The first time Tiger Woods posed for Walter Iooss Jr. was for the cover of the April 2000 issue of Sports Illustrated. Tiger knew of Walter's legendary status by way of good friends Michael Jordan and Ken Griffey Jr. After some brief introductions the shoot needed to get going. Time is always of the essence when dealing with Tiger. If time is money, then Tiger's time is expensive. Tiger sat down in a red chair on the dock at Isleworth Country Club in Orlando and waited for further instructions. Iooss was on his hands and knees trying to fix his camera, which had jammed. There were a few seconds of awkward silence when Tiger asked, "Is this your first time working with one of those, Walter?" For a moment it seemed Tiger had hooked his fish. Walter looked up and passed the end of his nose at the young champion, who is always fond of a well-played joke. Iooss smiled. Tiger was one up.
Iooss has been on staff and shooting exclusively for Sports Illustrated since he was 19 years old. He's covered all XLI Super Bowls, he's accounted for over 300 covers and was the photographer who captured Cheryl Tiegs in a wildly revealing fishnet swimsuit in 1978 for one of 30-plus swimsuit issues he's worked on. The book he did with Jordan, Rare Air, has sold over 800,000 copies.
Iooss has joined Golf Digest now. He'll shoot golf and golfers exclusively for us and will continue to shoot all other athletes and sports for Sports Illustrated. Iooss' first assignment was shooting Woods in Orlando in October.
The following is a set of images from behind the scenes at our shoot. There were jokes exchanged on this set, but fortunately for us it was free of jammed cameras. --Matt Ginella, Director of Photography