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Behind the scenes of a ‘Playboy’ cover shoot, with Canberra’s Jasmin Shojai

Behind the scenes of a ‘Playboy’ cover shoot, with Canberra’s Jasmin Shojai

A modern Playboy shoot doesn’t happen the way you think it does.

The models no longer head to the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles to line up with hundreds of other hopefuls; to have their breasts and hips measured under the critical eye of Hugh Hefner (may he rest in peace) and his creative team. There are no auditions.

A modern Playboy model is smart, business-savvy and strategic. She’s more likely to be brunette than blonde, have years of modelling experience under her (non-existent) belt and have zero pubic hair.


Shojai in a shoot in Orange County, LA. Photo: Dillon Morningstar

She has a manager and support staff with her always. She’ll smash out a photo shoot in a matter of hours, speak articulately in the video required for ‘behind the scenes’ content for Playboy and then host an episode of The Naked News in the studio down the road before jetting to her next location.

I know this because Canberra model Jasmin Shojai told me so.

Shojai’s been Playmate of the Month on the cover of Playboy Croatia not once, but twice.

Both cover shoots were a strategic play by Shojai and her manager Josh Schumacher, who did their research, networked hard to get in touch with acclaimed Playboy photographer Anthony Randall and spent thousands on a trip to Toronto for Shojai to be photographed by the man they knew had the right connections.

Shojai’s spread in Playboy Croatia, October 2019. Photo: Anthony Randall

“We headed to downtown Toronto to this warehouse where Anthony shoots a lot, and it felt like the perfect setting,” Shojai says of the shoot that landed her the cover of Playboy in October 2018.

“It was vintage and I felt so comfortable.


“I put my own wardrobe together with the help and advice of some other glamour models. I basically just wanted a very classic Playboy shoot.

“And when I was posing with just my thigh-highs on, in complete nudity, it just made sense. I was feeling the vibe.

“If I’m comfortable and inspired by my surroundings, I just perform better in front of the camera.”

The photos were stunning, and Randall pitched them for the cover of Playboy Croatia. The magazine loved Shojai’s exotic look – she’s half German and half Persian – and said yes.

“It was just really amazing,” Shojai says of receiving a congratulations email from Playboy Croatia editor Mihovil Švigir.

“Our hard work had paid off.”

Shojai in an FHM concept shoot. Photo: Universe 137 Studio

Sydney born, Canberra bred Shojai started modelling in 2016 as a form of self love. She was healing from an abusive relationship, and being in front of the camera helped her confidence and assisted in “reclaiming my identity”.

As she became more and more comfortable with peeling the layers off, her family became less comfortable.

“For my father especially it was really hard to understand at first,” Shojai says.

“He couldn’t really see the bigger picture or the bigger benefit of my modelling and I can understand that – especially in Canberra where you don’t come across people who are fully-fledged models.

“But they can see my determination and success and are really supportive now.”

Shojai is a brand ambassador for Femme Luxe Finery (clothing brand in the UK) and Drunk Elephant (skin care). She’s modelled for the Emirates Melbourne Cup and starred in the US film The Alliance

Shojai has graced the pages of Maxim (US, Africa, Mexico), FHM (South Africa) and Break (Italy). She has diverse revenue streams, including the sale of ‘behind the scenes’ DVDs from her nude photo shoots and her own page on subscription-based social media app OnlyFans.

But nothing pays as well as nude modelling, she says, one of the most highly paid forms of modelling in the world.

When she’s not travelling and working on her business, Shojai’s working part-time in a hair salon in Canberra. She can’t tell me where, because she’s had serial stalkers in the past and needs to keep her location under wraps.

Her advice to aspiring models is to be intentional.

“Whether you want to be a model, an actress or just a fully-fledged brand, have a very specific vision and know the steps you need to take to get there,” she says.

“It’s like building any other business.

“And the closer you are to reaching your goal, the smarter and more business-savvy you need to be. The competition can be fierce.”

About the Author: Bree Element

Part bogan, part wannabe plus-size model and part journalist, Bree's the woman behind Q! News. She's a pop culture obsessive who's deeply in love with her hometown, Queanbeyan, and the neighbouring capital. A born storyteller, she's been writing locally, nationally and internationally for more than 25 years.