Memories of Hugh Hefner from a Playboy photographer

Kansas City photographer fondly recalls Hef

Dan Weinbaum
September 28, 2017 - 8:56 pm

Kansas City, MO - Jodi Vander Woude's mother had a message for her when she started working at Playboy - keep your clothes on.

"'I don't mind if you take the job,'" Vander Woude remembers her mother telling her. "She was very old fashioned... 'but please don't show up in the magazine naked'".

Instead, Jodi made a career behind the camera. She now owns a studio in Kansas City and continues to work in photography. 

"Playboy was my first job right out of college. I was a peon art assistant," she says.

Vander Woude (pictured above on the left) would works as a producer, model makeup and eventually became a photographer for the world famous magazine.

She says she didn't know Hugh Hefner, but that she did meet him many times. She says one time when an event was running late in Las Vegas, the Playboy founder and publisher sat with her and a friend and talked about life.

"I wish I could go back and ask better questions," say Vander Woude. "We all just talked about regular things, he asked what was going on in our lives. Also my girlfriend was flirting with him."

This happened, she says, when Hefner was in his 70's, and Vander Woude and her friend were, ahem, much younger.

Vander Woude says she found Hefner to be brilliant, and a visionary.

"I think Hefner will be remembered as the person who opened doors to sexuality being ok," she says. "Especially for women to be ok with their sexuality..."



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