Bill Frakes is a Sports Illustrated staff photographer based in Florida. His production company, Straw Hat Visuals, produces content that is cross-purposed across multiple platforms reaching maximum viewers.
Bill has worked in all 50 states and in more than 125 countries for a wide variety of editorial and advertising clients, including Apple, Nike, Manfrotto, Coca Cola, Champion, Isleworth, Stryker, IBM, Nikon, Kodak, and Reebok. He directs music videos and television ads. Editorially his work has appeared in virtually every major general interest publication in the world. His still photographs and short documentary films have been featured on hundreds of websites as well as on most major television networks.
He won the coveted Newspaper Photographer of the Year award in the prestigious Pictures of the Year competition; he was a member of the Miami Herald staff that won the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of Hurricane Andrew; he was awarded the Gold Medal by World Press Photo. Bill has also been honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for reporting on the disadvantaged and by the Overseas Press club for distinguished foreign reporting. He has received hundreds of national and international awards for his work.
Bill has taught at the University of Miami, the University of Florida and the University of Kansas as an adjunct professor and lecturer. During the last five years he has lectured at more than 100 universities discussing multimedia and photojournalism. He is on the faculty of Kelby Training. In 2010 and 2013 he served on the World Press Photo jury.
Many years ago, a young American mother named Agnes Frakes pointed out images all around her tiny Nebraska town to her four-year-old son Bill: a cat’s shadow, a pool of oil beneath a car, his own name etched in a cookie tray of caramel popcorn. The boy looked at the objects and saw nothing. ‘Look again,’ she said. ‘There is always more there than what your eye sees…’ Twenty-five years later the boy became one of the most accomplished sports photographers in the world.
—James McBride, part of his introduction in the book “Family: A Celebration of Humanity.”
If you can fall in love everyday, that's the first step to being a great photographer.