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THE EDUCATION OF WALTER IOOSS JR.
Walter Iooss Jr.
December 12, 2011
The intrepid SI photographer spent the last 50 years shooting the biggest games, the greatest athletes and the most beautiful swimsuit models. Some guys just can't catch a break
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December 12, 2011

The Education Of Walter Iooss Jr.

The intrepid SI photographer spent the last 50 years shooting the biggest games, the greatest athletes and the most beautiful swimsuit models. Some guys just can't catch a break

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Mariano said, "Oh, yes, he did, Walter." He was very calm. He said, "He gave you your great talent. You should be thankful."

That humbled me. The truth is, I see photos everywhere. I look at someone sitting next to me at lunch, and instantly I'm putting up a background in my mind. That's just churning all the time. If the beauty's there, I want to take a picture of it. I could be anywhere. I take hundreds of iPhone photos, and I compose those too, as much as I can. What I really am is lucky to be doing what I do.

People play the lottery for the same reason I do my job. They're hoping some magical moment comes along and they win $10 million. I've been winning my whole career: The phone rings and, "You're going to Bora Bora." Last year, "You're going to Fiji" and "You're going to the Maldives." Or "You're shooting Tiger" or "You're shooting Michael."

I live for these things. I love these jobs. You never know when it's going to happen, so there's always an element of surprise.

I've stayed in this because I'm still fascinated by people who do things the rest of us can't. For me, it's part of this childlike fantasy, this enthusiasm and love of being around great athletes that hasn't gone away. How could it?

I'm just gonna work until it stops. I love the planning of jobs; I love to think about them almost as much as shooting them. I like the process of having something out there ahead of me as opposed to a black hole with nothing in sight.

Athletes always believe they've got one more trick up their sleeves. None of them want to quit.

I don't blame them.

Why quit?

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