Behind the shoot: What it’s like to hang with Michelle Wie during our Nikon cover shoot

April 9, 2019
Michelle Wie on set at her GOLF Magazine shoot.

Photo shoots, like golf swings, have a lot of moving parts. The challenge lies in trying to keep them all in sync.

GOLF’s recent day with Michelle Wie in San Francisco was a dawn-to-dusk exercise in coordination—the crews and the equipment, the sets, the locations—complicated by Mother Nature’s failure to cooperate. Rain, fog, icy winds and only intermittent sun made a mess of well-laid plans, prompting a slew of on-the-fly adjustments.

Photographer and filmmaker Dewey Nicks brought decades of experience, and his Nikon gear, to the citywide ’Frisco shoot. Nicks's Nikon setup: Body: Nikon Z7 Mirrorless with FTZ Mount Adapter. Lens: Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 / Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 / Nikkor Z 50mm f1.8.
Courtesy Dewey Nicks

“There was always going to be a certain amount of challenge given all the setups we had to capture,” says the shoot’s producer, Jason Stafford of Shoot It Productions. “But when the weather hit, it definitely threw a wrench into our plans.”

Still, photography and video crews, like Tour pros, are trained to adapt. New locations were arranged. Makeup artists and stylists scrambled. GOLF’s team of videographers, and veteran photographer Dewey Nicks, adjusted. The one constant in this scene of constant change was Wie herself, an unpretentious star who endured it all—the long hours on set, the last-minute changes—with the patient, cheerful manner of the down-to-earth luminary that she is.

Nicks and Wie on set.
Brian Richardson

“In situations like we had, the star can make or break you,” Stafford says, “and Michelle Wie absolutely made it for us. She was incredible. She rolled with it all and made it easier for everyone. If she weren’t the kind of person that she is, it would have made it a very, very difficult day.”

The finished product: Michelle Wie on the May issue of GOLF Magazine.