Walter Iooss, Bjorn Iooss, and the Swimsuit Issue

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On a dreary, rain-soaked Manhattan day near the end of a loooong winter, one’s mind drifts to thoughts of tropical climates where the sun is constant and there’s not a shred of wool to be found. Places like you see in the current Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, the cover of which was shot not by the usual suspect—veteran Swimsuit Issue photographer Walter Iooss—but by his son Bjorn Iooss. The model: Irina Shayk.

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Irina Shayk, as photographed by Bjorn Iooss.

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Bjorn Iooss and Walter Iooss.

As Bjorn explained to The New York Times last month, landing the cover was the furthest thing from his mind when he photographed Shayk in Maui, as he’d been commissioned to shoot “a few supplemental pictures” for a Swimsuit Issue advertorial. But there he was at dawn one day last November, photographing the Russian supermodel, and something just, you know, clicked.

“It was beautiful. The light had just come up,” Bjorn told the TimesStephen Heyman, who writes that “a few frames in,” Bjorn and his editors knew they had a cover contender. “The crazy thing about it,” noted Bjorn, who also photographed Julie Henderson, “was that it was the first morning, the first girl, the first look, and it was perfect.”

Bjorn’s dad, I mean Walter, also contributed to this year’s Swimsuit Issue, photographing Alyssa MillerGenevieve Morton, and Anne V in Fuji. Here’s a look:

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Alyssa Miller. Photo by Walter Iooss for Sports Illustrated. Click to see more.

Genevieve Morton. Photo by Walter Iooss for Sports Illustrated. Click to see more.

 

Anne V. Photo by Walter Iooss for Sports Illustrated. Click to see more.

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Last year, when Walter’s Swimsuit Issue–inspired book Heaven came out, Vanity Fair produced a video and slideshow in which Walter hosts a look back at his Swimsuit shots from over the past three decades. He talks about his photos of models such as Cheryl Tiegs, Veronika Varecova, Petra Nemcova, Tyra Banks, Marisa Miller (“She does have the greatest body of any girl I’ve ever seen,” he comments), Paulina Porizkova, and Christie Brinkley.

The Swimsuit shoots are not “the orgy” that people think they are, Walter notes drily at one point, adding, “People look at you like, Who’s this ass with the hot girls?”

Click here to watch the slideshow “The Luckiest Photographer on Earth” at vanityfair.com and here to watch the video.

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