Monday, 6 February 2012

Centrefold Venus of the Month 32: Tamara Kapitas, January 1980

It's a rare incursion into the eighties for this Centrefold of the Month; but only just, as we alight on January 1980 and the lissome form of Tamara Kapitas, who appeared in Penthouse that month. Given it's a cold and snowy day today the thought of Miss Kapitas cavorting around in a tropical setting is very warming.

Note: originally this post was much longer but, at her request, we have deleted anything that refers to Tamara's current life. We are loathe to delete all the pictures as she looks so splendid.  She very kindly offered a few snippets on her experiences in being one of the first women to be photographed by both Playboy and Penthouse.

These photographs were the work of female photographer Pat Hill who had done her first model shoot for Penthouse back in 1977. She began working at Penthouse and Viva with Art Kane before becoming a Penthouse staff photographer, which involved photographing interview subjects, then covers and eventually centrefolds. This was her first Pet of the Month shoot but she would go on to do two more in 1980 (Annie Hockersmith (April) and Monika Kaelin (May). Her name didn't appear on this, possibly because she had two more centrefold shoots coming up.

Originally from Hawaii, she is now based in New York, having moved on to advertising and fashion photography, where her clients have included firms as diverse as Wonderbra, Macy's, Sony, Proctor and Gamble and Revlon.

The accompanying text tells us very little about Tamara other than the fact that she is from New York and is 37-24-36, which is quite believable, looking at her.

Tamara also appeared in Playboy in 1977

Tamara had appeared in Playboy in a 1977 pictorial which looked at girls who were under consideration for Playmate.  At least five of those featured did go on to be a Playmate but Tamara was not one of them.  In fact, according to Tamara, she was photographed for two weeks and Hugh Hefner was very involved ordering re-shoots.  She never made Playmate, however, as Tamara was only seventeen at the time. She had told them she was a year older.  hefner, of course, had got into big trouble over the use of underage Playmates, like Elizabeth Ann Roberts, before so no doubt didn't want to risk it again.

Tamara did some other modelling.  Here she  is, in 1982, being the sort of politically incorrect adornment that you don't see at motor shows any more (except in Italy).

Tamara's take on this shoot is interesting and she sent me the following:

"Guccioni was another fussy man who was very involved in the details. He wanted more explicit pics than I was willing to give the mag. I didn't mind being nude, as I had grown up on the beaches of the Riviera and Italy, where everyone is half nude anyway. As long as the pictures felt natural, w/o being contrived. But I was uncomfortable, VERY uncomfortable. I refused to shoot with him. His directions for poses were out of the question for me. I wanted to walk around in the Everglades and have her photgraph me the way I was, not the way HE wanted to see me. The only way I agreed to do it was if the photog was a woman. I insisted there was no one else on the shoot other than a female make-up artist. And of course, my name was never to be used, nor any information about me.

Guccione always thought I was difficult to control. And he was right."  So that's why she never made pet of the Year!

Lovely smile!

There were not enough photograph's of Tamara's wonderful posterior in the pictorial.

We like these final shots; they're intense!  The gradual zooming in on Tamara in her gauzy bower contributing to the voyeuristic quality that Penthouse did so well.

So we like this set of Tamara and it's a shame she didn't do more modelling for Penthouse but she was obviously uncomfortable with the explicit route that Guccione was taking at this time.  She did make the Pet of the Year Playoffs in the June 1981 issue but there were no new shots of her for this, sadly.  So an unusual combination of a female photographer, a tropical setting and the striking-looking Tamara make for a fine antidote to our cold and snowy day.

We are very grateful to Tamara for the comments she gave on this piece and wish her well.  She is still a strikingly beautiful woman. 

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