Erotic depictions of women in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography from the dawn of man to the present.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Personally Selected Venuses 4: Suze Randall and Jill de Vries

This fantastic photograph is of British photographer Suze Randall shooting Playboy Playmate of the Month for October 1975, Jill de Vries.  The then 29 year old Randall has De Vries stroking one thigh and sitting on the other in an image that is full of Sapphic overtones, voyeurism and a strong sense of the tactile.  This is really a boudoir fantasy of a glamour shoot bought to life with the added frisson of the fact that Randall really is a proper (perhaps, improper) photographer, who just happened to be really cute as well.

The resulting shots were never published in Playboy but here are a few of them, demonstrating the palpable relationship between photographer and model.  It's a really nice set of Illinois born De Vries who went on to have a small part in the early Tom Cruise film film Risky Business (1983)

The shot appeared in a pictorial in the May 1976 edition of Playboy which featured a series of self-portraits by Suze Randall, who served as a staff photographer for Playboy between 1975 and 1977, before falling out with Hugh Hefner and moving on to Hustler.

Randall's model card June 1970

Early nude modelling shot

Born in Worcestershire, Suze Randall was working as a staff nurse at St George's Hospital in London when she answered an advertisement for nude models to supplement her meagre salary.

Soon a successful model, she took up photography and was spotted taking pictures behind the scenes of a fashion show and quickly transformed herself into a full-time photographer; becoming the first woman to shoot the Page 3 girl for The Sun newspaper.

She came to the notice of Playboy by shooting Norwegian model Lillian Müller and sending the pictures to the magazine, who then asked her to photograph her for her Playmate of the Month pictorial in August 1975.  She was considered too inexperienced to photograph the centrefold, however, so that job was given to Dwight Hooker.  Her cover shot of Müller, at the height of Playboy's circulation battle with Penthouse, was the most blatant nude that the magazine had ever had on its cover at that point.

She shot two covers for Playboy (see below) and just the one centrefold feature but her argument with Hefner meant that she didn't photograph anything else for magazine.  She did more work for Playboy's sister magazine Oui where, again, her shots were rather stronger than many of the other  pictures in the magazine, as can be seen in this rare anal displaying shot of  Debra from Oui's March 1977 issue.

The picture of her with De Vries is described as being taken during a "test shoot" of the Playmate.  It was very small on the page and was the only example published in the magazine, as the pictorial was really all about Randall's self portraits.

Self portrait from Playboy 1976

Randall's pictures in this pictorial are very sensuous but with the tell tail camera cable visible in every shot.  It would have been interesting to see how her raunchy style would have developed at Playboy at a time when they were starting to pull back from explicit pictures.

Self portrait from Hustler 1977

This was not an issue at Hustler, where Randall worked from 1977 until 1979.  Randall had met Hustler publisher Larry Flynt at a party and was soon working for the magazine and having sex with both Flynt and his young bisexual wife, Althea, a former stripper at one of Flynt's clubs. Randall later wrote: "Althea was always pulling me into closets and forcing me to pleasure her. God, she was exhausting! And Larry was even worse! They were the greatest perverts I have ever encountered."  Just over a year after her Playboy feature she posed again for some more self portraits in Hustler's June 1977 issue, where she assumed some positions that would never have been allowed in Playboy.  

Kari for Hustler 1978

Kari for Penthouse 1981

Randall was soon shooting a lot of pictorials at Hustler such as the December 1978 Hustler's Honey Kari Clarke.  Pictures from the same shoot would appear in Penthouse's January 1981 issue where she appeared as Kari Burton.  These would be Randall's first pictures to appear in Penthouse since April 1977 when she shot a non-nude feature on motorbikes.  From 1982 on she contributed many pictorials for Penthouse, becoming one of their regular photographers.  

Holly and Suze Randall

She now runs her own website which not only includes current work (including a lot of fetish stuff) but a lot of her old shoots from the eighties and nineties too.  Her daughter Holly has followed her mother as a glamour photographer.


  1. Another excellent post combining the erotic and the educational - I've liked Suze Randall's glamour work as long as I've been aware of it and knew she had been a glamour model herself one upon a long time ago, but that was as far as my knowledge went.

    Reading about her I wondered if you might be planning to post about another glamour-model-to-photographer from the 70s, the lovely Joanie Allum.


  2. I was just a teen when I first saw the '77 Hustler self portraits and to this day have never forgot them and until today never saw them again I can't thank you enough

  3. Maybe I should post the whole pictorial...