's picture

The problem is not only the lighting; some of these pictures are a bit out of focus and not well composed. I understand that sometimes the project requires a Photoshop free image, but in this case the photographer could have used some better techniques that don't have anything to do with post processing.

Bert McLendon's picture

Compression is the devil. =P  Take a look at the pics on her sight, they are much sharper.

Bogdan Radu's picture

These pictures are frankly terrible. It has nothing to do with "not glamorizing" and "realism". They lack the human aspect for which a certain degree of photographer's sensibility is not only desirable but invaluable. Think Joe McNally here...

Adam's picture

It's just Rembrandt lighting. It's not that it's "bad", it's just not flattering to the subjects. However, it's obviously used as a tool to emphasize the change. Shoot them with a ring light or standard beauty lighting and we'd have a totally different look the series. Both would have been interesting to see, this just went the darker route.

Victorian221b's picture

As an aspiring photographer, I am ashamed of the comments here.  I don't find anything wrong with these images and in fact appreciate the emotions the photographer is trying to convey.  There is a certain style to it that it is hard to put a finger on and I don't see it as bad photography.  

And by the way, the point of the photographer is not to create a glamorous, Playboy-esque photography.  It is to shoot these ladies as real people and not on the center spread of the magazine.  Real people look like that.  Maybe consider that and also read the article and think about it before commenting.

jorge pastrana's picture

crappy photos,  im sure Peter Hurley can take superb portraits of these womans whitout retouching 

kaitokaito's picture

i find these are exaggerated and disrespectful shots.   using the most unflattering light, compositions and shots to emphasize the difference from their original beauty shots is just as bad as post processing them.   it would have been a way better comparison to shoot them with beauty lighting - let the project speak for itself without all the bad lighting.    also statement - stricken with how fleeting it is - they are still beautiful and sexual - just older.   they can be stricken by how fleeting youth is as it is something they no longer have - but beauty and sexuality is not limited to the young.

Maurice Waters's picture

its almost as if the photographer based on posing and lighting had a vendetta against the models for who they were. The lighting as mentioned is harsh giving a very stark aspect on the subject but what annoys me is the looking off camera or what appears to be mid pose type shots, gives this a very set up to fail type of approach similar to that of a nightly news trying to paint a picture no matter what the truth is. If the photographer wanted them to look "real" use natural lighting a compostion that didnt display harshness.

Jodie Fraser's picture

most of these look more like mug shots than portraits

Kristin Laurel Caffray's picture

seamless looks great.barf

Alex Nawrocky's picture

wtf mate 

Richard Melanson's picture

I don't think anyone commenting negatively understands what the photographer was trying to convey here, which I think she did quite well.  You're all getting way too hung up on the mechanics (which I would imagine were intentional), completely missing the nuance of the characters.

JPGodwin's picture

Thanks for clearing that up Richard, she intentionally wanted to create images that were just a bit bland, boring to look at, and not lit very well.


Richard Melanson's picture

I was just making the point that perhaps these images were not simply created to be technically proficient just for the sake of being technically proficient.  Maybe that the depiction of the subjects (in an unflattering manor?) was done on purpose, and the goal was not simply to take beautiful portraits of different women. 

For example, the headshots on your site are lit very well, and are extremely flattering to the subjects - it seems you achieve your goal very well.   I was, however, just attempting to point out that this series might have a different purpose than some of the shoots typically seen on this site, and therefore might have been executed differently...intentionally.  

Some "Fine Art" photography must make your head explode, given your cynicism (and contentious demeanor).

JPGodwin's picture

But then why post the shots at all? People complain about the work not for the sake of the work, but because of the fact that they have been offered it by a website that-to some extent-attempts to showcase talent.

If I came across these on a personal website, I'd appreciate them for what they are. I wouldn't even notice if they weren't lit very well. The issue is that I have come on this website in order to be either entertained or educated, and this is what I've been offered-of course I, or anyone else, is going to be more judgemental in that capacity.

It's similar to watching an amateur play in a local theatre, or the exact same amateur play on Broadway. You'd be in your right mind to absolutely slate the show on Broadway, because the stage is too big for such mediocrity.

I can do a hotdog in a fine dining restaurant analogy as well, but you get my point. It's not she created bad work, it's that the work isn't good enough to be admired. 

I speak only for myself. Thanks for the compliment on my work by the way, that's extremely kind of you to say.

Richard Melanson's picture

Fair enough.  Cheers.

john pritchett's picture

Awkward and unflattering posing in most of these. Bad lighting too. What these women were is based on attributes which disappear with time. No one escapes it. Comparing physical appearance of youth vs. older age is unfair to anyone.

john pritchett's picture

It seems like the idea behind this shoot was good. The execution of the shoot is not good. Bad lighting and posing aside, even as an art project, the photographer produced uninteresting snapshots anyone could have done.

Abel Wilson's picture

I'm happy that some of the comments here talk about the real issue at hand: The Photog is being unfair to the subjects.
Someone commented that the duty of a Photographer is to capture the inner beauty of their subjects. Even without photoshop, this can be achieved all in camera, with the correct lighting and technique.
These aren't subjects, but human beings. Maybe I'm sentimental, but if one of those women was a person I knew in real life, I'd be mad at the photographer for being so insensitive to their feelings.
Every person is aware of the fleeting nature of beauty and youth. If the photog wanted to show this, she could have at least shown some respect by depicting them as aging, but with grace.
By doing this, all she has achieved is make some women very depressed about themselves.

Mansgame's picture

Wow that is just bad. Years of booze and cigs aren't that sexy.