Widely viewed as one of the greatest sports photographers of our time and called “the poet laureate of sports,” Walter Iooss, Jr.’s photographs have graced the pages of Sports Illustrated, including more than 300 covers, for 58 years. Since the age of 17, Walter has photographed some of the most recognized athletes in sports history, including Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Tiger Woods, and hundreds more. His ability to create beautiful backdrops for his subjects, both action and portraits, changed the definition of what a “good sports photograph” should be.
Walter placed the same care and consciousness from his sports photographs to create Sports Illustrated’s now-legendary swimsuit issues. As in his action shots, his portraits for SI’s legendary swimsuit issues revealed his uncanny sense of graphics and Rembrandt-like reverence for light and shadow. His ability to truly connect with his subjects, athletes, or models, is what helped make Walter the best in the game.
Flexibility and reinvention are two attributes that can largely determine the successful career of a photographer, and Walter Iooss has been doing both for more than 50 years. A world-class sports photographer with the instinct of a seasoned journalist, combined with the eye of a master artist, allowed him to excel in the area of sports/action photography and commercial advertising.