An Easy Job with Kelly ToughWednesday, March 11, 2020
|Kelly Tough - Ektachrome|
In 1956 I was almost 15 years old living with my mother in a mining community in northern Mexico, in Nueva Rosita, Coahuila. My mother taught grade 8, 7 and 6 in a school for the children of the American employees of American Smelting and Refining Company.
We lived in an apartment suite attached to the American Hotel. We had our three meals at the hotel so my mother rarely cooked. After lunch or dinner I would sometimes go to the reading room. There was a Mexican/American engineer called Juan Jaime who lived in our hotel. He was subscribed to Playboy, True, Argosy and Esquire. He would leave his magazines for others to read. It wasn’t in a Playboy where I saw my first semi-nude. In those days Esquire was much racier.
But how could I have possibly imagined that someday in the early 80s I would be assigned to photograph three Canadian (Vancouverites) ex-Playboy Playmates for story written by Les Wiseman for Vancouver Magazine? I did not understand then (and I did not complain) why I was given the job to take the photographs and not a fashion photographer.
In those days when I shot on location with portable backdrops made of cushy cloth. I used a Mamiya RB-67 which meant I had the capability of testing first with Polaroid.
The two Polaroids here I had up in a bulletin board in my Kerrisdale darkroom until four years ago when we moved to Kits. Today I found them and filed them with the Kelly Tough file. They do have a charm and especially as these Polaroids for medium format film cameras are no longer made.