Bill Frakes

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Bill Frakes
Birth name William Frakes
Born Nebraska, United States
Occupation(s) Former Sports Illustrated staff photographer, Straw Hat Visuals owner/founder
Years active 1979–present

Bill Frakes is an American photographer who has been on the masthead of Sports Illustrated since 1993. In 2008, he cofounded Straw Hat Visuals, a Southern Media Company. Bill was born and raised in the ranch country of western Nebraska. He received his bachelor's degree in Economics from Arizona State University, earned a Journalism degree from the University of Kansas, and went to law school at the University of Mississippi.[1] Currently, he is based out of North Florida.

Work and Career[edit]

Bill Frakes started his photography career at the Miami Herald where he worked from 1979 to 1992, covering a wide range of subjects from local stories to politics in Cuba.[2] He began shooting for Sports Illustrated in 1983.[3] He is a frequent contributor to ESPN. He has worked in more than 125 countries for a wide variety of editorial and advertising clients.

His advertising clients include Apple, Champion, CocaCola, IBM, Isleworth, Kodak, Manfrotto, Nike, Nikon, Reebok, Amway Global and Stryker. Editorially his work has appeared in virtually every major general interest publication in the world. Additionally, he directs music videos and commercial television spots.[4]

He has taught at the University of Miami, the University of Florida and the University of Kansas as an adjunct professor and lecturer. He is currently the Souderlin Professor of Journalism at the University of Nebraska. Between 2005-2010, he lectured[5] at more than 100 universities discussing multimedia and photojournalism.[6]

Bill also travels the world conducting workshops in partnership with Nikon, Apple and the Manfrotto School of Xcellence. He is a instructor with courses available on Environmental Sports Portraiture: Action Sports Photography. He has given hundreds of interviews for university photojournalism programs, such as James Madison University, and many national and international photography publications.

In 2013 and 2010, he was on the Jury of World Press Photo.[7]

Currently, Bill along with his company, Straw Hat Visuals, is on the forefront of the video DSLR movement,[8] integrating stills, audio and video to create dynamic stories which can be viewed in multiple ways.

Bill's work is regularly featured in photography news magazine, including online photojournalism journal Burn Magazine, the British Journal of Photography, and the Photo District News (PDN). He has also been featured on the Nikon Professional Services Web site.

Awards and honors[edit]

Bill won the coveted Newspaper Photographer of the Year award in the prestigious Pictures of the Year International competition.[9] He was a member of the Miami Herald staff that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for their coverage of Hurricane Andrew.[10] In 2004, he won the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Best of Photojournalism Award for his sports portfolio. He has also been honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards[11] for reporting on the disadvantaged and by the Overseas Press Club[12] for distinguished foreign reporting.[5] He was awarded the Gold Medal by World Press Photo.[13] He has received hundreds of national and international awards for his work.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Photographer Portfolio: Bill Frakes". Eddie Adams Workshop. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  2. ^ "From stills to motion - British Journal of Photography". Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  3. ^ Driver, Dustin (1999-03-26). "Pro - Profiles - Bill Frakes". Apple. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  4. ^ "A Southern Media Company". Strawhat Visuals. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  5. ^ a b "Speaker Biographies | The Power of Narrative: The Rebirth of Storytelling | April 29 & 30, 2011, at Boston University". Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  6. ^ "Collect Great PhotoJournalism". 52 Selects. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  7. ^ "World Press Photo". World Press Photo. 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  8. ^ "The iPad Interview « Joe McNally's Blog". Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes | Public Service". 1985-08-02. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  11. ^ "Robert F Kennedy Memorial". Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  12. ^ "OPC Awards Past Recipients | Overseas Press Club of America". Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  13. ^ Castleberry, Kim (2010-04-06). "Bill Frakes: Constant Motion - Digital Photo Pro". Retrieved 2011-03-06.